Bille August Bound for San Sebastian

FESTIVAL. The director behind the now-classic "Pelle the Conqueror" will premiere his new film, "Silent Heart," at the San Sebastian Film Festival. The film has Bille August returning to the kind of intense drama that first won him international acclaim.

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FAMILY DINNER. Danica Curcic and Paprika Steen play two sisters struggling with their mother's painful decision in Bille August's "Silent Heart". Photo: Rolf Konow

The San Sebastian Film Festival announced Thursday part of their line-up for the 2014 edition (19-27 September). Invited to the festival's Official Selection programme is Bille August's drama "Silent Heart," which will enjoy its world premiere at the prestigious festival situated on the scenic coast of the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain.

Close-up on Family Drama

The story centres on three generations of a family gathering over a weekend. The sisters Sanne and Heidi have accepted their terminally ill mother's desire to die before her disease worsens. But as the weekend progresses their mother's decision becomes harder and harder to deal with, and old conflicts come to the surface.

"It's their absolutely last chance to speak their piece and make up ... Because the human drama is so acute, there is room to depict intimate relationships and take a close-up look at the psychological mechanisms that arise on the way," Bille August says about his new film.

The central role as the mother is played by Ghita Nørby, the grande dame of the Danish stage and screen. The cast includes Paprika Steen, Danica Curcic (Shooting Star at the Berlinale 2014) and Pilou Asbæk.

Christian Torpe, who has the award-winning TV series "Rita" (2012-13) to his credit, penned the film, and Jesper Morthorst has produced for SF Film Production with support from the Danish Film Institute. LevelK handles international sales. Domestic release is set for 13 November.

Watch trailer for "Silent Heart"

San Sebastian International Film Festival / 19-27 September 2014

About Bille August

Bille August's (born 1948) international co-production "Night Train to Lisbon" premiered at 2013's Berlinale, and in 2012 came his first Danish-produced film in 25 years, "Marie Krøyer".

"Silent Heart" marks Bille August's return to the intimate human drama of his Palme d'Or winners "Pelle the Conqueror" (1987) and "The Best Intentions" (1991), the latter from an Ingmar Bergman script. "Pelle the Conqueror," an adaptation of a classic Danish novel about a poor immigrant boy around 1900 featuring Max von Sydow, also earned the director a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Since the early '90s Bille August has directed a string of big international co-productions, including "The House of the Spirits," "Smilla's Sense of Snow," "Les Misérables," "Return to Sender," and "Goodbye Bafana."

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