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Oscars: Denmark Selects ‘Queen of Hearts’ for International Feature Film Race

May el-Toukhy’s Sundance prize-winning “Queen of Hearts” has been selected as Denmark’s Oscar entry in the international feature film race.

Queen of Hearts” beat out Michael Noer’s “Before the Frost” and “Daniel” by Niels Arden Oplev and Anders W. Berthelsen which had been shortlisted. The Danish Oscar committee is made up of representatives from the film industry and the Danish Film Institute.

Represented in international markets by TrustNordisk, “Queen of Hearts” world premiered at Sundance where it won the audience prize.

The film tells the story of Anne, a dedicated lawyer who lives what appears to be the picture-perfect life with her husband, Peter, and their twin daughters. When her estranged teenage stepson moves in with them, Anne’s escalating desire leads her down a dangerous path, jeopardizing both her career and family. The film was written by Maren Louise Käehne, in collaboration with El-Toukhy.

“A story of power, passion and denial, ‘Queen of Hearts’ offers a startling new perspective on current discussions,” said Claus Ladegaard, CEO of the Danish Film Institute who chairs the Danish selection committee.

“With a superior grasp of cinematic language, director May el-Toukhy and screenwriter Maren Louise Käehne have created an uncompromising, engaging drama resonating with international audiences and critics alike, as evidenced by the film winning the coveted Audience Award at Sundance,” said Ladegaard.

The executive said the committee applauded the performance of Trine Dyrholm as a “complex female character we would love to see a lot more of on the big screen.”

“Queen of Hearts” won three awards at Göteborg, including the top prize for best Nordic film, acting and audience awards. The drama is nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize which will be handed out on Oct. 29 in Stockholm.

The movie had successful box office run in Denmark in March and has been acquired by Breaking Glass Pictures for the U.S.

Caroline Blanco and René Ezra (“A War”) produced “Queen of Hearts” for Nordic Film, with the support from the Danish Film Institute.

Recent other films submitted for the international feature film category include Herman Yau’s crime thriller “The White Storm 2 — Drug Lords” with Andy Lau and Louis Koo which was selected to represent Hong Hong; and Sebastian Borenzstein’s “Heroic Losers” which is based on a novel by Eduardo Sacheri “The Secret in Their Eyes” and was picked to represent Argentina.

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