Danish feature debuts taking on Göteborg Film Festival

GÖTEBORG. Scandinavia's leading film festival will see the world premiere of Marianne Blicher's first feature 'Miss Viborg', a comedy about an unlikely friendship between a former beauty queen and a bewildered young girl. Explore the full list of Danish films and new talents at Göteborg Film Festival, starting on 28 January.

Three Danish first-time directors are on the bill for this year's Göteborg Film Festival, an important showcase for new Nordic cinema and talent. 

Marianne Blicher is world premiering her comedy 'Miss Viborg' in Nordic Light, a section of strong titles from the region. In the Nordic competitions, audiences will have a chance to catch Tea Lindeburg's San Sebastian double prize winner 'As in Heaven' and Jesper Dalgaard's documentary 'Kandis for Life', which took the Danish critics by storm.

Making their European premieres are the two Sundance picks, 'A House Made of Splinters' and 'Speak No Evil', as part the total Danish line-up of eight films. See the full list with production companies below.

An unlikely friendship

'Miss Viborg' is the story of former beauty queen Solvej who lives alone with her dog in a social housing area on the outskirts of the provincial town of Viborg. Each day she performs the same old routines roaming around on her scooter dealing her prescription drugs, dreaming of a world outside and reminiscing over old love letters. When her neighbour’s rebellious daughter, Kate, steps into her life, an unlikely friendship forms, and new hope for the future emerges.

Marianne Blicher's debut in the long format is co-written with Rasmus Birch. Performing as the odd couple Solvej and Kate are Ragnhild Kaasgaard and Isabella Møller Hansen, both making their feature film debuts.

Emotional musical journey

'Kandis for Life' dives into a world of extraordinary people that have made the lead singer of Scandinavia's biggest entertainment band, Kandis, their personal Jesus. The documentary offers an honest account of Johnny Hansen’s private tragedy, which is deeply rooted in the lives of his dedicated fans. It becomes clear that no one can rise to life's challenges alone.

At the film's domestic theatre release in September, critics were enthralled by its depiction of a milieu that not often attracts our attention. "See this incredibly well structured, skilfully edited and deeply loyal portrayal of a very special group of people, and be amazed, touched, wiser and fiercely entertained," one reviewer wrote.

Director Jesper Dalgaard's first long documentary is co-written with Denniz Göl Bertelsen.

A young girl's transition

'As in Heaven' takes place in the late 1800s and is told during the course of one day, when 14-year-old Lise’s life is changed forever. She is the eldest of her siblings and the first in her family soon to go to school. But when her mother goes into labour and the night progresses, Lise begins to understand that this day, which started in childhood, might end with her becoming the woman of the house.

Since premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, the film has toured at festivals, taking home Best Director to Tea Lindeburg and Best Actor to Flora Ofelia Hoffmann Lindahl at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Two acclaimed Sundance titles

'A House Made of Splinters' by Simon Lereng Wilmont and 'Speak No Evil' by Christian Tafdrup are making their European premieres in the Nordic Documentary Competition and in the Nordic Light section, respectively.

Both films enjoyed their world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival to warm reviews.

At Göteborg, 'Speak No Evil' is one of three "suggestive" films taking part in the festival's Hypnotic Cinema experiment. Before the film starts, a hypnotist will perform a mass hypnosis, transforming the audience’s state of mind in accordance with the mood and theme of the film. Read more at goteborgfilmfestival.se.

The Göteborg Film Festival runs from 28 January to 6 February. See more at goteborgfilmfestival.se.

Danish films in Göteborg 2022

Nordic Competition

  • As in Heaven (feature debut) by Tea Lindeburg. Produced by Lise Orheim Stender and Jesper Morthorst for Motor.

Nordic Documentary Competition

  • Kandis for Life (feature debut) by Jesper Dalgaard. Produced by Maria Møller Christoffersen for Frau Film.
  • A House Made of Splinters by Simon Lereng Wilmont. Produced by Monica Hellström for Final Cut for Real.

Nordic Light

  • Miss Viborg (feature debut) by Marianne Blicher. Produced by Eva Jakobsen, Katrin Pors and Mikkel Jersin.
  • Speak No Evil by Christian Tafdrup. Produced by Jacob Jarek for Profile Pictures.
  • The Pact by Bille August. Produced by Jesper Morthorst and Karin Trolle for SF Studios Production.

Focus: Disorder read more

  • Gym Party (short film) by Sif Lina Lambæk.
  • Fence (short film) by Hilke Rönnfeldt.

Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize 

Five Nordic drama series are nominated for the Nordic TV Drama Screenplay Award, presented during the Göteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision. From Denmark:

  • The Shift (TV series, 8×40’) created by Lone Scherfig. Directed by Søren Balle, Ole Christian Madsen and Lone Scherfig. Produced by Malene Blenkov for Creative Alliance. Also selected for Berlin, read our update Danish films in Berlin 2022.