Discover the golden age of Danish silent films

NEW STREAMING SITE. From dogsleds in Copenhagen to spaceships bound for Mars – the Danish Film Institute is launching a new streaming site where you can watch both sensational and artistically experimental films from Denmark’s silent film era. For several glorious years, Danish films were popular around world, producing stars like Asta Nielsen, Valdemar Psilander and Carl Theodor Dreyer.

Today’s abundance of moving images began with silent films around 120 years ago. And Denmark was a frontrunner at the time, producing loads of sensational, commercial and artistically experimental films.

Explore the visual universe of Danish silent films and see the films for free at

Denmark, the Hollywood of silent film

The Danish film industry, from around 1910 and a decade on, was a world leader, both commercially and artistically. Nordisk Films Kompagni, now Nordisk Film, and Palladium were at the head of the pack, churning out feature films – at peak output, one feature and two comedy shorts a week.

It was an age when stars like Asta Nielsen, Valdemar Psilander and Gunnar Tolnæs found fame far beyond their native shores, and Denmark’s all-time greatest director, Carl Theodor Dreyer, created a considerable part of his oeuvre.

Among the films on is 'A Trip to Mars' by Holger-Madsen (1918), where navy officer Avanti Planetaros endeavours to chart the cosmos and explore its strange planets. Photo: Danish Film Institute – streaming and film archaeology

Now the Danish Film Institute is launching the streaming site, where everyone can follow the digitisation of more than 400 works from the 1903-1928 period.

Running over the next four years, this film-archaeological project will be both wide-ranging and unpredictable. Some of the old reels have not been viewed since the 1920s. As the films are digitised, they will be streamed on the site, accompanied by posters, photos, thematic articles, scripts and contemporary reviews.

In Robert Dinesen's 'In the Power of Opium' (1918), a banker becomes addicted to opium when he finds out the rush makes him see his deceased daughter. Photo: Danish Film Institute

Viewers can look forward to lurid sensations, along with art films, dramas, comedies and special-effects spectaculars. While the language of film was different a century ago, the films prove that audiences then were fascinated by many of the same themes as we are today. In the silent film era, language was no impediment. The films were deliberately cosmopolitan in style, and their universal subjects and issues gave them international reach.

The biggest film-history sharing project ever is the biggest-ever project of film-history dissemination in Denmark. It is preceded by four years of work mapping the film collections in the Danish Film Institute’s archives. The many films and accompanying materials will hopefully engage cultural-history buffs and curious viewers alike.

A particular target audience is international film scholars and institutions of learning, where Danish silent films are on the curriculum. Accordingly, also features in an English-language version.

In Holger-Madsen’s ‘A Friend of the People’ (1918), three brothers are fighting for the lower classes, each in his own way: with violence, with words, and with a drastic intervention inspired by watchmaking. Photo: Danish Film Institute


Anne Schwartz
Project Editor
Tel. +45 3374 3681

Lars-Martin Sørensen
Head of Research
Tel. +45 3374 3574 is made possible by the Augustinus Foundation, the Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation and the A.P. Møller Foundation, which have each donated 10 million kroner (approx. 1.3 million euros).

Furthermore, there is a Danish-German research project affiliated with the digitisation and communication efforts. Over the next three years, seven film historians will delve into the exchange between Danish and German silent film culture from 1910-1930.

Stills and film clips are available in the press room.

About is the Danish Film Institute’s new streaming site for silent feature films and shorts from the 1903-1928 period. As films are digitised, they will be posted on the site, free to stream. The site will also feature theme articles, posters, photos, scripts and reviews.

Follow the digitisation process on the site, or on Instagram (Danish Silent Film) and Facebook (Filmmuseet / Danish Film Institute).

In 'The Plaster Saint' by Valdemar Andersen (1927), a writer gets himself in trouble during a secret journey to Paris. Photo: Danish Film Institute