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Mads Mikkelsen in The Promised Land by Nikolaj Arcel
Mads Mikkelsen in The Promised Land by Nikolaj Arcel

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, known for 007 Adventure Casino Royale, Rogue One: a Star Wars Story, Fantastic Beasts: the Secrets of Dumbledore, will receive the Golden Eye award at Zurich Film Festival and present his new film The Promised Land by Nikolaj Arcel.

The ZFF honors him with the Golden Eye for his outstanding portrayal of a soldier who sets out to conquer the wild Jutland heath in the Danish frontier western The Promised Land, and to celebrate his career.

The Promised Land is a gripping drama, based on true events about one man’s steely quest to create his own fortune and to change the map of Denmark forever. But in his pursuit of wealth and honor, he risks sacrificing love and losing those he cares about.

In 1755, the impoverished Captain Ludvig Kahlen sets out to conquer the harsh, uninhabitable Danish heath with a seemingly impossible goal; to build a colony in the name of the King. In exchange, he’ll receive a desperately desired Royal name for himself. But the sole ruler of the area, the merciless Frederik de Schinkel, arrogantly believes this land belongs to him. When de Schinkel learns that the maid Ann Barbara and her serve husband have escaped for refuge with Kahlen, the privileged and spiteful ruler swears revenge, doing everything in his power to drive the captain away. Kahlen will not be intimidated and takes up the unequal battle – not only risking his life, but also the family of outsiders that has formed around him.

Inspired by true events, The Promised Land is a gripping drama about the conquest of the heath, the tale of a proud and uncompromising man, and the woman who becomes his ally in the fight against evil, death and perdition.

“Mads Mikkelsen is a very charismatic actor who always completely immerses himself in his characters and captivates the audience with his looks and physical performance,” explains Christian Jungs. “He radiates strength and sometimes vulnerability at the same time and, as a leading actor, is able to carry films from A to Z, as he does in his latest work The Promised Land. We are very pleased to welcome Mikkelsen to Zurich for the first time.”

Mikkelsen has also starred in Danish films such as Men and Chicken (2015), the Oscar-nominated A Royal Affair (2012), and Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding (2006), which was also nominated for an Academy Award. Recently he again joined forces with Nikolaj Arcel in The Promised Land (2023), which had it’s world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival.

He has also headlined several of Anders Thomas Jensen’s modern classics, including Adam’s Apples (2005), the Green Butchers (2003), and Flickering Lights (2000).

Previous winners of the Golden Eye include Kristen Stewart, Eddie Redmayne, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Donald Sutherland and John Travolta.

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