What's next in Danish cinema

UPCOMING. A black comedy by Ole Bornedal, a political thriller by Per Fly, and Danica Curcic as a ballerina. See what's in the pipeline for Danish film in 2017.

After his much-debated high profile historic TV drama "1864," Ole Bornedal returns to feature filmmaking and comedy with "Small Town Killers". The black comedy stars Ulrich Thomsen and Nicolas Bro as two tradesmen who hire a Russian contract killer to do off their wives, but end up being the targets. Produced by Miso Film, opening on 12 January.

"Small Time Killers." Photo: Per Arnesen

Fenar Ahmad is ready with his second feature, the revenge drama "Darkland." The film stars Dar Salim ("Exodus", "Game of Thrones", "Borgen") as Zaid, a successful surgeon who embarks on a mission to avenge his brother's death. The cast also features Stine Fischer Christensen ("After the Wedding"), Roland Møller ("Land of Mine") and Dulfi Al-Jabouri ("A War"). The film is produced by Profile Pictures, one of Denmark's meteoric young production companies which focuses on first-time or emerging filmmakers. Opens on 19 January.

"Darkland". Photo: Kasper Tuxen

Esben Smed, turning up in Danish homes every Sunday night as the small time crook Nicky in DR's ensemble drama "Follow the Money" this fall and having earned recognition as national football hero John "Faxe" Jensen in last year's comedy "Summer of '92," is now debuting as a leading man in Jacob Bitch's second feature "Amina's Letters." In the adaptation of a novel by Jonas T. Bengttson, Smed plays Janus, who becomes obsessed by tracking down his old friend Amina after his release from a psychiatric hospital. The cast also include Lisa Carlehed, Omar Shargawi, Siir Tilif and Sarah-Sofie Boussnina. Produced by Toolbox Film, opening on 23 February.

"Amina's Letters." Photo: Christian Geisnæs

After building a solid international TV career, directing episodes of "Homeland," "The Americans," "White Collar," "The Strain" and "Queen of the South" in addition to Danish TV series "Unit One," "Better Times," "The Killing" and "The Bridge, Charlotte Sieling returns to Danish cinema with her second feature, "Mesteren." A father-son drama set at the Danish art scene, the film stars Søren Malling and Jakob Oftebro. Produced by Nimbus Film, opening on 2 March.



"Klown" duo Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam are playing the leads in their new film, "DAN-DREAM," a comedy about the phenomenon of the "Jante Law," a negative term used in the Scandinavian countries to describe a pattern of group behaviour where individual success, placing you outside the collective norm, is frowned upon. Jesper Rofelt is debuting as feature director. Produced by Nutmeg Movies, opening on 30 March.


"DAN-DREAM." Photo: Joachim Ladefoged

Following unanimous critical acclaim for his feature debut "The Art of Crying" (2007), Peter Schønau Fog is ready with his second feature, the psychological drama, "You Disappear," based on Christian Jungersen's bestseller novel about the power and frailties of the human brain. Nikolaj Lie Kaas stars as a charismatic headmaster arrested for embezzlement as a result, it turns out, of a change of personality caused by a brain tumour. Trine Dyrholm plays his wife, and Mikael Nyqvist his lawyer. Produced by Zentropa, opening on 20 April.

"You Dissapear." Photo: Martin Dam Kristensen

Two of Denmark's most internationally renowned actors, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen ("Borgen," "Game of Thrones," "Vinyl") and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ("Game of Thrones,") star in the thriller "3 Things," referring to the three things Mikael, the prime suspect of a big money deposit robbery and an expert on explosives, demands from the police in a witness protection deal: That his former girlfriend is brought to him, that the police bring the contents of a box he has stored, and that he is served butter chicken from his favourite restaurant. First-time feature director Jens Dahl co-wrote Nicolas Winding-Refn's "Pusher" and a number of features and TV shows. The cast also includes Jacob Lohmann and Lærke Winther. Produced by Profile Pictures, opening on 18 May.

"3 Things."

Following a string of acclaimed documentaries such as "Max by Chance" (2004), "Blue Collar White Christmas" (2004), "Dreams in Copenhagen" (2009) and most recently 'Amateur in Space," Max Kestner is making his first feature fiction debut with "Man Divided," a thriller set in a future world threatened by a disastrous flooding. Carsten Bjørnlund, who has received much acclaim for his role in the family drama series "The Lecacy," plays the lead as a Head of Intelligence in the year 2095 who travels back to 2015 on a secret mission to save the world from an ecological disaster. He is joined by Swedish actress Sofia Helin ("The Bridge"), Marijana Jankovic ("Beast"), and Stina Ekblad ("The Shamer's Daughter"). Produced by SF Film Production, opening on 3 August.

"Man Divided." Photo: Christian Geisnæs

Ben Kingsley, Theo James and Jacqueline Bisset star in Per Fly's international political thriller "Backstabbing for Beginners," the director's biggest production to date and the first production from the artist-led production company Creative Alliance. Based on the memoir by former UN whistleblower Michael Soussan, "Backstabbing for Beginners – My Crash Course in International Diplomacy," the film follows the young and idealistic Michael as he lands his dream job at the United Nations and quickly finds himself at the centre of the Oil for Food programme – only to learn that the programme is deeply corrupt. Produced by Creative Alliance, expected release on 7 September.

Per Fly. Photo: Per Morten Abrahamsen

First-time director Milad Alami recently wrapped principal photography on "The Charmer," a drama about an outsider under tremendous psychological strain. Time in Denmark is running out for Iranian Esmail. Desperately trying to find a Danish girlfriend who will help his cause, he unexpectedly falls in love with a young student of Persian origin. The cast is a mix of Iranian and Danish familiar and fresh faces. Ardalan Esmaili plays the lead and is supported by Soho Rezanejad, Lars Brygmann and Susan Taslimi. Produced by Good Company Films, opening some time in 2017.

"The Charmer." Framegrab

Danica Curcic, one of Denmark's fastest rising actresses, stars in the titular role in Birgitte Stærmose's second feature, "Darling," about a world famous ballerina returning to Copenhagen after several years abroad with her husband, a choreographer. The film also features Gustaf Skarsgård, Ulrich Thomsen, ballerina Astrid Grarup Elbo and Solbjørg Højfeldt. Produced by Zentropa, release date TBA.

"Darling." Photo: Marek Septimus Wieser

Recent film school graduate Annika Berg has teamed up with producerKatja Adomeit for the teen punk drama "Forever 13". The film follows eight friends who hang out in a youth club and identify as punk chicks – with capital PUNK. Produced by Adomeit Film, release date TBA.

"Forever 13." Photo: Louise McLauglin

Katja Adomeit is also the producer of Daniel Borgman's (The Weight of Elephants) second feature, "Loving Pia." An experimental work of fiction, the film is developed from the life of – and starring – a real woman, Pia, who is intellectually disabled and lives with her mother. Produced by Adomeit Film, release date TBA.

"Loving Pia."

Hlynur Pálmason's feature debut "Winter Brothers" is a brother odyssey set in a workers environment during a cold winter. We follow two brothers, their routines, habits, rituals and a violent feud that erupts between them and another family. The Danish/Icelandic co-production features Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears, Peter Plaugborg and Michael Brostrup. Produced by Masterplan Pictures and co-produced by Join Motion Pictures, release date TBA.

"Winter Brothers"