Icelanders took home two out of five prizes at the Nordic Council Awards last night. Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir was awarded the 2018 Nordic Council Literature Prize for her novel Ör (translated as Hotel Silence in English), while director and producer Benedikt Erlingsson, scriptwriter Ólafur Egill Egilsson, and producers Marianne Slot and Carine Leblanc accepted the 2018 Nordic Council Film Prize for Woman at War. RÚV reported first.
The jury called Woman at War “an exhilarating film, as funny and free-spirited in its handling of geopolitical matters as of the private life of the 48 year old woman that is the unexpected action hero at its core.” Benedikt stated he was happy the movie has been so well-received internationally. “it’s really speaking to people and [the main character] Halldóra has become like a good friend to people around the world.”
The literature prize jury called Auður Ava’s winning novel “a small book with a big heart,” describing it as “full of subtle humour and sparkling, vital language, which asks the big questions about life and death, about the individual versus the collective, about our privileges, rights and duties.” Auður Ava dedicated her award to the novel’s many translators. “We write in a language spoken by few and rely on translators. That’s why I dedicate this award to them,” she stated.
The Nordic Council awards five annual prizes: the Literature Prize, the Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, the Music Prize, the Film Prize, and the Environment Prize. The awards come with a DKK 350,000 prize.