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Nordic Council Film Prize 2019 To “Queen of Hearts”

The Nordic Council Film Prize 2019 has been awarded to director May el-Toukhy, screenwriter Maren Louise Käehne and producers Caroline Blanco and René Ezra for the Danish film “Queen of Hearts”, produced by Nordisk Film Production.


The highly acclaimed film “Queen of Hearts”, produced by Nordisk Film Production, has received the Nordic Council Film Prize 2019, one of Northern Europe’s most coveted film awards. The prize endowed with DKK 350,000 (USD 52,000) is shared among director, screenwriters and producers in recognition of film as an art form, based on the collaboration between the main functions. 

“Queen of Hearts” is showing Anne, a brilliant and dedicated lawyer, who lives what appears to be the picture-perfect life with her doctor-husband, Peter, and their twin daughters. When her estranged teenage stepson, Gustav, moves in with them, Anne’s escalating desire leads her down a dangerous rabbit warren which, once exposed, unleashes a sequence of events that threatens to destroy her world. 

The motivation for the jury 2019’s choice is the following: 

“Is it about a midlife crisis? About class? Or about desire and passion? Is she a sex violator? Or a psychopath? We are used to movies serving a clear point, we almost always know whether a movie character is good or evil, but with ’Queen of Hearts’ director May El-Toukhy and co-writer Maren Louise Käehne leave it to us, the audience, to find focus and morale and to judge the protagonist Anne, who is doing exactly what she should NOT be doing - having an affair with her son-in-law. Strangely it feels just right to have that responsibility. It is not a pleasure to get to know Anne - but it is an arousing pleasure to experience a finely masked film that gives us the right tools to find our own relationship a complex human being. And believes that we are capable of it. It is impossible not to praise Trine Dyrholm for her formidable nuanced performance as ’Queen’ Anne, but at all levels – cinematography, music, production design and more. - ’The Queen’ is an impressive feat. It makes an almost impossible task seem easy and effortless.” 

May el-Toukhy (born 1977) is a director and a writer. Her first feature film and national breakthrough was “Long Story Short” in 2015. El-Toukhy’s second feature is “Queen of Hearts”, which had its World premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2019 where it won the Audience Award from the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section followed by The Dragon Award at Göteborg International Film Festival. The film has lately been highly acclaimed both nationally and internationally. 

The Nordic Council Film Prize was first awarded in 2002 and is the most prestigious film award in the Nordic region. The Nordic Council awards five prizes each year – for literature, film, music, the environment, and children’s and young people’s literature. The purpose of the prizes is to raise interest in the Nordic cultural community and Nordic co-operation on the environment, as well as to recognize outstanding artistic and environmental efforts. 

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