It’s that time of year when one after the other, countries around the world submit their best choice for Oscar contention in the foreign film category. Only five will be nominated. (Last year 67 films were entered.) The latest submission comes from Denmark, which has chosen Henrik Rubin Genz’s droll cop film noir Terribly Happy (Frytgtelig lykkelig). The international hit won six Bodil Awards out of seven nominations. Oscilloscope will release the film in North America.
Also pleased are the producers behind the English-language remake, Denmark’s Fine & Mellow, Carol Polakoff and Mark Johnson, who have hired WGA board member and USC professor Howard Rodman to adapt. Genz will direct the film, which is expected to cost about $20 million.
Landing the right campaigner to shepherd a film through the Oscar foreign film process is key. While there are many gifted Oscar publicists, in the foreign film category Fredell Pogodin is first among equals. In fact, she vets various films and decides which ones have the best shot at scoring a nom. (She championed last year’s Oscar-winner, Japan’s Departures, as well as recent campaigns for nominees After the Wedding, Pan’s Labyrinth, Amores Perros, Paradise Now, and winners Tsotsi and Nowhere in Africa.)
Many are called, but few are chosen. (Film Experience tracks this year’s submissions here.)
Here’s the Terribly Happy trailer.