Two Danish films, ‘En kongelig affære’ (‘A Royal Affair’) and ‘Kapringen’ (‘A Hijacking’), have scooped awards at the American Film Institute Festival – a serious boost for both, not only for their chances heading into the awards season, but their potential box office returns.
And while the AFI is probably better known for its now discontinued best film lists than it is the prestige of its awards, the films' producers will be pleased to note that the gongs are chosen by audiences, not a jury.
Nikolaj Arcel’s ‘En kongelig affære’, the heaving bosoms and bodices romp starring Mads Mikkelsen as the German interloper-come-adulterer Johann Struensee, won the ‘Audience Award, World Cinema’. The film, which is technically a Denmark/Sweden/Czech Republic/Germany production, is Denmark’s entry at the Oscars.
While Tobias Lindholm’s ‘Kapringen’, which chronicles the pirating of a cargo ship and the personal and political drama that unfolds in the wake, won the ‘Audience Award, New Auteurs’.
However, while ‘A Royal Affair’ is flourishing Stateside, it is being outshone in its own continent, although Mikkelsen won’t be too worried, given that he is the main actor in both films. Thomas Vinterberg's ‘Jagten’ (‘The Hunt’), the tale of how a community turns on a teacher accused of molesting a minor, learnt last weekend that it has been nominated in five of the categories at the European Film Awards, including best film, actor and director.
And while ‘A Royal Affair’ received two nominations, they were in the small-fry categories of production designer and composer.
‘Jagten’ will be bidding to become the first Danish nominee not made by Lars von Trier to win best film at the awards show, which was founded in 1988 and was formerly known as the Felix Awards. Von Trier has previously won the award three times, most recently with ‘Melancholia’ last year.
Meanwhile, another Danish film, Mads Matthiessen’s ‘10 Timer til Paradis’ (‘Teddy Bear’), has been nominated for the Discovery Award, which is given to the best feature debut.
The awards will be presented at a televised ceremony on December 1 in Malta.