The Hunt Denmark Oscar Contender

Thomas Vinterberg's film won star Mads Mikkelson acting prize at Cannes

The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg’s child-abuse-themed drama, starring Mads Mikkelsen, will represent Denmark in the race for the foreign-lingo film Oscar.

“The Hunt” was a Cannes contender in 2012, when Mikkelsen — who is cast against type in the role — earned the lead actor prize. Mikkelsen also starred in Denmark’s 2012 entry, “A Royal Affair,” which went on to be among the five selected nominees. Denmark last won the foreign-language film Oscar with Susanne Bier’s 2010 In A Better World.

Scripted by Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm, pic focuses on a kindergarten teacher whose life is turned upside down when he’s falsely accused of exposing himself to a student. The drama beat out Denmark’s other shortlisted candidates, Michael Noer’s “Northwest” and Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” to secure the country’s official selection.

In addition to Mikkelsen’s victory at Cannes, “The Hunt” also earned the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Vulcan Award of the Technical Artist for cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen’s lensing. Since making a splash at Cannes, “The Hunt” has been feted with a European Film award and a British Independent Film nod.

Magnolia rolled out “The Hunt” in the U.S. in July. Released in Denmark in January, “The Hunt” is still the No. 1 movie at the box office with a nearly $8 million take.

Vinterberg is currently shooting the English-language Far From The Madding Crowd, while Mikkelsen will be returning for a second season as the eponymous Hannibal on NBC in 2014.

The deadline for entries to the foreign-language category is Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 16, with the awards doled out March 2 from the Dolby Theater. ABC will broadcast the ceremony.

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