And to think Ben Affleck didn’t think it could get any better! Last week on Thursday, his film ‘Argo’, fresh from its triumph at the 2012 Academy Awards, scooped best American film at the Danish film industry’s Robert Awards. It completes a memorable awards season for the artist formerly known as one half of Bennifer.
Or does it? No, hold the front page, because on March 16, there is yet another Danish film awards scheduled to take place. While the Roberts, which began in 1984, are selected by the members of the Danish Film Academy, the Bodils, which began in 1948, are voted for by the members of Filmmedarbejderforeningen, the film critic’s union. It would appear that, for a small country, Denmark has an awful lot of film awards.
Leading the charge is the Roberts, which last week bestowed 36 – that’s 12 more than the Oscars! Among the awards handed out were gongs for the best non-American film, the public’s choice for best children’s or youth film, and for the first time, seven TV-specific ones.
The big winner on the night was not, as many might have predicted following its Oscar nomination, ‘En kongelig affære’ (‘A Royal Affair’), although it did win nine awards. No, rather bizarrely, despite the film academy agreeing that the costume drama had the best director, supporting actor and actress (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard and Trine Dyrholm), cinematography, make-up, score, set design, special effects and, of course, costumes, the best film award went to ‘Kapringen’ (‘A Kidnapping’). The drama, which depicts the illegal taking of a Danish cargo boat by Somali pirates, won four other awards for best actor (Søren Malling), script, editing and sound.
Among the other winners were ‘Hvidstengruppen’ (‘The Village: One Family’s Sacrifice Will Let a Country Live’), which won the public’s choice for best drama and saw its star Bodil Jørgensen share the best actress award with Trine Dyrholm (who else!) for ‘Den skaldede frisør’ (‘Love is all you need’), which won the public award for best comedy.
The big TV winner was ‘Forbrydelsen 3’ (‘The Killing 3’), which won four awards including best TV series, the public’s choice award, and best TV actor (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and actress (Sofie Gråbøl).
And among the miscellaneous winners were ‘The Act of Killing’ (best documentary), ‘Amour’ (best non-American film), ‘Homeland’ (best foreign TV series), and 78-year old actress Ghita Nørby (honorary), just one year after winning the honorary Bodil!
Many have questioned the wisdom of a small country like Denmark having two awards shows, particularly when the recipients are so often the same. A quick look at the three major categories (best film, actor and actress – the Bodils has no best director award) reveals that in the last six years, 12 of the 18 awards have been duplicates.
One film industry professional who believes the two award ceremonies should merge is Bo Ehrhardt, the co-founder of Nimbus Film, the producer of ‘Festen’ and ‘Flammen og Citronen’.
“It is a problem that a lot of energy is being used to produce two award celebrations, while both organisations are struggling to make ends meet,” he told DR in 2011. “We should be only doing one big event a year − to create a greater identity and a stronger brand around Danish film.”
However, the same article revealed that Mette Bubandt Aagaard of the Danish Film Academy disagreed. “Nobody talks about the Oscars and Golden Globe merging together,” she argued.
Only recently, such a proposal was put to the 40 (yes just 40!) members of Filmmedarbejderforeningen to merge the two, and it was rejected − great news for those of us who can’t get enough of film awards. With the Bodils set to award another 20 plus this month, that’s more then one award for every 100,000 people who live in Denmark.