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Two main prizes for Danish film in Cannes

Janus Metz' documentary, "Armadillo" and Daniel Joseph-Borgman's, "Berik" today received the two main prizes at Semaine de la Critique in Cannes, France.

The main prize, Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique, for feature films is awarded by international journalists and film critics, by vote. The prize is accompanied by 5.000 Euros for the director of the film. Janus Metz is the first Dane to receive the honourable award.

Semaine de la Critique is one of the most important side programmes at the Cannes festival. Every year seven feature films and seven short films are competing. It is the first time ever that a documentary has won the main prize, Grand Prix, in Semaine de la Critique.

"Armadillo" tells the story of young soldiers and their lost innocence in the Afghan war. The film travels into the mind of the young soldiers, and tries to uncover the consequences of being at war. It is not a very romantic picture. Being a character driven, psychological drama "Armadillo" shows how politics meet reality; the confrontation between the good intentions of democracy and development, intended by the international society, and the scary reality of war.

Armadillo is the name of their camp in the Helmand province in Afghanistan. The director Janus Metz and photographer Lars Skree were granted permission to follow the Danish soldiers at the front, camera rolling at all times, even under violent fighting.

"Armadillo" is the first Danish documentary to join the Cannes film festival series. Earlier, in 2002, Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" achieved a place in the main competition in Cannes. Since then the committee has regularly included the odd documentary film in its main programme. Amongst these, Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11", which won the Golden Palm in 2004.

Janus Metz has previously been in touch with a larger audience through his two delicate and nuanced depictions of the relationship between Thai women and their Danish husbands. The two films "From Thailand to Thy", and "From Thy to Thailand" has been shown on Danish television, DR1, several times.

"Armadillo" is produced by Ronnie Fridthjof and Sara Stockmann for Fridthjof Film, supported by the Danish Film Institute by consultant Michael Haslund-Christensen.