The epic historic drama, which world premiered at Venice and then headed to Toronto, stars Mads Mikkelsen as the real-life Ludvig von Kahlen, a former soldier who tries to make his fortune by taming the then wild and lawless heath of the Danish Jutland peninsula, so it could be turned over to cultivation following a declaration by King Frederik V.
The film was selected from a short list which also included Anders Walter’s Before It Ends and Lea Glob’s documentary Apolonia, Apolonia.
Denmark have won an Oscar in the International Feature Film category four times for Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round in 2021, Susanne Bier’s In a Better World in 2011, Bille August’s Pelle the Conqueror in 1989, and Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast in 1988.
There were recent nominations for Simon Lereng Wilmont’s documentary A House Made of Splinters in the Best Documentary Film category in 2023, and for Anders Walter and Pipaluk K. Jørgensen’s short Ivalu in Live Action Short category
This year’s Danish Oscar Selection committee consisted of cinema professionals from different film associations and guilds.
They comprised editor Henrik Thiesen, exhibitor Sune Lind Thomsen, screenwriter Ina Bruhn, film journalist Jacob Ludvigsen, director Lisa Jespersen, cinematographer Louise Mclaughlin, Danish Film Institute execs Jacob Neiiendam and Lena Juhl Seidelin as well as Pernille Bech Christensen of the Danish Producers Association.