Debut film Shorta selected for Venice Film Critics' Week

VENICE. Danish action drama 'Shorta' by debuting director duo Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid will be world premiering in the Venice Film Festival's Critics' Week celebrating emerging talents. The sidebar runs parallel to the festival's official competition starting on 2 September.

The committee behind Venice's Settimana Internazionale della Critica, showing only directors' first films, has selected Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid's 'Shorta' to be one of seven films in competition in the Venice Film Festival sidebar.

The Venice International Film Critics' Week is, like the Cannes Festival's Semaine de la Critique, an independent programme focusing on new talent and cinematic trends, organised by the Italian film critics.

In addition to the sidebar's own awards, 'Shorta' is also eligible for the 'Luigi De Laurentiis' Award for a Debut Film, selected among all first features in the various competitive sections across the Venice Film Festival.

Previous Danish films selected for Venice's Film Critics' Week are Marie Grahtø's 'Psychosia', running in last year's competition, and Annika Berg's 'Team Hurricane' which took home a prize in 2017.

The action drama 'Shorta' follows the two police officers Jens and Mike on a routine patrol in the Svalegaarden ghetto, when the news of Talib's death comes in over the radio. The exact details of what took place while 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi was in police custody remain unclear. The news ignites uncontrollable, pent-up rage among the ghetto’s youth, who lust for revenge. Suddenly, the two officers find themselves fair game and must fight tooth and claw to find a way out.

Jacob Hauberg Lohmann ('Out of Tune', 'That Time of Year') and Simon Sears ('Winter Brothers') play the two police officer, while the film also features the young debuting talent Tarek Zayat. The cast includes Özlem Saglanmak, Dulfi Al-Jabouri, Arian Kashef, Issa Khattab and Abdelmalik Dhaflaoui.

'Shorta' is both directed and written by Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid, who are making their debut as feature film directors.

The film is produced by Morten Kaufmann and Signe Leick Jensen for Toolbox Film with support from the Danish Film Institute, Creative Europe and DR. International sales are handled by Paris-based Charades. The domestic premiere is set for 8 October.

See more about Venice International Film Critics' Week, running 2-12 September, at


Annemarie Hørsman
Communication Officer
Danish Film Institute