The world’s most lucrative film prize, The Nordic Council Film Prize, has been awarded to writer/director Dag Johan Haugerud and producer Yngve Saether of Motlys for their Norwegian drama Beware Of Children (Barn).
The prize comes with $55,600 (DKK 350,000) cash.
The film, which premiered at Venice Days 2019, is about a community in distress after an accident involving two 13-year-olds.
The jury’s statement said: “With empathy and great seriousness Haugerud explores the relationship between children and adults… Dag Johan Haugerud is a distinct filmmaker, with a highly personal view of the world and an unusually well-attuned ear for dialogue. Through the years he has cultivated a warm and trusting relationship with some of Norway’s finest actors, and in Beware Of Children they bring out the best in each other. This is a rich film about that which matters most of all.”
Haugerud’s past films include I Belong, which was nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize in 2013, and I’m The One You Want.
This year’s other nominees were Frelle Petersen’s Uncle from Denmark, Amanda Kernell’s Charter from Sweden, Rúnar Rúnarsson’s Echo from Iceland and J.-P. Valkeapää’s Dogs Don’t Wear Pants from Finland.
Nominees are chosen by national committees in the five Nordic countries, with this criteria: “The nominated films must have deep roots in Nordic culture, be of high artistic quality, distinguish themselves by their artistic originality, and combine and elevate the many elements of film into a compelling and holistic work of art.”
The Nordic Council Film Prize has been awarded since 2002.