Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s Submarino was today awarded the Nordic Council Film Prize – Scandinavia’s largest film award, which comes with a $65,000 cheque to be shared between the director, scriptwriter Tobias Lindholm and producer Morten Kaufmann of Nimbus Film.
Vinterberg was chosen by the Nordic Adjudication Committee, including Danish senir lecturer Anne Jensen, Finnish editor Johanne Grönqvist, three film critics: Iceland’s Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Norway’s Le LD Nguyen, and Sweden’s Eva af Geijerstam. He is the second of the Danish Dogme brothers to be honoured with the prize, after Lars von Trier’s Antichrist won last year.
After The Celebration (Festen), his 1996 contribution to the first wave of Dogme films which won – among others – the jury prize in Cannes, Vinterberg made such English-language films as It’s All About Love (2003) and Dear Wendy (2005), the latter scripted by von Trier.
Both international ventures enjoyed a mixed reception, and after a couple of television movies he returned to Danish feature filmmaking in 2007 with the award-winning When A Man Comes Home (En mand kommer hjem), which he both wrote and directed.
”I had been missing this eagerness from when I did my graduation movie at the Danish Film School, prior to Dogme,” he said about the shooting of Submarino, which he scripted with Lindholm, and where he introduced several first time actors and crew members.
Based on Danish author Jonas T Bengtsson’s novel about parental guilt, Submarino follows two estranged brothers marked by a childhood of gloom. Nick’s life is drenched in alcohol and plagued by violence, and his younger brother, a junkie and a single father, struggles to give his son a better life. Their paths cross in middle age.
Starring Jakob Cedergren, Peter Plauborg, Patricia Schumann and Morten Rose, the film was launched in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Critics’ Prize at the Norwegian International Film Festival at Haugesund.
Submarino has also been shortlisted with another 45 features by the European Film Academy for this year’s European Film Award. The Academy’s 2,300 will announce their nominations on Nov 6; the prize ceremony takes place in Tallinn (Estonia) on Dec 4.