The Fencer competes for Finland at the Golden Globes - for the first time in 58 years
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Swedish actress Alicia Vikander has been nominated for Best Actress (The Danish Girl) and Best Supporting Actress (Ex Machina)
For the first time in 58 years, a Finnish film will be competing for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign-language Film: already in the running for the Oscar nomination in the same category, Finnish director Klaus Härö’s The Fencer [+see also:
interview: Ivo Felt
film profile] is among the five films being considered for the prize.
Shot in Estonia, and starring Estonian actors Märt Avandi and Ursula Ratasepp, The Fencer is based on the true story of Estonian fencer and coach Endel Nelis, who was on the run from the Soviet secret police. Finnish writer Anna Heinämaa’s original screenplay is set in the 1950s, when he arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, where he gets a job as a teacher; when he starts training his pupils in fencing, he gradually realises that life in the coastal town is exactly what he has been dreaming of. But then a dilemma arises: should he or should he not return to take part in a fencing tournament in Leningrad?
Produced by Kai Nordberg and Kaarle Aho for Finland’s Making Movies, with Estonia’s Allfilm and Germany’s Kick Film, The Fencer received the Bernhard Wicki Film Prize at the Munich International Film Festival. Härö and Nordberg have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to raise funds to promote the film for the Oscar, which Finland has never won.
Meanwhile, Swedish actress Alicia Vikander – who is shortly to be seen (25 December) in British director Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl [+see also:
interview: Paco Delgado
film profile] and is now filming with US actor Matt Damon in the as-yet untitled Bourne sequel – received two Golden Globe nominations. One was for Best Actress in a Drama, for her performance in The Danish Girl (her co-star in the movie, British actor Eddie Redmayne, is also being considered for Best Actor), and the other was for Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in Alex Garland’s sci-fi drama Ex Machina [+see also: