Un Certain Regard Prize winner Border eyes an Oscar nomination
- Ali Abbasi’s sophomore feature is the Swedish submission for the 91st Academy Awards, in the Best Foreign-language Film category
Danish filmmaker of Iranian origin Ali Abbasi’s sophomore feature film, Border [+see also:
interview: Ali Abbasi
film profile], which premiered at the 71st Cannes Film Festival and won the Un Certain Regard Prize to boot, is Sweden’s submission for the Best Foreign-language Film Academy Award, which will be handed out on 24 February 2019. The film, which has already enjoyed a successful festival run, will have its North American premiere in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section (see the news) and has been shortlisted for the EFAs (see the news), while last week it scooped the top awards at Haugesund (see the news).
Border is a radical take on Nordic folklore, written by Abbasi together with Isabella Eklöf and John Ajvide Lindqvist, based on the latter’s novella of the same name, and follows Tina (Eva Melander), a border guard with an incredible sixth sense for identifying smugglers. When she encounters Vore (Eero Milonoff), the first person she can’t identify, she will have to reevaluate her own existence.
Abassi commented after the announcement of the selection: “I am overwhelmed; I thought it was impossible to even get to Cannes, but as the film has grown and is now being screened at festivals all over the world, the Oscars don’t seem so far away all of a sudden.” Lindqvist added: “It’s a victory for all those who don’t belong anywhere.”
It's worth noting that the two previous Swedish submissions for the Best Foreign-language Film category, Ruben Östlund's The Square [+see also:
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile] and Hannes Holm’s A Man Called Ove [+see also:
film profile], were nominated for the Oscars one year after the other, in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Nevertheless, so far, Ingmar Bergman remains the sole Swedish winner in this category, having received the statuette three times, with the most recent being in 1983 for Fanny and Alexander.
Border is a Swedish-Danish co-production by Nina Bisgaard, Piodor Gustafsson and Petra Jönsson (Meta Film Stockholm, Black Spark & Kärnfilm AB) with Meta Film Denmark, Film i Väst, SVT and the Copenhagen Film Fund. It was supported by the Swedish Film Institute, the Danish Film Institute, the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and Eurimages. The world sales are handled by German outfit Films Boutique, while New York-based Neon has secured the North American distribution.
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