Every Labor Day weekend, film enthusiasts, critics and industry professionals meet in the tiny village of Telluride, Colorado, to embark on four days of cinematic immersion.
The location in the small town 9,000 feet up in the San Juan Mountains and a pricey festival pass makes the festival an intimate and exclusive event for a core of cinephiles who return loyally every year. The festival doesn't reveal the programme until the night before start when all guests have landed in town, so they must have blind faith in the programming.
When the 2012 programme was revealed on Thursday, four Danish films were among the handpicked 25 features and 25 shorts: Nikolaj Arcel's "A Royal Affair", Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt", Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" and Johan Oettinger's "Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto". The last time Danish films were represented at Telluride was in 2008.
Actor Mads Mikkelsen, who stars in both "A Royal Affair" and "The Hunt", was awarded a Silver Medallion at the opening ceremony along with producer Roger Corman and actress Marion Cotillard. The award is given to recognize an artist's significant contribution to the world of cinema.
"A Royal Affair" and "The Hunt" have been picked up by Magnolia Pictures and will open in US theaters in November and in the spring, respectively. Both films will screen as a sneak preview at Telluride before their official North American premiere at Toronto International Film Festival on 6-16 September. The same applies to "The Act of Killing" which will enjoy its world premiere at Toronto.
A Royal Affair
Nikolaj Arcel's historical drama "A Royal Affair" about the dramatic story of love and politics between King Christian VII, his English queen Caroline Mathilde and the king's physician Struensee, premiered worldwide at the 62th Berlinale where it won the Silver Bear for Best Script (Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg) and Best Actor (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard). The film is produced by Louise Vesth, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, and Meta Louise Foldager for Zentropa Entertainments with support from the Danish Film Institute. TrustNordisk handles international sales.
Read interview The Responsibility to Tell a Good Story
Thomas Vinterberg's drama "The Hunt" tells the story of Lucas, a mild-mannered kindergarten teacher who suddenly becomes the target of hatred from everyone in his small town when a young child makes false accusations against him. Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival where the film also received the Ecumenical Jury Award, and cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen was awarded the Vulcain Prize of the Technical Artist. The film is produced by Morten Kaufmann and Sisse Graum Jørgensen for Zentropa with support from the Danish Film Institute. International sales are handled by TrustNordisk.
Read interview Sticking with Reality
The Act of Killing
In the city of Medan, on the island Sumatra in Indonesia, where killers are celebrated as heroes, the filmmakers of "The Act of Killing" challenge unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatise their role in genocide. The result is a surreal, cinematic journey not only into the imaginations of mass-murderers, but also into a frighteningly banal regime of corruption and impunity.
"The Act of Killing" is directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and co-directed by Christine Cynn and Anonymous. The film is produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen from Final Cut for Real with support from the Danish Film Institute. International sales are handled by Cinephil.
Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto
Johan Oettinger's short black and white puppet film "Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto" is set in the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland. An eight-year-old boy is playing by a wall, unaware that two SS guards are following his every move from the other side.
"Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto" is written by Richard Raskin and produced by Ellen Riis for Basmati Film with support from New Danish Screen. The film has traveled to a series of festivals, including Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, Palm Springs Shortfest, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and Hiroshima International Animation Festival.
Telluride Film Festival