Danish director says making Oscar-nominated 'Another Round' kept him sane after daughter's death

Hanna Rantala
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Danish director Thomas Vinterberg poses during the Toronto International Film Festival

By Hanna Rantala

LONDON (Reuters) - Thomas Vinterberg was four days into shooting 'Another Round', which has just earned him an Oscar nomination for best director when his daughter Ida, who was due to act in the movie, died in a car accident.

The Danish director says that nomination, plus another for best international feature film, honour 19-year old Ida's memory.

Much of the movie, which follows a group of teachers who make a pact to consume a small amount of alcohol each day in the hope it will improve the quality of their lives, was filmed in Ida's former high school, with scenes set in her classroom.

"All the praise and love that this film receives makes sense in a very special way, because it's honouring my daughter's memory and in that way I feel very thankful," Vinterberg told Reuters after the Oscar nominations were announced.

"I'm sure [it] makes her clap her hands somewhere. She would have enjoyed this greatly."

A nod for best director is a recognition rarely bestowed on non-U.S. filmmakers.

"Two nominations was a huge surprise to me... we hoped for the international feature category and I was very relieved and very joyful when that came around. But the other nomination was out of the blue... I'm overwhelmed," he said.

Vinterberg said the idea came around when he and co-writer Tobias Lindholm looked at how many accomplishments in world history had been achieved by people who were drunk.

"We very quickly realised that this socially accepted liquor that elevates people, makes people merry and makes people make great decisions, also kills people and destroys families."

"We wanted to make a movie that explores the whole spectrum of alcohol, but more importantly... wanted to make a life-affirming film about living instead of just existing."

The director, 51, said he initially thought he would be unable to finish the movie following his daughter's death but after consulting his psychiatrist and his family, they agreed completing it would give him a reason to get up in the morning.

"We agreed that she would have been saddened by the fact that this project would have come to an end and we also agreed that making this movie for her was the only thing that made sense. And I guess it somehow kept me, kept me away from his insanity," he said.

Vinterberg said he was waiting to hear how this year's ceremony, held on April 25, will take place.

"I'm hoping that there will be a ceremony for the Academy Awards, some kind of ceremony, whatever ceremony it's going to be I'll be there for sure. Definitely."

(Reporting by Hanna Rantala; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)