Vinterberg picks up prestigious ‘prix’ for a collective effort

‘Jagten’ director wins European media award for his latest upcoming film ahead of the opening of the Cannes Film Festival

Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg has been awarded the second EU Prix MEDIA award for his upcoming feature ‘Kollektivet’ (‘The Commune’), which he will pick up this weekend at the Cannes Film Festival.

‘Kollektivet’, which details the story of a Danish commune in the 1970s and ‘80s, is based on Vinterberg’s original play ‘Die Kommune’, which was staged at Vienna’s Burgtheater in the autumn of 2011. The film version is set to go into production next year.

The Prix MEDIA, now in its second year, is awarded to film projects deemed to show the greatest box-office potential and that are eligible for development funding from the EU MEDIA programme each year.

“Development is such a vital and hugely creative part of the film process,” Vinterberg said of the award in a press release. “It is great to have an institution like the MEDIA programme of the European Union that acknowledges and supports filmmaking at its most delicate stage.”

Vinterberg will be presented with the award by Androula Vassiliou, the European commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth on Sunday – which also happens to be the director’s 44th birthday. He will share the prize with his regular co-writer Tobias Lindholm and Zentropa producer Sisse Graum Jørgensen, who both collaborated with Vinterberg on his most recent film, ‘Jagten’ (‘The Hunt’).

“This is a thoroughly deserved award for one of Europe’s most exciting directorial talents,” Vassiliou said in the press release. “Thomas’s films are never ordinary: always thought-provoking, beautifully told and beautifully acted. He’s not afraid to take risks and, after the worldwide success of his 2012 masterpiece ‘Jagten’, we all eagerly look forward to his next release.”

‘Jagten’ also received €100,000 in funding from the MEDIA programme for development and distribution costs. The film was nominated for Cannes’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, when it premiered at the festival in 2012. ‘Jagten’ has since been released worldwide and received international acclaim, garnering a score of 80 on Metacritic and 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Vinterberg is also appearing at this year’s festival as the head of the prestigious Un Certain Regard jury, the festival’s second most important category, which recognises innovative and daring works in film. Prior to his initial nod for ‘Jagten’, his international breakthrough film ‘Festen’ (‘The Celebration’) won the Jury Award at the 1998 Festival.

The Cannes Film festival kicked off on Wednesday (May 15) and will continue until May 26.