On January 16, 2014, it was announced that three Danish movies are in the running for the 86th Academy Awards: 'The Hunt' for Best Foreign Language Film, 'The Act of Killing' for Best Documentary, and 'Helium' for Best Live Action Short Film. Besides the amazing Oscar nominations, Danish TV-shows and Danish actors have also had a great 2013 in the US.
The Oscar Nominations
The American audience was introduced to the highly acclaimed documentary ‘The Act of Killing’ in 2013, which won the 2013 PUMA Impact Award here in New York City in November last year. The documentary ran in theaters over the summer, and was also represented at MoMA's film festival New Directors/New Films in 2013. The documentary has won more than fifty international prices, and in January, 2014, Metro New York introduced a new free streaming service with 'The Act of Killing' as the first available film. Now, 'The Act of Killing', directed by Danish-based Joshua Oppenheimer, is in the running for the Oscar for Best Documentary 2014. Watch the trailer here.
On July 12, 2013, 'The Hunt' came to NYC theaters and was chosen as New York Times Critic's Pick and received 3,5 out of 4 stars in New York Post's review. The psychologically daunting drama by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, starring Mads Mikkelsen portraying a man whose life threatens to be destroyed, was a darling by many Cannes' critics in 2012 and brought home the Award for Best Actor at the film festival plus many more international awards, like Best International Independent Film of the Year at British Independent Film Award, as well as three German awards. 'The Hunt' is now in the running for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2014 Oscars. Wathc the trailer here.
Consul General Jarl Frijs-Madsen with his wife Christina Djurhuus and Danish director of 'The Hunt' Thomas Vinterberg (right) as well as the lead actor Mads Mikkelsen (left) at an premier event in New York, Summer 2013.
The short film 'Helium' is directed by the Dane Anders Walter and produced by Kim Magnusson and Tivi Magnussion for M&M Productions. Walter has made three films as a director, and now two of them have been nominated for an Oscar. Last year, '9 Meter' was shortlisted for an Oscar, also produced by M&M Productions, who has been in the Oscar race no less than nine times over the years. Watch the trailer for 'Helium' here.
But other Danish movies have also had a great year in the US. The intense thriller ‘A Hijacking’ received great reviews from The New York Times last summer and on November 26, 2013, the movie ‘Applause’ came out on DVD in the US and Canada.
Danish TV also on Golden Wave
On top of that, 2013 proved an amazing year for Danish TV, as the Danish Prime Minister is coming to America. Or rather, her alter ego in ‘Borgen’ is. On November 14, 2013, it was announced that a US remake of the Danish success TV-show ‘Borgen’ is in the making. Six weeks earlier, it was announced that the Danish film director Ole Christian Madsen and the scriptwriter Anders Thomas Jensen as the first Danes ever have sold a new action series to American HBO. The show is called ‘Blood & Ice’ and takes place in Greenland.
These announcements are just part of Danish movies’ and TV-shows’ expanding presence over the past year in the US.
Sidse Babett Knudsen as Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in 'Borgen'.
Both Danish TV-shows and Danish actors on US TV-shows have been in high focus last summer and fall.
“The Danish presence in the US TV-market has been overwhelming this past year. Great Danish TV-shows like ‘The Killing’ (Forbrydelsen, red.) and ‘The Bridge’ (Broen, red.) have definitely played a big part in this renewed interest in Danish TV,” says Consul General of Denmark in New York, Ambassador Jarl Frijs-Madsen.
Both ‘The Killing’ and ‘The Bridge’ were sold and remade in US versions. ‘The Bridge’ premiered on FX this summer, while ‘The Killing’ has been running on AMC since 2011. Just this fall, it was announced that the Danish TV-series ‘Lærkevej’ has been sold to American NBC and will be adapted to a US version called ‘Park Road’. In 2012, the show ‘Rita’ was sold to Bravo Media, and currently a pilot of the US version is in the making with Anna Gunn (‘Breaking Bad’) as the American private school teacher Rita.
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A poster for the American remake of 'The Bridge' staring Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger.
“It is a huge compliment to Danish TV-production. There is no doubt that the quality of Danish TV is one of the main reasons for the American TV business for buying all these Danish shows and use Danish writers and directors, too,” says Ambassador Frijs-Madsen and continues:
“The shows are well done and well produced with strong stories and relevant characters that the audience can relate to. The Danish shows – both ‘Government’ (Borgen, red.), ‘The Killing’ and ‘The Bridge’ have a significant Nordic touch, featuring strong female leads in woolen sweaters, riding bicycles while balancing a family life with that of being prime minister or the life as a single mom. So it’s almost like a set of values that are different and exotic, but also oddly appealing to Americans in times of crisis.”
The Danish and American Sarah Lund - both in the characteristic woolen sweater. On the left, Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl as detective Sarah Lund, and on the right Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden in the US remake.
Actors also in high demand Danish actors are also in demand in the US right now. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who plays the lead role in the movie ‘The Hunt’, could recently be seen as Hannibal in the NBC-show ‘Hannibal’. The second season premieres in 2014. Since 2011, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has been part of the popular HBO-show ‘Game of Thrones’, and Ulrich Thomsen has a part in the new HBO-show ‘Banshee’.
“I think it’s safe to say that with the interest in Danish TV-shows and movies, an interest for the actors follow. It seems that the Danish “ingredients” bring a kind of edge to the quickly developing American TV-market, which is slowly opening up to more experimental shows. The new streaming services and cable TV allow for this development, and this is where Denmark can and already does contribute,” says Ambassador Frijs-Madsen.
The poster for the Danish/Swedish version of 'Broen' with Danish actor Kim Bodnia and Swedish actress Sofia Helin in the lead roles.
Danish TV-drama: Sales and Remakes ‘Forbrydelsen’, DR. Sold to 130 countries. American remake on AMC as ‘The Killing’.
‘Borgen’, DR. Sold to 70 countries. American remake on NBC. The Danish version is available on US satellite and cable channel Link TV. The third and last season started this October.
‘Broen’, Nimbus Film/DR. Sold to 131 countries. Two remakes: The American-Mexican version ‘The Bridge’ that premiered this July and a French-English version.
‘Den som dræber’, Miso Film/TV 2. Sold to 11 countries. American remake on A&E Networks which premiers in the spring 2014 under the title ‘Those Who Kill’. Danish director Charlotte Sieling is set to direct two episodes.
‘Lærkevej’, Cosmo Film/TV 2. Sold to nine countries. Sold to remake in the US on NBC under the new title ‘Park Road’.
‘Rita’, SF Film/TV 2. The right to broadcast the show is sold to a number of European countries. An agreement about an American remake has been reached with Bravo Media.
US Articles on Danish TV-shows:
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