Only 12 out of 782 documentaries got through one of the world's most critical selection committees at Sundance. The festival is known for selecting talented, entertaining and "independent" films, and "The Red Chapel" has, evidently, fulfilled all criteria.
Disguised as communists
Together with two Danish-Korean comedians and a television crew, journalist Mads Brügger travelled around North Korea for three weeks. It is extraordinarily difficult to get permission to film in the country where censorship prevails, and therefore the Danish group's official story was that they had a theater troupe in cultural exchange. However, the agenda was another, namely to take a closer look at the dictatorial regime. With a blend of black humor and dead earnest, Mads Brügger & Co. try to find the truth about North Korea.
The story of the three men's journey was shown as a television serial on the Danish channel DR2 in 2006, and has subsequently been cut into an 87 minutes documentary in collaboration with Zentropa Rambuk.
Award winner in September
In September, "The Red Chapel" won the award "Best Nordic Documentary" at the Nordisk Panorama festival in Reykjavik and participated in November at the world's largest documentary festival IDFA in Amsterdam. Now the film has the opportunity to win another prize when it participates in the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, 21-31 January 2010.