Slave trade and a young Danish visionary in the 1830s take centre stage in "Gold Coast," Daniel Dencik's feature fiction film debut selected for competition at the 50th Karlovy Vary Film Festival, running 3-11 July. The film will be enjoying its international premiere at the festival.
Selected for the Another View sidebar is Jeppe Rønde's "Bridgend," winner of three awards at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. Read our interview with the director where he talks about his film, based on a real-life wave of teen suicides in Bridgend County, South Wales: United in Death
Third Time in Competition
Entering competition at Karlovy Vary for the third year running, Dencik in 2014 showcased his artist portrait, "Tal R: The Virgin," and in 2013 "Moon Rider," following a young man struggling to become a professional cyclist. Also in 2013, Dencik's "Expedition to the End of the World," chronicling a sea voyage to North East Greenland, was part of the non-competitive programme.
"Gold Coast" covers one of the darkest chapters in Danish history, namely Denmark's role in the transatlantic slave trade. In 1836, Danish botanist and visionary, Wulff Frederik Wulff, travels to Africa following orders from the king of Denmark. He is to monitor the work at a coffee plantation on the Gold Coast (now Ghana). The young Wulff writes about his desire to do good to his beloved Eleonora, but his best intentions are soon confronted with harsh realities.
Daniel Dencik has written the script which is partly based on Wulff's own letters and diary entries.
RISING TALENTS. Jakob Oftebro and Danica Curcic, two actors making their presence felt in Scandinavian cinema right now, take the roles as Wulff and the young missionary Caroline, respectively, in "Gold Coast." Photo: Michael Haslund-Christensen
"My ambition has been to give the film a timeless, universal expression, to create a dreamy, euphoric work which is at eye level with the young characters who in such great haste are forced to leave their youth behind them," says the director.
The film features quickly rising talents Jakob Oftebro as Wulff and Danica Curcic as a young missionary. Martin Munch is behind the camera, and David Lynch composer Angelo Badalamenti ("Twin Peaks," "Blue Velvet," Mulholland Drive") has written the score to the film.
Michael Haslund-Christensen is producing for Haslund/Dencik Entertainment. The Danish team has been working closely on the film with local Ghanian partners for the past two years. An international sales agent is yet to be announced.
"Gold Coast," set for Danish release on 2 July, has received funding support from the Danish Film Institute.