Danish cinema is one of the most acclaimed cinemas in the world today. The films by Susanne Bier, Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Nicolas Winding Refn and Niels Arden Oplev are among the most distinctive Danish export products. Every bit as good as them are brilliant Danish children’s films and TV series. The main and side programmes of the 12th Zagreb Film Festival include as many as 15 Danish films and several events within this year’s Industry programme have been organized in order to enable exchange of ideas and experience between Croatian and Danish filmmakers. In our Danes Go South programme, the crew of the Danish-Croatian film Itsi-Bitsi will share the experience they had on Croatian locations. Also, the acclaimed Danish documentary filmmaker Jørgen Leth is coming to Zagreb.
It is an exceptional honor to announce that Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark will be joining us to greet the screening of Danish films and exchange of ideas with Danish film professionals. They will visit ZFF as part of their official visit to the Republic of Croatia. Danish Royal Couple will enhance the screening of the film Itsi-Bitsi by Danish filmmaker Ole Christian Madsen, taking place in Cinema Europa on Wednesday, 22 October.
The Industry programme Danes Go South includes Case study: the Making of Itsi-Bitsi in Croatia and the seminar Film Funds in Denmark and Croatia. The feature-length film Itsi-Bitsi is a biopic about Eik Skaløe, a prominent Danish activist, poet and musician. It comes to Croatia after its world premiere in Toronto. This Danish-Croatian co-production was almost entirely shot on location in Croatia. Director Ole Christian Madsen, producer Lars Bredo Rahbek and co-producer Igor A. Nola will be discussing the strengths and challenges that film professionals face in such type of co-operations.
The participants of the seminar Film Funds in Denmark and Croatia will be exploring the functioning of such funds in Denmark and Croatia in order to strengthen the co-operation between two countries. The participants will include Director of Copenhagen-based Film Fund Thomas Gammeltoft, Filmby Århus Fund Director Carsten Holst, producer Tivi Magnusson and Director of Croatian Audiovisual Center Hrvoje Hribar.
Danish filmmaker, poet and sports commentator Jørgen Leth will hold a masterclass on the interrelation between poetry, filmmaking and sports, also as part of our Industry programme. Leth is one of the leading figures of Danish and world documentary film. Since 1960s he has made more than thirty films: from portrayals of various artists to impressionist, poetical depictions of life in China, Haiti and US to documenting of sporting events. He is best known by his 1967 experimental documentary film The Perfect Human. The said film was used as the starting point of the famous experimental film Five Obstructions (2003), co-directed by Leith and Lars von Trier.
This year’s Best Short Film Oscar winner will also be shown in the main programme outside competition programme. It is the Danish film Helium, a moving story about the relationship between a dying boy and his nursing attendant. It takes us to Helium, a magic world of deep sleep where happiness reigns. Producers Tivi Magnusson and Kim Magnusson will accompany the director Anders Walter Hansen as festival guests.
As Denmark’s national agency for film and cinema culture, Danish Film Institute invests as much as one-fourth of its overall funds to production of children’s films. As adaptations of children’s literature hits are particularly stimulated, the Danes boast an excellent offer for the youngest film lovers. The entire this year’s ZFF children’s programme is dedicated to Danish children’s films. Our Bib for Kids programme (in Cinema Europa and Museum of Contemporary Art) presents nine Danish films. We can single out here the famous children’s 1949 classic Pale Alone In The World (directed by Astrid Henning-Jensen), Max Pinling (by Lotte Svendssen), whose protagonist has been dubbed ‘Danish child version of Woody Allen’, and The Substitute, a children’s film with elements of horror, directed by Ole Bornedal and starring Paprika Steen.
The above mentioned programmes have been realized in co-operation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark, Danish Film Institute, Croatian Audiovisual Center, Danish Ministry of Culture and Danish Foreign Ministry.