Swedish actress award-winning actress Pernilla August’s feature directorial debut, Beyond (Svinalängorna), which has already scooped top prizes in Venice, Lübeck and Sao Paolo, is among five nominees for the Nordic Council Film Prize, announced on Tuesday (23) by the Norwegian International Film Festival.

August has already earned a best director Guldbagge – Sweden’s national film prize – for Beyond (pictured), which stars Millennium actress Noomi Rapace as a refugee in 1970s Sweden and is based on Susanne Alakoski’s novel. The Helena Danielsson-Ralf Karlsson production for Heppfilm Cinema-Drakfilm reached 100,000 admissions domestically.

The other contestants for Scandinavia’s largest film award, which comes with a $67,000 (DKK 350,000) cheque, are Nikolaj Arcel’s The Truth About Men (Sandheden Om Mænd, from Denmark); Zaida Bergroth’s The Good Son (Hyvä Poika, from Finland); Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson’s Undercurrent (Brim, from Iceland); and Joachim Trier’s Oslo, August 31st (Oslo, 31. August, from Norway).

The chairmen of the five national juries which have selected the candidates will choose the winner during October. The writer, director and producer of the winning film will receive a prize at the Nordic Council’s Copenhagen session on Nov 2.

“Several of the nominated features have been selected for major festivals and [are] widely-sold,” said Hanne Palmquist, managing director of the Nordic Film & TV Fond, which handles the prize for the Nordic Council. “The five runners-up for the award illustrate both the diversity and the high standards among Nordic directors, writers and producers.”

Since the Nordic Council Film Prize became an annual honour in 2005 it has been won four times by Danish films and two times by Swedish entries: Danish director Per Fly’s Manslaughter (Drabet) won in 2005; Swedish director Josef Fares’ Zozo in 2006; and Danish director Peter Schønau Fog’s The Art Of Crying (Kunsten At Græde I Kor) in 2007.

Swedish director Roy Andersson’s You, the Living (Du Levande) won in 2008; Denmark’s Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist won in 2009; and Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s Submarino won in 2010.

In 2002 the prize was presented to Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man Without A Past (Mies Vailla Menneisyytta) as a one-off event, to celebrate the council’s 50th anniversary.