Danes in co-productions

CO-PRODUCTIONS. With several major international festivals lined up, Danish filmmakers are flagging their latest co-production endeavours undertaken with Mexico, Sweden, Bulgaria, Austria and more. Get the full picture below.

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WINNER. Amat Escalante's "The Untamed" took home a Silver Lion in Venice. Photo: Manuel Alberto Claro, Martin Escalante

"The Untamed" by Mexico's Amat Escalante, "Safari" by Austria's Ulrich Seidl, "Godless" by Bulgaria's Ralitza Petrova – these are but a few of the world premieres coming out at the big red-carpet events in Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian that have Danish producers on board.

Showing proof of a striking diversity in subject matters and styles, here is a brief summary of films, many of which are feature debuts, and their Danish partners, and there's more about the Danish Film Institute's involvement in co-production at dfi.dk/international.

The Untamed / Mexico

Combining family drama and social commentary with science fiction and horror, Cannes-winning director Amat Escalante's "The Untamed" takes us to a small village in the Mexican lowlands where a young couple is struggling to hold their marriage together. When a mysterious woman turns up, their world is changed forever.

"The Untamed" blends realism with imagination and makes extensive use of visual effects, much of which was realised by Danish VFX experts, with Peter Hjorth as visual effects supervisor. The film is shot by Manuel Alberto Claro, the cinematographer on Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" and "Nymphomaniac", and Jacob Schulsinger is the editor. Snowglobe's Katrin Pors and Adomeit Film's Katja Adomeit are the Danish co-producing partners on board. Read more about the up-and-coming three-person company Snowglobe in our profile Shaking It Up.

Festivals: Venice, Toronto, San Sebastian

Safari / Austria

Acclaimed for his fictional Paradise trilogy "Faith," "Hope" and "Love," Ulrich Seidl now turns his lens on hunting tourists in "Safari," described as "a vacation movie about killing and human nature." In the wild expanses, where bushbucks, impalas, zebras, gnus and other creatures graze by the thousands, they are on holiday. German and Austrian hunting tourists drive through the bush, lie in wait, stalk their prey. They shoot, sob with excitement and pose before the animals they have bagged.

From Denmark, Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær is producing for Danish Documentary Production.

Festivals: Venice

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Godless Photo: Snowglobe

Godless / Bulgaria

Ralitza Petrova's first feature "Godless" is set in a remote Bulgarian town where a nurse looks after the elderly with dementia while trafficking their ID cards on the black market. Things start to shake up as a new patient unlocks her drugged-up conscience, and she is ready for change. But doing "the right thing" comes at a high price.

Danish co-producers are Eva Jakobsen, Katrin Pors and Mikkel Jersin for Snowglobe. Peter Albrechtsen is responsible for the sound design, and part of the post production took place in Denmark. There's more in our Snowglobe profile Shaking It Up.

Festivals: Locarno, Sarajevo, Toronto

The Giant / Sweden

At the centre of Johannes Nyholm's feature film debut is 30-year-old Rikard who is autistic and severely disfigured. He lives in a home for disabled people. He was separated from his mother when he was three, and this continues to torment him today. To deal with life's trials, Rikard escapes into a fantasy world in which he's a 50-metre-tall giant.

The Danish team includes Roar Skau Olsen as sound designer, Morten Højbjerg as editor, Morten Kjems Hytten Juhl as co-producer and finally Peter Hyldahl as executive producer for Beofilm.

Festivals: Toronto, San Sebastian

Sami Blood / Sweden

Amanda Kernell's feature debut follows Elle Marja, a reindeer-breeding Sámi girl. Exposed to the racism of the 1930s and race biology examinations at her boarding school, she starts dreaming of another life. To achieve this she has to become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture.

The director, a graduate of the National Film School of Denmark, has written the script based on her own family story. "Sami Blood" is backed by Danish co-producers René Ezra and Tomas Radoor for Nordisk Film, and Kristian Eidnes Andersen, who has delivered quite a few scores for Lars von Trier's films, is the composer.

Festivals: Venice, Toronto

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Quit Staring At My Plate Photo: Beofilm

Quit Staring At My Plate / Croatia

Hana Jušic's first feature film is a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family and its inner mechanisms of power, violence and love. Marijana, the shy and timid daughter of the household, wants to break free. Freedom, however, is cold and desolate, and the people she encounters outside the family are indifferent and uncaring strangers.

The Danish production team consists of Peter Hyldahl, Morten Kjems Hytten Juhl and Maria Møller Christoffersen, producing for Beofilm.

Festivals: Venice

Little Wing / Finland

Selma Vilhunen's feature debut is the story of Varpu, a 12-year-old girl who has no father, and her mother acts rather like a younger sister. One day Varpu sets on a journey in a stolen car in search for her father who turns out to be not what she expects.

Danish producer is Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real. Byrge Sørensen was the producer behind Joshua Oppenheimer's Oscar-nominated "The Act of Killing" and "The Look of Silence."

Festivals: Toronto

David Lynch The Art Life / USA

In Jon Nguyen and Olivia Neergaard-Holm's documentary, David Lynch takes us on an intimate journey through the formative years of his life. From his idyllic upbringing in small town America to the dark streets of Philadelphia, we follow Lynch as he traces the events that have helped to shape one of cinema’s most enigmatic directors.

Olivia Neergaard-Holm, a recent graduate of the National Film School of Denmark, is also editor on the film, which is co-produced by Danish Kong Gulerod Film.

Festivals: Venice

The article was updated on 13 September 2016.

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/ Venice, Toronto, San Sebastian 2016

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