From unruly parents, to drug dealing loners, some new Danish horrors to a new Eskil Vogt screenplay – here are ten Danish films you need on your watchlist for 2023!
Copenhagen Does Not Exist
Director: Martin Skovbjerg
Our top pick is Martin Skovbjerg’s second feature, which is a haunting mystery that will linger in your thoughts long after you have seen it. This is largely thanks to the two lead performances, with Angela Bundalovic and debut star Jonas Holst Schmidt, not to mention a screenplay by the brilliant Eskil Vogt.
The film had its premiere in Denmark this week and has been met with rave reviews. We are already huge fans and hope this gets a wider international audience over the course of the year. Watch this space for a future interview with the film’s director, but before that you can read our interview with the films two leads here!
Fathers and Mothers
Director: Paprika Steen
Fathers and Mothers has a huge cast that includes the likes of Amanda Collins, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Jacob Lohmann, Lars Brygmann, Rasmus Bjerg, and Katrine Greis-Rosenthal, and director Paprika Steen clearly has a lot of fun with them all in this comedy drama.
Her film follows a group of parents of young kids at a particular school, who head off on summer camp with their kids. While letting off some steam from the pressures of parenthood, drama ensues and we’re left wondering who are the kids and who are the adults here!
The Cake Dynasty
Director: Christian Lollike
This one looks like so much fun! A wicked comedy about baker Niels Agger who is frustrated by life as his cake factory faces financial ruin.
After he fails miserably, even to commit suicide, his wife tries to modernise the factory with the help of her daughter and her blasé boyfriend. Neils is not enthusaistic, and takes a shine to the new cleaning lady who introduces him to her Arabic pastries and might just save his factory – and more.
Director Christian Lollike creates an original comedy that examines such themes as family constructs, health mania and culture clash.
Director: Marianne Blicher
Already an award-winning film after picking up the best comedy/drama at Denmark’s prestigious Robert Awards, Marianne Blicher’s Miss Viborg is certainly one that should be high on your watchlist.
Look out for a stunning peformance from its lead Ragnhild Kaasgaard, who plays Solvej, an obese loner living off benefits in Viborg who strikes up an unlikely friendship with her neighbour, a feisty 17 year old. We follow them on a journey which will make you laugh and cry as well as being pretty quirky in places too.
The film will be showing at Glasgow Film Festival next month so those attending be sure to add it to you watchlist.
The Great Silence
Director: Katrine Brocks
Let’s get one thing straight, you can’t ignore a film that has Elliott Crosset Hove (Godland) and Kristine Kujath Thorp (Ninjababy and Sick of Myself) in it. These are two stars in the making who you will get to see later this year and here they are together in Katrine Brocks The Great Silence.
Alma (Kristine Kujath Thorp) is about to take her perptual vows at a convent when her estranged brother (Elliott Crosset Hove) appears unearthing a web of family secrets. We can’t wait to see how this unfolds!
Director: Karoline Lyngbye
Marie Bach Hansen (White Sands) and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (Borgen) star in this psychological drama as a pair of creatives who decide to put their urban city life behind them and move into the countryside with their young son. Here they plan to work through their relationship and document the recovery with an ongoing podcast series – but things take a strange turn when their son goes missing and comes back scared of the pair of them.
This is one of those films where you want to go in for the ride without seeing the trailer or knowing too much – we can’t wait to catch it!
Director: Gabriel Bier Gislason
We saw Attachment at London Film Festival last year and were huge fans. We are also delighted to share with you that the film is now accessible over on horror streamer Shudder (where you can also discover Speak No Evil – if you dare to).
More chilling than a gorefest, with a blend of comedy, and even romance – it is a mix that works so well thanks to the film’s stars, Denmark’s Josephine Park,Sofie Gråbøl, David Dencik, and then English actress Ellie Kendrick.
Gabriel Bier Gislason’s direction sucks you into this story about a couple who fall in love but end up in an awkward situation when one of them has a seizure and needs to be looked after. With an overbearing mother, who lives next door, and strange things happening, is everything as it seems?
Intrigued? Why not read this fantastic review from Emma Flint over at Film Hounds.
Director: Malou Reymann
Unruly has already had a great start to the year by winning the Dragon Award at Gothenburg Film Festival last month.
The film follows Maren, whom is sent away to a women’s institution for fear her unruly behaviour might incite others. The institution is found on the small island of Sprogø and it is here where she will learn how to behave like a proper woman. She shares her room with Sorine who has already been part of the programme and takes Maren under her wing. Only Maren is not prepared to change which leads to awful consequences for the pair of them.
The story is inspired by true events that happened at the women’s instituation back in the 1930s and stars Emilie Kroyer Koppel, Jessica Dinnage, Lene Maria Christensen, Anders Heinrichsen, and Danica Curcic.
Director: Frelle Petersen
This one has tear-jerker written all over it as we follow Lily after she loses her brother. Together with her parents, who are also recovering from losing their son, the trio try to find navigate their way through life and help bring the family back together.
The film is written and directed by Frelle Petersen and has had its local release in Denmark, and we hope to see the film get an international release this year.
Director: Frederikke Aspock
The movie is set on Saint Croix, the Danish west Indian islands, and the year is 1848. Two women are close friends and both women of color, but with very different lives.
Anna is a free woman and owner of the Petrine, a slave. Anna is living with the general governor Peter von Scholten at their country house, where she runs the house, the economy, and the beloved and trusted housekeeper Petrine. Everything is as it’s supposed to be, until the rumor about a revolt begins to spread, which threatens to tear the friends apart.
The feature film celebrated its world premiere in the Nordic Competition at Göteborgborg Film Festival at the end of January.
It’s only February and we’ve already got 10 incredible Danish films on our watchlist! We’ll keep you updated on any others we add to the list – let us know which ones you’re most excited to see.