Mikkelsen will receive the award on October 6 before presenting his new film, the Venice competition pic The Promised Land. In the film, directed by Nikolaj Arcel, Mikkelsen plays impoverished Captain Ludvig Kahlen who tries to make the the harsh, uninhabitable Jutland heath fertile and defend it against thieves in the 18th century.
Alongside The Promised Land screening, Mikkelsen will also hold a masterclass at Zurich, during which he will talk about his film and his career.
“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,” said Zurich artistic director 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.”
Across his career, Mikkelsen has worked extensively between Europe and North America. He received a BAFTA nomination and a European Film Award with Another Round (2020), which marked Mikkelsen’s return to Danish cinema. The pic was his second feature with filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, following 2013’s The Hunt, for which he won the prize for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival.
Most recently, he starred opposite Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Further credits include Arctic, Polar, Doctor Strange, and Casino Royale. In 2011, Mikkelsen received the European Film Award for his contribution to World Cinema and presided on the 2016 Cannes jury.
The Zurich Film Festival runs from September 28 to October 8.