Janus Metz returns to Toronto

FESTIVAL. Janus Metz and Sine Plambech's documentary 'Heartbound,' following a group of Thai women and their Danish husbands in a windswept corner of Denmark, will be world-premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Janus Metz, who helmed last year's opening film 'Borg vs McEnroe' at Toronto, now returns to the 2018 edition with his and Sine Plambech's documentary 'Heartbound.' The film will be making its world premiere in TIFF Docs, the section dedicated to non-fiction cinema from around the world.  

Thai-Danish couples filmed over ten years

'Heartbound,' filmed over a period of ten years and three generations, is a continuation of Metz and Plambech's collaboration on their awardwinning films from 2008, 'Love on Delivery' and 'Ticket to Paradise,' telling the story of globalization within the intimacy of a series of marriages between Thai women and Danish men.

Sommai, a former sex worker from Pattaya, lives in a windswept part of Denmark's Northern Jutland. She arrived 25 years ago to marry Niels. Ever since, she has helped women from her village in Thailand marry Danish men. One of these women is Sommai's niece, Kae. Sommai and Niels place a personal ad in the newspaper, and soon a suitor comes forward. Another young woman, Saeng, is also trying to find a Danish man, but Sommai can't help her, and instead she must provide for her son by working in the sex bars in Pattaya.

Ten years later, we meet them all again and witness the consequences their choices have had for themselves, their children and the two small communities from each side of the globe.

Experienced trio behind the film

Janus Metz, who last directed the biopic 'Borg vs McEnroe' (2017) opening at Toronto, stepped into international limelight with his documentary from Afghanistan, 'Armadillo' (2010), which won numerous accolades, including the Grand Prix at Cannes' Semaine de la Critique. Metz directed an episode of the HBO series 'True Detective' (2015) and is currently working on the production of the eight-part show 'Zero Zero Zero' for Amazon Studios.

Director and anthropologist Sine Plambech is senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and Adjunct Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York. Her research and field work over many years has brought her close to migrant communities in Thailand, Nigeria, Italy and Denmark.

Magic Hour Films has produced through Lise Lense-Møller, who is renowned for documentaries such as Anders Østergaard's Oscar-nominated 'Burma VJ' (2008), Michael Madsen's 'Into Eternity' (2010) and, most recently, Lise Birk Pedersen's 'Tutti a Casa – Power to the People?' (2017).

More about 'Heartbound'

'Heartbound' is a co-production between Magic Hour Films, Metz Film and Upfront Films from Denmark, Vilda Bomben Film and Film i Väst from Sweden and Baldr Film from Holland. 

Funders include the Danish Film Institute, DR, the Swedish Film Institute, Netherlands Film Fund, Nordisk Film & TV Fond and Eurimages. Autlook Filmsales is handling international rights. The Danish premiere is set for 20 September. 

The Toronto Film Festival will be announcing more films for this year's programme over the coming weeks. The festival runs 6-16 September. See more at tiff.net.

Watch trailer