Docs

Denmark submits “Flee” for International Feature Oscar entry; BIFA releases docs longlist

Flee named Denmark’s official contender for International Feature Oscar The Danish Oscar Committee has named the animated documentary Flee as Denmark’s official contender in the international feature film category for the ...
October 26, 2021

Flee named Denmark’s official contender for International Feature Oscar

The Danish Oscar Committee has named the animated documentary Flee as Denmark’s official contender in the international feature film category for the 2022 Academy Awards.

Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen,was picked out of a shortlist of three films that also included Queen of the North from Charlotte Sieling and The Shadow in My Eye from Ole Bornedal. Rasmussen’s film is an account of how Amin, the director’s close friend, arrived in Denmark as a young refugee from Afghanistan 25 years ago. The film is told through animation, with some real-life footage interwoven into the documentary.

Flee is the haunting and inventive story of a refugee and his journey. About the enormous price that people in his position pay every day, even in a safe haven,” said Claus Ladegaard, Danish Film Institute CEO who chairs the committee.

“Jonas Poher Rasmussen directs with tremendous empathy, and Amin’s story is hard to shake. The film’s finely balanced use of animation, music and live action gives us a real sense of the horror and cynicism of Amin’s journey to Europe – while not ignoring the beauty, humor and hope of his story. This makes Flee an unusually nuanced film with social and existential depth.”

Rasmussen’s documentary was among the Official Selection titles at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, and it opened at Sundance where it won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize. It has since received nominations for other honors from the Gotham Awards and the Critics Choice Documentary Awards. It was selected for the international feature film category at the Oscars by the Danish Oscar Committee, which consists of representatives of the country’s film industry.

Flee made its Danish premiere on June 17, and a U.S. release is scheduled for Dec. 3, distributed by Neon.

The submission deadline for the Oscars’ international feature film category is Nov. 1, and the Academy will announce the 15 shortlisted films for the award on Dec. 21. The final nominations will be announced on Feb. 8 ahead of the Oscars ceremony on March 27.

Four Danish films have won best international feature film at the Oscars, including Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round earlier this year. A documentary film was included in the category for last year’s ceremony as well with the Romanian film Collective.

British Independent Film Awards documentary longlist unveiled

The longlist of nominations for the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) has been unveiled, including 14 films selected in the best documentary category.

BIFA’s final five nominations in the category will be announced on Nov. 3, with winners revealed at the BIFA Ceremony on Dec. 5.

The full longlist of BIFA documentary nominees includes Bank Job (directed by Daniel Edelstyn, Hilary Powell), Cow (Andrea Arnold), Dying to Divorce (Chloe Fairweather), El Father Plays Himself (Mo Scarpelli), Finding Jack Charlton (Gabriel Clarke, Pete Thomas), Hostile (Sonita Gale), I Am Belmaya (Sue Carpenter, Belmaya Nepali), Keyboard Fantasies (Posy Dixon), Misha and the Wolves (Sam Hobkinson), Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché (Paul Sng, Celeste Bell), The Real Charlie Chaplin (Peter Middleton, James Spinney), Rebel Dykes (Harri Shanahan, Sian A. Williams), Sisters With Transistors (Lisa Rovner) and The Story of Looking (Mark Cousins).

Last year’s BIFA for best documentary was awarded to The Reason I Jump, a film directed by Jerry Rothwell about the experiences of several non-speaking autistic people.

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