Danish Films - Berlin International Film Festival - Newsletter

Danish filmmakers enter 2003 after an impressive year, in which
admissions at the box office climbed and indigenous filmmaking continued
to be in demand. Although exact figures for the year will not be available
till February, an estimate of the total number of cinema admissions for
2002 indicates a substantial increase. Compared with figures from previous
decades, 2001 was a record-breaking year with a 30 percent national market
share of admissions, the second highest in Europe.
2002 will be close behind, proving that Danish film is still on a high
- with an average of four national films on the weekly top-twenty chart, a
national market share among the top three in Europe, global recognition of
and debate on Dogme, festival honours and a strong team of independent
sales' managers probing the international market.
CO-PRODUCTIONSA number of domestic releases to be seen in
Berlin, as well as films in progress have an important international
asset. Five are English language films: Scherfig's "Wilbur Wants to Kill
Himself" includes Scottish actors, among them Jamie Sives (Shooting Star
at Berlin); Kragh-Jacobsen's "Skagerrak" includes one of Hollywood's
hottest names, New Zealander Martin Henderson, as well as Danish actress
Iben Hjejle; in Vinterberg's "It's All About Love" Joaquin Phoenix, Claire
Danes and Sean Penn are in the leads; while John Turturro, Deborah Unger
and James Remar have the leading roles in Winding Refn's "Fear X"; and
Nicole Kidman plays the lead in Trier's "Dogville", while the strong
supporting cast includes Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson and Ben Gazzara.

Special Screenings Programme - Scherfig and
VinterbergOnce again, Danes are showing their muscle at the
International Film Festival, Berlin: Lone Scherfig, triple Berlin winner
in 2000, returns with her latest drama, the Sisse Graum Olsen and Zentropa
produced "Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself", a film laden with atmosphere and
the quirky charm of her breakthrough, but this time going profoundly
beneath the surface. Scherfig co-wrote the screenplay with award-winning
scriptwriter and director Anders Thomas Jensen.
Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark's other distinguished guest in Berlin, will
present his latest drama, "It's All About Love", a large-scale,
star-studded, international feature which Sundance selected for their
programme Premieres. Described by Denis Seguin in Screen as "hugely
imaginative, conceptually compelling, arresting in its visual
panache". International Competition - Short
FilmsSelected for the International Short Film Competition is
Anders Morgenthaler and producer David Østerbøg's explosive cocktail of
manga animation and 'real' film: "Araki - The Killing of a Japanese
Photographer" (National Film School of Denmark).
Kinderfilmfest - Genz, Bovin, Hastrup, Platoú and
SaundersDanish films for children are again at the hub of
international focus. Four films have been selected for the upcoming
Kinderfilmfest competition:
Academy Award nominee Henrik Ruben Genz' "Someone Like Hodder", an
amusing, off-beat story that goes straight to the heart, produced by Tina
Dalhoff of Nordisk Film. "Someone Like Hodder" has also been given the
privilege of opening Kinderfilmfest. In Berlin, Genz will be treading
familiar ground as his short film "Teis & Nico", besides bringing home
honours from all continents, was the Crystal Bear Winner at Berlin in
Newcomer Pia Bovin will present her feature film debut "Wallah Be",
about a young Danish boy who has his own special reasons for wanting to
become a Muslim. The film was produced by Louise Vesth and Ib Tardini of
Accompanying these films will also be the Danish-French co-production
"The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Bear" by animation grand master Jannik
Hastrup, and produced by Dane, Marie Bro of Dansk Tegnefilm 2 and
Frenchman Didier Brunnér of Les Armateurs. Bent Haller, a long-time
collaborator with Dansk Tegnefilm wrote the script. Hastrup's swirling
strokes were last seen at Kinderfilmfest in 2001 when "Circleen - Mice
& Romance" was selected for the competition.
Not to be forgotten is the short fiction - which evokes the atmosphere
of the Royal Danish Ballet - "Ballerina", by Kunuk Platoú and Valerie
Saunders and produced by Rambling Rose. An animated film about three young
spirited ballerinas dressed in tutus and pointy shoes.
