Two Danish films to Berlin's Forum

BERLIN 2013. The Berlinale has invited two Danish films to the Forum section: Daniel Joseph Borgman's Danish-New Zealand feature "The Weight of Elephants" and Jacob Schulsinger and Nicolas Pereda's DOX:LAB production "Matar Extraños".

Berlin International Film Festival has already announced that Joahua Oppenheimer's documentary "The Act of Killing" is selected for the Panorama section. Now the festival has invited two Danish films to the Forum section: "The Weight of Elephants" by Daniel Joseph Borgman and "Matar Extraños" by Jacob Schulsinger and Nicolás Pereda.

Danish-New Zealand coming of age story

Daniel Joseph Borgman's feature debut "The Weight of Elephants" is shot on New Zealand's South Island with a Danish-New Zealand crew.

Three children in a neighbouring town go missing. For 11-year-old Adrian, who spends his days alone fantasizing about things that both attract and frighten him, the incident fuels his imagination. Adrian, who was abandoned by his parents at an early age and lives with his Gran and his psychologically damaged Uncle Rory in a quiet New Zealand town, sees his world rapidly changing. His best friend Clinton forsakes him for the cool boys at school, his uncle starts acting weirder than ever, and a mysterious family moves in across the street. Adrian finds a friend in his new neighbour of his age, Nicole, a wild, strange girl with a mysterious past.

The cast includes Demos Murphy as Adrian, Angelina Cottrell, Finn Holden, Matthew Sunderland and Catherine Wilkin.

Postproduction has been done in Denmark with, among others, editor Molly Malene Stensgaard and sound designer Kristian Eidnes Andersen onboard. The film is produced by Katja Adomeit for Zentropa with support from the Danish Film Institute, the New Zealand Film Commission and Film i Väst.

New Zealand-born Daniel Joseph Borgman is a graduate of the Danish alternative film school Super16. His short film "Lars and Peter" (2009) competed in Cannes' Short Film Competition, and "Berik" won the Grand Prix in Semaine de la Critique's short film section.

The Forum section has traditionally been the most exploratory section of the Berlin Festival and showcased avant garde and experimental films. "The Weight of Elephants" is also shown out of competition in the youth programme Generation as a Cross-Section film, which makes the film available for a younger audience.

Mexican-Danish DOX:LAB project

"Matar Extraños"

Danish Jacob Schulsinger and Mexican Nicolás Pereda's "Matar Extraños"/"Killing Strangers" is produced by DOX:LAB, a cross-cultural programme launched by the Danish festival CPH:DOX in 2009, where a European and a non-European filmmaker develop a film together.

Through a series of casting sessions, reconstructions and improvised scenes, "Matar Extraños" tells the story of three young men who in vain try to join the Mexican revolution in 1910 and get lost in the desert north of Mexico. On their journey, they face each other's fears, their unrealistic dreams and hopes and, not least, today's stereotypical depiction of Mexico's revolutionary past.

The cast includes Gabino Rodríguez, Esthel Vogrig, Tenoch Huerta and Harold Torres. The film is produced by Sandra Gomez, Maximiliano Cruz, Jacob Schulsinger and Nicolás Pereda for Secher & Schulsinger and Interior13 with support from the Filmworkshop at the Danish Film Institute.

Jacob Schulsinger graduated from the National Danish Film School as a film editor in 2009. He has edited Rúnar Rúnarsson's debut "Volcano" and Ruben Östlund's "Play". The documentary "Fini" (2010) was Schulsinger's directorial debut.

3 films selected

The Berlin Film Festival has previously announced that Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary "The Act of Killing" about the Indonesian genocide is selected for the Panorama section. Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, who plays the deranged King Christian in Denmark's Oscar contender "A Royal Affair", is one of the ten European Shooting Stars showcased during the festival.

Berlin International Film Festival (7-17 February 2013)