The Great International Bear

ON THE MAP. "The Great Bear" basks in international success. Esben Toft Jacobsen's animated feature is in high demand at festivals and has recently opened in France to fine reviews.

Esben Toft Jacobsen's animation feature "The Great Bear", about two siblings who stray into an enchanted forest and come face to face with a giant bear, has been in high demand in 2011. In fact the film is the most sougth-after Danish children's film on the festival circuit this year.

In February, the film received its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it competed for the Crystal Bear in the Generation Kplus section. Since then, it has been selected for more than 30 festivals worldwide, including in Buenos Aires where it won the Audience Prize and Jury Award, as well as in Sitges, London, Amsterdam and most recently Chicago, taking home the Adult Jury Prize for animated feature films. This month, the film is travelling to festivals in Madrid, Mumbai and Tallinn. 

Read interview with director Esben Toft Jacobsen in FILM#71

A hint of Miyazaki

On 19 October the film opened in France, where "L'Ours Montagne" met with a warm reception from the French critics.

Le Monde called it "a touching film" with an "original story infused with a lyrical quality" and invokes the aesthetics of Miyazaki.

"Vivid and warm" and "well worth seeing", writes the magazine Positif, while the reviewer of another film magazine, Studio Ciné Live, notes that "the director portrays with great credibility the cruelty that can exist in the relationship between brother and sister." Watch the French trailer below.

"The Great Bear" has been sold to numerous countries, including Norway, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Iran, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil.

The film is co-scripted by the director and Jannik Tai Mosholt, and Petter Lindblad has produced for Copenhagen Bombay. The Danish Film Institute has granted production support.

Watch trailer