Danish films to London

Following the impressive line-up in previous years, Danish cinema once again shows a strong presence at London Film Festival, where five Danish films will participate.

Headhunter, Applause and Max Embarrassing in Cinema Europa 

Rumle Hammerich's "Headhunter", a thriller set in the upper echelons of the business world, will enjoy its international premiere at London's Cinema Europa programme. The film, released in Danish cinemas 28 August, was welcomed by critics whose high ratings were given for its plot, visuals and performances by Lars Mikkelsen and Henning Moritzen. "Headhunter" is produced by Åke Sandgren for Nordisk Film. TrustNordisk handle international sales.

Also selected for Cinema Europa are Martin Pieter Zandvliet's feature film debut, the drama "Applause" and Lotte Svendsen's family comedy "Max Embarrassing".

"Applause" was a hit at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where the audience and critics gave a nod to Paprika Steen's extraordinary performance as a diva in distress, a role for which she received the festival's Best Actress Award. The film, to be released in Danish cinemas 24 September, is produced by Mikael Rieks for Koncern Film. TrustNordisk handle international sales.  

"Max Embarrassing", about a young boy who is a little bewildered by his nerdy mother, received a Special Mention from Berlin's Generation Kplus Jury, who commended it for its excellent actors. The film enjoyed a popular boxoffice opening at domestic cinemas at the turn of the year. Veteran Per Holst produced for Asta Film; Delphis Film Inc. handle international sales.

Valhalla Rising in New British Cinema

Nicolas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising", starring Mads Mikkelsen, is selected for New British Cinema. Although it has been described as a lavishly visual Viking film, Refn insists that it is not about Vikings at all. The film charts the journey of a mute warrior into the heart of darkness. Refn, renowned for his "Pusher" trilogy, is already a familiar face on the British scene after the release earlier this year of his cinematic tornado "Bronson", which screened at Sundance and was commended by critics for Tom Hardy's performance.  

"Valhalla Rising" is a Danish coproduction, produced by Johnny Andersen, Bo Ehrhardt and co-producer Karen Smyth for Nimbus Film Productions, One Eye Production, La Belle Allee Productions, Scanbox Entertainment and Blind Eye Productions, Scotland. The film is supported by the Danish Film Institute as well as Scottish Screen, the BBC, Glasgow Film Office, and the Dumfries and Galloway Council. Distributor in Great Britain is Vertigo; domestic release is scheduled for early 2010.

Mirror in The Gothic and the Grotesque

The Danish short film "Mirror" is selected for the programme The Gothic and the Grotesque. This stunning visually in-your-face film debut by awardwinning international still photographer Joachim Ladefoged is about bodybuilding, in Ladefoged's own words: Bodybuilding is unadulterated narcissism. "Mirror" received a Special Screening in Auteurs' Shorts at Locarno in August. The film is produced by Helle Faber for Bastard Film, who also handle international sales.

An Education in MasterCard Gala

Danish director Lone Scherfig's second British production, the lively drama "An Education", about a girl coming of age in pre-Beatles England will appear in MasterCard Gala. The film was selected for Berlin and was twice awarded at Sundance earlier this year, when critics lauded the film and female lead Carey Mulligan.

Three Danish coproductions in Cinema Europa

Also screening in Cinema Europa are three Danish international coproductions: Tarik Saleh's "Metropia" (Sweden), Hans Christian Schmid's "Storm" (Germany) and Yoav Shamir's "Defamation" (Austria, Israel, Denmark, US).