A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence – Sweden’s candidate for the Academy Award nominations
Roy Andersson talks to Swedish Film Institute head of press Jan Göransson. To his left producer Pernilla Sandström and Director International Department Pia Lundberg. Photo: Christopher Mair/Swedish Film Institute
The Swedish Oscar Committee has chosen Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence as Sweden’s candidate for the Academy Award nominations. The film is also selected for European Film Award – People’s Choice Award, with Force Majeure by Ruben Östlund as one of the other nine nominated.
A happy Roy Andersson attended the press conference at the Swedish Film Institute in Stockholm, earlier today. He is currently working on a new project, with the working title On Eternity (Om det oändliga); also adding that he wants to see more poetry in film in general.
In autumn 2014, Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron) was awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. Now, the Swedish Oscar Committee has selected the film as the Swedish candidate for the Academy Award nominations.
The Academy Award judges will then decide which films go on to a shortlist, and which are subsequently nominated for an Academy Award.
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence has been well received both in Sweden and internationally. The average rating from Swedish critics is 3.90 out of 5. The foreign press has also praised the movie:
“The morose, sardonic genius on show in Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence plays like the melancholy inheritor of fellow Nordic miserablists August Strindberg, Edvard Munch and Søren Kierkegaard – but with much better jokes.” (Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound, May 2015)
“…the film is a master class in comic timing, employing pacing and repetition with the skill of a practiced concert pianist.” (Peter Debruge, Variety, September 2014)
The film is produced by Pernilla Sandström for Roy Andersson Filmproduktion, and co-produced by Société Parisienne de Production of France, 4½ of Norway, and German company Essential Film Production. The film received production funding from the Swedish Film Institute, Film Commissioner Suzanne Glansborg.Coproduction Office is the international sales agent. The movie premiered in Sweden on 14 November and is distributed by TriArt.
Roy Andersson is one of Swedish film’s most important directors of all time. His first feature-length film A Swedish Love Story (En kärlekshistoria) from 1970 set a new standard in psychological realism, subtle tragicomedy and strong visual narrative – something that has characterised Andersson’s work ever since, particularly in his acclaimed 2000 comeback movie Songs from the Second Floor (Sånger från andra våningen). A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is the perfectionist Andersson’s first feature-length film in seven years. Andersson was also selected Sweden’s candidate for the Academy Award nominations with A Swedish Love Story, Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living.
In addition to supporting the Swedish entry for Best Foreign Language Film, the Swedish Film Institute will also grant support for the Academy Award campaign forStig Björkman’s Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words in the Best Documentary Feature category.
The following Oscar Committee members were involved in making the decision:
Anders Habenicht, appointed by Teaterförbundet – The Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film
Jörgen Bergmark, appointed by Teaterförbundet – The Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film
Zoran Slavic, appointed by Sveriges Filmuthyrareförening (Swedish association of film renters)
Jan Lumholdt, appointed by the Swedish Federation of Film Critics
George Ivanov, appointed by the Swedish Film Institute
Charlotta Denward, appointed by the Swedish Film & TV Producers Association
Sören Staermose, appointed by the Swedish Film & TV Producers Association
European Film Award – People’s Choice Award
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is also selected for European Film Award – People’s Choice Award, one of the biggest film awards in the world. Among other nominated is Force Majeure by Ruben Östlund, making it two Swedish films of a total of ten nominated. The winner is announced at the European Film Awards Ceremony on 12 December in Berlin.