With her Danish-Croatian co-production "Room 304" from 2011, director Birgitte Stærmose helped clear the path for an improved partnership between Denmark and Croatia in regards to film production. Recently, this partnership was manifested by Ole Christian Madsen's "Itsi Bitsi", also a co-production between the two countries that was largely shot in Croatia.
Zagreb Film Festival is screening no less than 11 Danish films this year. In cooperation with the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Danish Film Institute is behind an industry event focusing on co-productions. The royal couple was present at the opening of the Danish focus on 22 October where "Itsi Bitsi" and the short film "Seven Boats" were screened.
Two Danish films are in competition: Søren Balle's "The Sunfish" is part of the feature film competition programme, and Hlynur Pálmason's "Seven Boats" is part of the short film competition.
Denmark as Cinematic Role Model
There are several similarities between Croatia and Denmark, not least in terms of size, but there are certain fundamental differences as well, like finances, organisation and stability. As a relatively young film nation, Croatia has been looking towards Denmark as a source of inspiration for outlining a film agreement with the government and their film institute, according to Head of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Hrvoje Hribar.
Hribar elaborates: "The arrival of Her Majesty the Queen to the premiere of the film – made jointly by the Danes and Croats – is to us an incredible gift and a dreamlike touch of destiny closing Croatia's 20-year-long circle of struggles, efforts and hopes."
Danish Films at Zagreb Film Festival
"Itsi Bitsi" by Ole Christian Madsen
"Seven Boats" (short) by Hlynur Pálmason
"The Sunfish" by Søren Balle
"Helium" (short) by Anders Walter
"We Shall Overcome" by Niels Arden Oplev
"The Substitute" by Ole Bornedal
"Max the Movie" by Lotte Svendsen
"The Contest – to the Stars and Back" by Martin Miehe-Renard
"Palle Alone in the World" by Astrid Henning-Jensen
"The Ones You Love" (short) by Malou Reymann
"Jensen Lives Here" (short) by Martin Strange Hansen
Zagreb Film Festival / 19-26 October 2014