While Danes rule EU they want to talk films too
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
06/12/2011 - When Denmark takes over the EU Presidency on January 1 for a six-month period, the Danish Film Institute (DFI) will launch a promotion campaign for Danish cinema in the EU countries, which aims to go behind the usual headlines of Lars von Trier's European Film Awards for Melancholia [trailer, film focus] and Susanne Bier's Best Foreign-Language Feature Oscar for In a Better World [trailer].
With newly elected European Film Promotion President and DFI Festival Manager Christian Juhl Lemche (pictured) in charge of the project, the institute has instigated four initiatives intended to entertain and engage both European audiences and film professionals.
At selected European film festivals, the institute will organise Danish Nights, retrospectives, showcases of and seminars on Danish cinema, other events - the schedule comprises the Göteborg Film Festival (Jan 27-Feb 6), the Berlinale (Feb 9-19), the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (March 9-18), the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival (Apr 5-17) and the Transylvania Film Festival in Cluj (June 1-10).
With the DFI, Copenhagen's two major film festivals, CPH:PIX and CPH:DOX, have set up special programmes for young European filmmakers. Unspooling between Apr 12-29 the Copenhagen International Film Festival offers networking sessions with Danish professionals to 20 film talents, while the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival will stage a cross-cultural workshop, DOX:LAB, for six directors to develop new films.
The institute will send a special Blu-ray edition of Danish Film - A Selection, 20 features, documentaries, kidpics and classics to Danish representations and cultural institutes in the EU, encouraging them to arrange screenings of Danish films with local partners. The disc includes such titles as Lars von Trier's Antichrist (2009) [trailer, film focus], Susanne Bier's Oscar-winning In a Better World and Janus Metz's documentary Armadillo (2010) [trailer, film focus].
Finally, several hundred Belgian schoolchildren will get the chance to make their own films when the institute's mobile film studio, Film-Y, parks its Morris Minor (equipped with back projection) in Brussels' Bozar between Feb 23-March 30. While acting, directing, shooting and editing, the young visitors have the opportunity of exploring the creative and technical processes of filmmaking.