Snapshots from Berlin

BERLIN. "Antboy – Revenge of the Red Fury" had its international premiere Monday in Generation Kplus. The ten Danish films selected for this year's festival range from tales of superheroes over TV drama to documentaries making an exceptionally strong showing. Here is a roundup before curtains close on Sunday, 15 February.

Antboy-opening_warm

COVER STAR. Oscar Dietz and Nicolas Bro studying the Danish Film Institute’s Berlin magazine with Antboy on the cover.

Antboy – Revenge of the Red Fury, Ask Hasselbalch's second film about Pelle who develops superpowers when he is bitten by a genetically engineered ant, had its international debut on Monday, 9 February, in the Berlinale's Generation Kplus. Also in the children's competition is Jannik Hastrup and Flemming Quist Møller's animation feature Mini and the Mozzies, premiering Wednesday. Both films are competing for a Crystal Bear for best film, awarded by the children's jury on Saturday, 14 February.

This year's list of Danish films at the Berlin Film Festival includes a wide scope of titles – and quite a number of documentary films.

Vladimir-Tomic-on-stageVladimir Tomic on stage after the screening of his documentary "Flotel Europa" with his two producers, Srdjan Keca and Selma Jusufbegovic.

Stories from Real Life

More precisely, six documentaries passed through the eye of the needle into the Berlinale, including stories from Indonesia, Oklahoma and North Korea, personal narratives and artist's portraits, films by young talents and veteran filmmakers:

Joshua Oppenheimer's acclaimed second half of his Indonesian diptych,The Look of Silence, screens as part of Berlinale Special, while the director himself is on the Best First Feature jury. Jannik Splidsboel's Misfits in Panorama Dokumente follows three teenagers coming out in the Bible belt, and Vladimir Tomic's memories from growing up on a refugee ship is depicted in Flotel Europa, showing in Forum.

Good-Things-Await_openingNiels Stokholm (left) did a Q&A after the screening of "Good Things Await" with American chef and food activist Alice Waters, and the president of the Slow Food movement Carlo Petrini.

Christian Braad Thomsen's Fassbinder – To Love without Demands, in Panorama Dokumente, is the director's homage to his friend and artistic soul mate Rainer Werner Fassbinder, based on unpublished interviews he shot with Fassbinder in the 1970s. Vibeke Bryld's Pebbles at Your Door, about a North Korean woman's rude awakening, is in Berlinale Shorts, competing for a Golden or a Silver Bear, to be revealed Saturday evening, 14 February, at the official awards gala.

Finally, Phie Ambo's Good Things Await opened the tenth edition of Culinary Cinema, a perfect fit for Ambo's film portraying an idealistic farmer, Niels Stokholm, and his ideas about sustainable agriculture.

TV Series Join In

For the first time Danish TV dramas are part of the line-up, reflecting the festival’s focus this year on the serial format.

The first five episodes of Heartless are showing in Generation 14plus as a Special Screening on Berlinale Publikumstag Sunday, 15 February. The story about siblings Sofie and Sebastian who are subject to a centuries-old curse aired in Denmark in April and is created by director Natasha Arthy ("Fighter," in Generation 2008) and scriptwriter Nikolaj Scherfig, who holds a strong card in writing for TV ("The Bridge").

Follow the Money, produced by national broadcaster DR ("The Killing" and "Borgen"), world premiered at the Berlinale, screening episodes one and two in the Berlinale Special Series on Tuesday, 10 February. Written by Jeppe Gjervig Gram ("Borgen") and directed by Per Fly ("Waltz for Monica"), the series investigates the white collar crimes behind the global fiscal crisis. Read about sales in Berlin, by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Shooting-Stars-with-Joachim
Ten Shooting Stars, with Joachim Fjelstrup (far left).

Young Actor in the Spotlight

And then it's time to learn the name Joachim Fjelstrup. The 27-year-old actor landed his first film role as the lead in Ole Christian Madsen's feature "Itsi Bitsi" (world premiere in Toronto) straight out of acting school.

Fjelstrup is one of the ten European acting talents getting the red-carpet treatment under the Shooting Stars umbrella.

Inuk-Silis-Hoeegh-of-SumeDirector of "Sumé", Inuk Silis Høegh, shot at Kino International in Berlin. Photo: Brigitte Dummer

Four Co-productions

Finally, these international collaborations have Danish producers on board:

Iceland's Virgin Mountain directed by Dagur Kári and co-produced by Nimbus Film is in Berlinale Special, and Greenland's Sume – The Sound of a Revolution by Inuk Silis Høeg and Danish co-producer Bullitt Film screens in Panorama Dokumente as the first Greenlandic film ever to be selected for the Berlinale.

The US major The Yes Men Are Revolting by Laura Nix, Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum is co-produced by Chili Film and selected for Panorama Dokumente, while Argentina's The Mad Half Hour, in Berlinale Shorts, is directed by Leonardo Brzezicki and co-produced by CPH:LAB.

Read about all the films in our magazine FILM: www.dfi.dk/film

Scandinavian-Films-at-BerlinThe Scandinavian Film Institutes at the European Film Market during the Berlinale 2015.

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