As the social media debate continues as to whether Ricky Gervais was actually funny as the host of the Golden Globes last Sunday (he was), the Danes, not to be outdone, have announced the nominees for this year’s Robert Awards.
The Roberts, the Danish equivalent of the Oscars, are handed out each year by Danmarks Film Akademi, the Danish film academy. They are voted on by academy members as acknowledgement of “a person’s or film’s outstanding contributions during the previous year”. The Roberts were awarded for the first time in 1984 and are named after the statuette’s creator, the Danish sculptor Robert Jacobsen.
But, Denmark being Denmark, one pat on the arse for filmmakers is simply not enough. So, there are also the Bodils, which began in 1948 and are voted for by the 40 or so members of Filmmedarbejderforeningen, the film critics’ union.
Get a GoPro!
In a country that makes maybe 12 or 13 films each year, having two awards events that nominate basically the same five films as potential winners does look like overkill and must be especially hard on the films that don’t make the cut.
With the overall number of awards bestowed by the Roberts nearing 40, along with the 20 or so coming from the Bodils, it appears that any kid with a camera or a phone could submit their latest selfie opus and have a shot at winning.
One list to unite them all
The Robert Award nominees for best Danish film of the year are: Denmark’s Oscar submission ‘Krigen’, ‘Idealisten’, ‘Mænd og høns’, ‘Sommeren ’92’ and ‘Under sandet’.
Oddly enough, the Bodil nominees for best film include four of the same films. Only ‘Mænd og høns’ failed to make the shortlist, making room for the English-language effort ‘Bridgend’.
Several film industry professionals have gone on record as saying the two award ceremonies should merge, including Bo Ehrhardt, the co-founder of Nimbus Film, the producer of films like ‘Festen’ and the television program ‘The Bridge’.
“A lot of energy is used to produce two award celebrations, while both organisations are struggling to make ends meet,” Ehrhardt told DR Nyheder a few years back. “We should be only doing one big event a year − to create a greater identity and a stronger brand around Danish film.”
Too much of a good thing
The idea of a merger has previously been soundly rejected by the members of Filmmedarbejderforeningen.
For those who simply cannot get enough awards shows, the Nordisk Råds Filmpris will also consider Danish films later in the summer.
The winner is likely to be somewhere on the two lists above.