In the Limelight at Les Arcs

FESTIVAL. Europe's Sundance in the French Alps invites audiences to zoom in on Danish cinema with a 15-film programme of new titles and a crop of vintage Trier, Scherfig, Refn and Thomas Vinterberg, who is president of this year's jury.

Dedicated to the promotion of European cinema, the Film Festival at Les Arcs in the heart of the Alps launches its second edition 11-18 December with a special focus on Danish cinema.

From iconic Dogme to present feature debuts

A recurring ambition of the festival is to invite a European country in order to honour "the diversity of its filmmaking art".

This year, Les Arcs has selected 15 titles from Denmark – eleven feature-length films and four shorts, ranging from Jørgen Leth's 1967 classic "The Perfect Human" to Lars von Trier's "Breaking the Waves" and Thomas Vinterberg's iconic Dogme film "Festen". Among the new talents are Martin Pieter Zandvliet's "Applause" and Mikkel Munch-Fals' "Nothing's All Bad", not to mention Janus Metz' awardwinning "Armadillo", playing at Les Arcs only a few days before it opens nationwide in France on 15 December. See full list of Danish films

Thomas Vinterberg is presiding over the competition jury, and more than a dozen Danish filmmakers and actors will be joining him in the scenic ski resort.

Prison drama in competition

Les Arcs is host to a competition programme of 12 European talents, a selection signed by Frédéric Boyer, artistic director of Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. Danish Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm's "R" is in the run, a strikingly realistic prison drama that produced award trophies in Göteborg and Mumbai.

Along with the Crystal Arrow, the winning title will be honoured with a distribution grant, fulfilling one of the main objectives of the festival to make European films become more widely accessible.

"Melancholia" at the Coproduction Village

The Coproduction Village (11-14 December) invites filmmakers, producers, distributors and exhibitors to a four-day networking session. 20 European coproduction projects have been selected, including, from Denmark, Ole Christian Madsen's "Eik" by Nimbus Film and Jeppe Rønde's "The Quatraro Mystery" by Zentropa, both backed with grants from the Danish Film Institute. Also pitching is Film Forum, a collective of scriptwriter talents initiated by Miso Film who is seeking investors for the development and production of six feature films.

Film professionals are offered a closer look at Lars von Trier's upcoming "Melancholia", which is up for Danish release in May 2011. Zentropa's financing scheme for the film is the topic of a conference on 13 December, where producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen and the French coproducer Marianne Slot will be present.

Finally, a special focus in the debates taking place during the Coproduction Village is dedicated to the Scandinavian countries and their funding systems.

Les Arcs European Film Festival 11-18 December