Woman at War wins the 2018 Nordic Council Film Prize

Praising its deft, unsentimental and confident mixture of action and intimacy as well as a magnificently unfussy lead performance, the Nordic Council Film Prize jury, consisting of 15 equally prominent and handpicked Nordic cinema experts, bestowed its 2018 award upon the LUX Prize finalist Woman at War. Recipients Benedikt Erlingsson (direction, screenplay and production), Ólafur Egill Egilsson (screenplay), and Marianne Slot and Carine Leblanc (production) will share a prize of DKK 350,000 (almost €47,000) “in recognition of film as an art form, based on the collaboration between these main contributors”.

Since its hit premiere in this year’s Critics’ Week at Cannes, where it won the SACD Award for Best Screenplay, Erlingsson’s warmly eccentric take on environmental advocacy (he has described his heroine as part Gandhi, part Pippi Longstocking) has picked up a sizeable batch of festival awards from different corners of the world. On top of being one of the three finalists for the 2018 LUX Prize, Woman at War is also Iceland’s candidate for consideration in the Best Foreign-language Film category of the forthcoming Oscars.

Woman at War is the 15th recipient of the Nordic Council Film Prize, generally regarded as the most prestigious film award in the Nordic region. The other nominees this year were Denmark’s Winter Brothers by Hlynur Pálmason, Finland’s Euthanizer by Teemu Nikki, Norway’s Thelma by Joachim Trier and Sweden’s Ravens by Jens Assur.

The first Nordic Council Film Prize was handed out in 2002 to celebrate the Nordic Council's 50th anniversary and has, since 2005, been annual. Previous winners include The Man Without a Past by Aki Kaurismäki, You, the Living by Roy Andersson, Antichrist by Lars von Trier, Louder Than Bombs by Joachim Trier and Of Horses and Men by Benedikt Erlingsson, which makes Erlingsson the only doubly awarded director thus far.

The Nordic Council Film Prize was awarded together with the Nordic Council’s Music Prize, Literature Prize, Youth Literature Prize and Environment Prize. The grand ceremony was held in conjunction with the 70th session of the Nordic Council at the Oslo Opera House on 30 October.