17 Danish films in Göteborg Line-up

FESTIVAL. 'The Return,' 'The Charmer' and 'Holiday' will compete for the lucrative Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film at Göteborg Film Festival, starting 26 January. A total of 17 Danish feature films, documentaries, shorts and TV drama are part of the line-up at the big Nordic festival in Gothenburg.

The Return af Malene Choi Jensen

IDENTITY CRISIS. Malene Choi Jensen's feature debut 'The Return,' about two Danish-South Korean adoptees returning to their Motherland, is selected for the Nordic competition. Photo: Catherine Pattinama Coleman

Göteborg Film Festival is regarded as a strong international showcase for new Nordic films and will be including 17 Danish titles in its line-up for this 41st edition opening on 26 January. 

Invited for the festival's main competition, the Dragon Award Best Nordic Film where the winning film will be presented with a cash prize of one million Swedish kroner, are three Danish feature debuts: 'The Return' by Malene Choi Jensen, 'The Charmer' by Milad Alami and 'Holiday' by Isabella Eklöf. 

Find an overview of all Danish films at Göteborg below. 

Three debuts in main competition 

The Dragon Award Best Nordic Film presents a total of nine films, of which three titles are Danish – all three feature debuts. 

'The Return' is a Danish-South Korean co-production and will have its Nordic premiere at Göteborg, celebrating its world premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival in the Bright Future competition. The film operates in a hybrid field between fiction and documentary in a narrative about two Danish-Korean adoptees experiencing an identity crisis as they return for the first time to the country where they were born. The film is based partly on director Malene Choi Jensen's own experiences, partly on stories by other adoptees. International sales are handled by Berlin-based Pluto Film. 

'The Charmer,' which has experienced a warm reception at festivals this autumn, will have its Nordic premiere at Göteborg. Milad Alami's drama, about an Iranian man who is desperate to find a Danish woman as an admission ticket for permanent residence in Denmark, has won several prizes since premiering at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September. Alma Cinema, Paris, is handling international sales. 

Both 'The Return' and 'The Charmer' are funded by the Danish Film Institute's talent programme New Danish Screen. 

'Holiday' will be world premiering at Sundance in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition before its European premiere at Göteborg. Isabella Eklöf's debut feature is a love triangle featuring the trophy girlfriend of a petty drug lord, caught up in a web of luxury and violence – a modern dark gangster tale set on the Turkish riviera. The film has received funding from the Film Commissioner Scheme.

More Danish debut films at Göteborg 

Simon Lereng Wilmont's first long documentary, 'The Distant Barking of Dogs,' is selected for the Nordic documentary competition. The film, a close-up of a young boy experiencing war at first hand on the frontlines of East Ukraine, won the award for Best First Appearance at IDFA in November. 

In the Nordic Light series showcasing handpicked highlights from the Nordic countries, several more Danish-produced debuts will be screening: Gustav Möller's 'The Guilty,' which will be world premiering alongside 'Holiday' in competition at Sundance, Hlynur Pálmason's Locarno winner 'Winter Brothers,' Gabriel Tzafka's 'Thorn' and Sakaris Stórá's Danish-Faroese 'Dreams by the Sea.' The series will also be showing 'Darling,' Birgitte Stærmose's second feature film which premiered in October at the BFI London Film Festival. 

TV Drama nominated for script award 

Among the Danish documentary line-up are also Camilla Magid's 'Land of the Free' and Anna Eborn's 'Lida' as well as the international debut of 'Violently in Love,' Christina Rosendahl's portrayal of the women at a sheltered residence attempting to rebuild their lives after having been exposed to violence by their partners. 

The 17 Danish titles include Per Fly's 'Backstabbing for Beginners' as one of the festival's gala screenings and DR drama series 'Ride Upon the Storm' created by Adam Price and directed by Kaspar Munk, which is nominated for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond's Best Script award. Karla Von Bengtson's feature debut 'Next Door Spy' will be opening the festival's children's film section. 

Finally, two films have been selected for the short film programme: the animated 'Drops' by Karsten Kjærulf-Hoop and Sarah Jungen and the puppet film 'To Be' by Farzaneh Omidvarnia. 

This year's line-up also includes a wide range of international co-productions with Danish producers and creative talents on board. 

Göteborg Film Festival takes place from 26 January to 5 February.


Danish films at Göteborg Film Festival 2018 

Dragon Award Best Nordic Film 

  • The Charmer / dir. Milad Alami
  • Holiday / dir. Isabella Eklöf
  • The Return / dir. Malene Choi Jensen  

Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary 

  • The Distant Barking of Dogs / dir. Simon Lereng Wilmont

Nordic Light (feature films) 

  • Darling / dir. Birgitte Stærmose
  • Dreams by the Sea / dir. Sakaris Stórá
  • The Guilty / dir. Gustav Möller (closing film) 
  • Thorn / dir. Gabriel Tzafka
  • Winter Brothers / dir. Hlynur Pálmason 

Nordic Light (documentary films) 

  • Land of the Free / dir. Camilla Magid 
  • Violently in Love / dir. Christina Rosendahl

Nordic Light (TV drama) 

  • Ride Upon the Storm / creator Adam Price / konceptual dir. Kaspar Munk / The series is nominated for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize. Göteborg is screening the first two episodes. 

Nordic Light (shot films) 

  • Drops / dir. Karsten Kjærulf-Hoop, Sarah Jungen 
  • To Be / dir. Farzaneh Omidvarnia 

Gala 

  • Backstabbing for Beginners / dir. Per Fly 

Göteborg Children's Festival 

  • Next Door Spy / dir. Karla Von Bengtson (opening film) 

Focus: Nationalism 

  • Lida / dir. Anna Eborn

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