European Film Market - Movies for kids,
movies for the family Besides the aforementioned
Kinderfilmfest titles which will also screen in the European Market, two
pure-fun children's comedy features, as well as four short films - two
fiction, two documentary - will be screened at the European Film
The family comedy "My Sister's Kids 2" by director Thomas Villum Jensen
and Moonlight (producers Lars Kolvig and Michael Obel) - a
film that surpasses its predecessor in number of admissions, and now
both films (remakes of a Danish classic of the sixties) may boast of
having been seen by a tenth of the population. Villum Jensen's first
film in the series "My Sister's Kids" won Best Film Award in Montreal,
Oulu and Copenhagen and was selected for competition at Kinderfilmfest in
2002. Another feature, also enjoying a large audience is the comedy
"Bertram", from the hands of duo Regner Grasten and Hans Kristensen -
producer and director, respectively.
Kathrine Windfeld's short fiction "Little Man", produced by Angel Film
for Short Fiction Film Denmark, will be given a market screening together
with Jannik Hastrup and Dansk Tegnefilm's short animation "Dog &
Fish". Windfeld's "Little Man" follows a small boy, meandering through a
housing estate, carrying what he imagines to be a magic wand. Hastrup
draws a picture of an impossible relationship between a dog and a
fish who are separated from each other in a class society.
Furthermore two documentary short subjects are programmed at the
market: "Miga's Journey" (René Bo Hansen / Manden Med Cameraet) about a
young boy from the Mongolian outback who is in pursuit of his runaway
sister in a big city; and "When Mum and Dad Are Clowns", a film providing
the viewer with an insight into the life of a young Russian circus
performer - directed by Annette Mari Olsen and produced by Katia Forbert
Petersen of Sfinx Film.
European Film Market - New features by Arthy, Kragh-Jacobsen,
ArnfredScreening at the market - besides "Wilbur Wants To
Kill Himself" and "It's All About Love" - are three new Danish
Two films from the production house of Nimbus Film: Natasha Arthy's
second feature, the Dogme film "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue", produced by
Birgitte Hald and Birgitte Skov. Domestic release 31st January. About a
modern young woman (Sidse Babett Knudsen) who finds herself on a
labyrinthal excursion together with a Swedish friend (Björn Kjellman), the
day before her wedding-day. Screenplay by Kim Fupz Aakeson. Arthy has
already made a name for herself with her musical targeted for young
cinema-goers, "Miracle" (2000), which was showered with awards at
festivals, including Giffoni, Laon, Montevideo, Montreal, Oulu and
Nimbus' second film is Berlin veteran, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's second
English language feature "Skagerrak", co-written by the director and
Anders Thomas Jensen, produced by Lars Bredo Rahbek, Bo Ehrhardt and
Scottish co-producer David Muir, and to be released in Denmark 14th March.
A story about being hit by happiness when you least expect it.
Kragh-Jacobsen's films "The Island on Bird Street" (1997), and "Mifune"
(1999) are both recipients of the Berlin Silver Bear award.
The third feature is a 'director's cut' film (Nordisk
Film's low-budget concept), "Move Me", directed by Morten Arnfred and produced
by Åke Sandgren and Lars Kjeldgaard. A compelling and witty drama
about a privileged woman whose easy-going existence is erupted by marital
infidelity. "Move Me" has been selected for competition in Göteborg and
will be given a domestic release 11th April. Veteran director Arnfred -
who was second director on Lars von Trier's "The Kingdom" - has had two
features selected for competition in Berlin ("Land of Plenty" and "The
Russian Singer").
Shooting StarDanish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas has
been selected for 'Shooting Stars'. Kaas' appeared as the lead in
the award-winning "Truly Human" (2001) by Åke Sandgren and in Susanne
Bier's, critically acclaimed "Open Hearts" (2002), the Danish entry for
the Academy Award Nominations. He also plays a leading role in Anders
Thomas Jensen's "The Green Butcher", to be released this spring. 'Shooting
Stars' is organized by European Film Promotion which aim is to promote
young European actors and to increase the focus on European cinema.
