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The winner of the Nordic Council Film Prize 2012 is PLAY, written and directed by Ruben Östlund and produced by Erik Hemmendorff for Plattform Produktion (in the picture). The prize will be awarded during the Nordic Council Session in Helsinki on 31 October. Play was screened at the HIFF’s Spotlight Selection in 2011 and again in 2012 at the selection of Nordic Council Film Prize nominees.

The Film Prize’s Adjudication Committee, which is made up of film experts from the five Nordic countries, give this motivation for their choice of this year’s winner:

“Director Ruben Östlund once again confirms his position as one of today’s most original filmmakers in the Nordic countries. Through his ongoing artistic project – dissecting and analysing human behaviour, Ruben Östlund presents thought-provoking insights into social roles and role play. The stylistic imagery, the relentless pace of the story and the astounding performances from non-professional actors makes Play a gut wrenching drama that prompts us to reflect on important issues in modern western society.”

PLAY had its world premiere at the Cannes Directors Fortnight in 2011 where it won the ‘Coup de Coeur’ award. The film has since won a number of important international prizes, such as Best Film at Moscow’s ‘2 in 1’ Film Festival, Best Director in Tokyo, Best Director and Best Cinematography at Sweden’s 2011 national Guldbagge awards, and a Greta for Best Swedish film in 2011 from the Swedish Film Critics Association. PLAY opened in Swedish cinemas in November 2011.

THE NORDIC COUNCIL FILM PRIZE is awarded annually to a film of high artistic quality and with strong roots in Nordic culture. The film must also stand out through its artistic originality, and combine and refine the many elements of cinema in a convincing and integrated work.

The winning film 2012 was chosen from amongst all the Nordic films that have had their premiere from 1 September 2011 – 31 August 2012.

THE ADJUDICATION COMMITTEE FOR THE NORDIC COUNCIL FILM PRIZE 2012 IS:

Film Critic Per Juul Carlsen (Denmark), Communications Manager Outi Heiskanen (Finland), Director Sif Gunnarsdottir (Iceland), Editor Silje Riise Næss (Norway), and Film Critic Fredrik Sahlin (Sweden).

Further information on the Nordic Council film prize: www.nordiskrådsfilmpris.com or www.nordiskfilmogtvfond.com.