The Embassy of Denmark in the Philippines, in partnership with Shangri-La Plaza and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, recently kicked off the 3rd Danish Film Festival with the screening of "The Sunfish" (Klumpfisken, 2014) at Shang Cineplex Cinema 4.
Søren Balle's debut film follows the story of Kesse (Henrik Birch), a third-generation fisherman living in the small town of Hirtshals at the top of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. With new fishery policies and the global financial crisis pressuring local fishermen, he turns to notorious and alternative ways of making ends meet. This leads him to meet female marine biologist Gerd (Susanne Storm), his polar opposite.
Aside from the opening film, ten other films featuring the richness of Denmark's cinema will be screened for free from October 19 to 22 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Susanne Bier's "After the Wedding" (Efter Brylluppet, 2006) stars critically acclaimed actor Mads Mikkelsen as Jacob Peterson, a manager of an orphanage for homeless children in India who is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.
Similarly, the award-winning psychological drama “White Night” (Hvid Nat, 2007), directed by Jannik Johansen, also forces its protagonist to deal with his past when a workaholic’s life takes on a downward spiral following an accidental death in a bar-room brawl. As the guilt of the unscrupulous real estate agent Ulrich Nymann (Lars Brygmann) grows, his life slowly crumbles around him. Next, an unpleasant event from his past rears its unforgiving head.
Acclaimed Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's new film “The Commune” (Kollektivet, 2016) is a period drama about the clash between personal desires against solidarity and tolerance with communal living in 1970s Copenhagen. Anna (Trine Dyrholm), a local television newsreader, and her husband, Erik (Ulrich Thomsen), who teaches architecture at a university, have a 14-year-old daughter, Freja (Martha Sofie Wallstrom Hansen). When Erik's father passes away, Anna suggests that they turn the huge house where Erik grew up into a Danish commune as it is too expensive for them to occupy on their own.
“Long Story Short” (Lang Historie Kort, 2015), directed by May El-Toukhy, follows a group of friends approaching mid-life as they struggle to redefine the perfect relationship and find true love. The dramedy, which tells the story of their ups and downs over three years, is an ensemble film about love in which most of us will recognize some aspects of our own lives.
Young viewers will also be entertained by Frederik Meldal Nørgaard's “Going to School” (Villads Fra Valby, 2015) and Tilde Harkamp's “Iqbal Farooq and the Secret Recipe” (Iqbal & Den Hemmelige Opskrift, 2015). The former is based on the books by Anne Sofie Hammer where the six-year-old Villads often runs into trouble with the rules of the grown-ups around him while the latter tells the story of an imaginative 13-year-old boy who ends up creating a potent explosive that two crooks, Easelman and The Swine, begin to hunt down.
Michael Noer's “Key House Mirror” (Nøgle Hus Spejl, 2015) tells the story of Lily and Max, a couple who have been married for over 50 years and now live together in a nursing home, where Max has been reliant on professional care since his stroke. Lily, who has been putting her own needs aside and is desperately longing for intimacy and excitement in her life, decides to fight to escape the bars of her invisible prison and claim her freedom.
Noer also directed “Northwest” (Nordvest, 2013), which follows the 18-year-old Caspar as he struggles to provide for his family by stealing for the local gang in the suburbs of Copenhagen. He wants to reach the top, no matter what. He carries out small-time break-ins for Jamal, before moving on to work for big player Björn. All goes well, until Jamal's gang decide they want revenge.
In the Danish martial arts film “Fighter” (Fightgirl Ayse, 2007), directed by Natasha Arthy, high school student Aicha doesn’t want to enter medical school like her brother Ali, as her Turkish parents expect her to. Instead, her passion for kung fu leads her to secretly start training at a professional, co-ed kung fu club. A boy, Emil, helps Aicha train for the club championship and they fall in love. But the rules of life are not as simple as the rules of kung fu, and she is forced to decide who she is and what she wants.
Anders Morgenthaler's “Echo” (Ekko, 2007) follows a divorced police officer Simon, who has recently lost custody of his six-year-old son. In a desperate move, he takes his son into hiding in a remote and empty cottage to spend one last holiday alone together. But his plan to spend the last holiday with his son soon turns into a nightmare.
The selection and screening of films for the 3rd Danish Film Festival are made possible by The Danish Film Institute, TrustNordisk, Shang Cineplex and the FDCP through their Film Cultural Exchange Program. For inquiries, call 370-2500 loc. 597 or visit www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage.