Applause in Karlovy Vary competition

Martin Pieter Zandvliet's feature film debut — having swept up awards at Karlovy Vary — is selected for the Discovery programme at Toronto International Film Festival, marking its North American premiere.

"Applause" created a stir in Karlovy Vary after critics and cinema audiences had watched actress Paprika Steen's extraordinary performance as a diva in distress. Alissa Simon of Variety wrote: Debuting feature helmer Martin Pieter Zandvliet's in-your-face, Dogma-style cocktail extracts the essence of Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence" and "Opening Night," adds Martha's monologues from a staged production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and spikes the whole concoction with scathing wit. Unabashedly fest material …." Read the complete review.

At Karlovy Vary, Paprika Steen received Best Actress Award and the film was also honoured with the European Cinema Label, hopefully engaging a lengthy theatrical run in European cinemas.

Toronto's Discovery programme offers a unique window on contemporary international cinema, a showcase for new and emerging filmmakers. The festival adds that Discovery is also an introduction to gifted and innovative directors who are certain to become household names.

"Applause" will be released in domestic cinemas Thursday 24 September 2009. The film is produced by Mikael Rieks for Koncern Film.

Valhalla Rising also to Toronto

Nicolas Winding Refn's new feature film "Valhalla Rising" will receive its world premiere in the prestigious Special Presentation programme at Toronto International Film Festival in September. Leading actor, Mads Mikkelsen, and director Nicolas Winding Refn will be present. Read more in DFI press release Valhalla Rising — World premiere Toronto.