Fly, Jensen. Refn, TrierZentropa's Ib Tardini and
director Per Fly - renowned for the feature "The Bench" - will release the
epic family drama "Inheritance" 21st February, the second drama of a
trilogy depicting three layers of Danish society. This story deals with
the wealthy elite.
Screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen has completed
his second feature film with M & M Production's at the helm. This comedy-drama, "The Green Butchers", will be
released 21st March. Jensen, already a writer of a
dozen screenplays, received three Academy Award nominations in three consecutive
years, the third film, "Election Night" bringing home an Oscar for himself
and M & M. His debut feature "Flickering Lights" was a
box-office hit and was ranked by critics as a brilliant and witty
Nicolas Winding Refn and Henrik Danstrup of NWR's third feature, the
thriller Fear X. About a man whose wife is killed in a seemingly random
incident, and who is prompted to journey to discover the true
circumstances surrounding her death. Selected for World Cinema at
Sundance, for the Main Programme at Rotterdam, as well as for the Nordic
Competition in Göteborg. Domestic release in scheduled for 28th
March. Scheduled for 30th May is "Dogville" by Lars von
Trier, the director who has made the greatest impact on indigenous cinema
since Dreyer. This drama was produced by Vibeke Windeløv for Zentropa
production. Teen movies Three teen
movies will be released in the first half of 2003, two of them early
February: the thriller "Midsummer" by debuting feature film director
Carsten Myllerup, produced by Rasmus Thorsen and Thomas Hostrup-Larsen of Cosmo
Film; the musical "Cinder Rock'n Rella", produced by Regner Grasten,
directed by Charlotte Sachs Bostrup and choreographed by Mikala Bjarnov
Lage. From the hands of the same duo, Grasten and Sachs Bostrup's, and to
be released 4th, April is the romantic comedy "Anja After Viktor" - the
next episode in the cinematic series about the trials and tribulations of
young love - its two predecessors, "Love at First Hiccough" and "Anja
& Viktor", together - like the two aforementioned family comedies -
have also been seen by over a tenth of the population.
Scheduled to start off the 2003 summer holidays is creative producer
Hans Hansen and debuting director Malene Vilstrup's suspense-filled story
"Zafir", a drama - with the themes of friendship and confronting
foreigness at its core - played against the backdrop of a riding school
with two girls in the lead. Mette Nelund and Sarita Christensen of
Zentropa are producing.
These were the feature films for the first half year of 2003. Our next
electronic 'newsletter' - late April - will deal with the Danish films to
be screened in Cannes as well as the autumn releases.
Together with producers, directors and sales agents, the DFI team
promoting Danish film at festivals worldwide will be present at the
European Film Market to assist you in any way possible. The DFI magazine
FILM # 27 will include a catalogue of Danish feature films - new releases
and films in progress) in its reverse section.
We warmly welcome you to the Danish Stand, Scandinavian Films Office,
European Film Market, Stand No. 190, 1st Floor G12 at Potsdamer Strasse 5,
DE-10785 Berlin. Telephone +49 30 275 71 370. Opening Hours 09:00 -
At the Danish Film Institute website you will find a schedule of
screening times and events as well as information on individual titles
together with press photos: http://www.dfi.dk/sitemod/moduler/index_english.asp?pid=13840
For personalized service contact the Danish Film Institute:
International FestivalsFeature films:Tine
Mosegaard tel +45 3374 3565 / m 2482 3758 / tinem@dfi.dkShort Films &
Documentaries:Anne-Marie Kürstein tel +45 3374 3609 / m +45 4041 4697
/ kurstein@dfi.dkAnnette Lønvang
tel +45 3374 3556 / m 2148 8522 / annette@dfi.dkPress &
Information Vicki Synnott tel +45 3374 3438 / vickis@dfi.dk