Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson claimed the 2014 Nordic Council Film Prize for his directing debut Of Horses and Men (Hross í oss; 2013) along with producer Friðrik Þór Friðriksson at the 2014 Nordic Council Prizes ceremony in Stockholm yesterday.
In his acceptance speech, Benedikt criticized Icelandic authorities for making cuts to funding for the film industry, ruv.is reports.
This is the first time that the film prize goes to an Icelandic director. The jury concluded that Of Horses and Men is “an amazing, original film rooted in the laconic humour of the Icelandic saga tradition,” as stated on the Nordic Council’s website.
Iceland took home another award from the ceremony as well: the City of Reykjavík won the Nature and Environment Prize to for “its broad and long-term commitment to the environment, and its conscious work with environmentally friendly use of water and the production of district heating and electricity from geothermal energy.”
The Nordic Council Literature Prize 2014 went to the Finnish author Kjell Westö for his novel Mirage 38, Haakon Øvreås and Øyvind Torseter (illustrator) from Norway were the recipients of the Children and Young People’s Literature Prize for the book Brown and the Music Prize was awarded to Danish composer Simon Steen-Andersen for Black Box Music.
Last year’s winners presented the five DKK 350,000 (ISK 7.2 million, USD 59,000, EUR 47,000) prizes at Stockholm City Hall.