The San Sebastian Film Festival's New Directors competition, one of Europe's most prominent tributes to young film talents, will this year be showcasing fifteen fresh voices – including, from Denmark, Laurits Flensted-Jensen who will be world-premiering his debut feature 'Neon Heart' at the festival.
Screening young filmmakers' first or second works, New Directors is committed to making new names from Europe, Asia and Latin America better known to a broader audience. Its top award comes with a cash prize of €50,000 to be shared between the director and the distributor in Spain.
Ensemble drama from New Danish Screen
'Neon Heart' is a story about three people chasing life and each other.
Laura returns home to Denmark after a short-lived porn career in the US. Despite the videos of her that remain online, she tries to put the pieces of a normal existence back together. Niklas, Laura's ex, is a recovering addict who finds meaning in his new job taking care of two men with Down syndrome. As he develops newfound empathy for the pair, he begins to bend the rigid rules of his role leading him down a slippery slope. Frederik, Niklas' teenage brother, is out to gain respect as a hooligan, peer pressured into difficult situations and forced to negotiate the demands of masculine bravado. In glimpses and fragments of past and present, we follow Laura, Niklas and Frederik on a journey full of taboos and desires, in which connections are both made and torn apart.
The three main characters are played by Victoria Carmen Sonne, Niklas Herskind and Noah Skovgaard Skands. Sonne has made a name for herself appearing in acclaimed first features such as 'Winter Brothers' and 'Holiday.'
Director Laurits Flensted-Jensen, who also wrote the script for 'Neon Heart,' graduated as a documentary director from the National Film School of Denmark in 2013. He has directed the shorts 'Snow' (graduation film) and 'Melon Rainbow' (2015), the latter selected for SXSW in Austin. Both 'Snow' and 'Melon Rainbow' were selected for Rotterdam Film Festival.
'Neon Heart' is produced by Julie Friis Walenciak for Walenciak Film with funding support from the Danish Film Institute's New Danish Screen talent programme.
In addition to the top Kutxabank-New Directors Award, the fifteen films in the section will also compete for the Youth Award, to be decided by a jury of 300 students aged 18 to 25. The San Sebastian Film Festival 2018 runs 21-29 September. See more at sansebastianfestival.com.
Nominated for new talent award at CPH PIX
Following San Sebastian, 'Neon Heart' will be running for the inaugural Politiken Talent Prize at CPH PIX. The award is given to one of six new Danish-produced feature film debuts. The other five nominees are 'Lifeboat' by Josefine Kirkeskov, 'Cutterhead' by Rasmus Kloster Bro, 'Christian IV' by Kasper Kalle, 'Sticks and Stones' by Martin Skovbjerg and 'Holiday' by Isabella Eklöf.
The 10th edition of CPH PIX, Denmark’s largest annual feature film festival, takes place in Copenhagen from 27 September to 10 October. See more at cphpix.dk.