Danish Embassy stages first ever film festival in Manila
After enjoying stints at the collective Cine Europa, which is the film festival of EU member nations in the Philippines, the Embassy of Denmark hosted over the weekend its debut film festival at the Shangri-la Plaza in Mandaluyong City.
The first Danish Film Festival saw 14 films with themes ranging from family, to drama, to romance. The movies are also a good mix of award-winning classics—1988 Best Foreign Film Academy Award winner Babette’s Feast and 1990 Best Foreign Film Academy Award winner Waltzing Regitze—and new favorites—2012’s A Royal Affair and 2013’s The Hunt, among others.
“This week, we are serving a rich buffet of Danish quality films,” Jan Top Christensen, Danish Ambassador to the Philippines, proudly told guests of Danish Film Festival opening. “Denmark has a unique film-making tradition. Danish movies are well known internationally in spite of the fact that most Danish films are shot in Danish language, a strange language only spoken by some 5.6 million people in remote corner of Northern Europe,” Christensen added.
He continued, “Danish film history covers it all; from silent films to the talkies, from escapism to social realism, from family comedies to the so-called Dogme films, from mainstream to avant-garde, from action flicks to documentaries, as well as a wealth of excellent films for children and youth.”
The film festival is one of the first projects of the embassy in the Philippines, which reopened its local doors on January, after 12 years of absence.
“We’ve been seeing many embassies and country representations doing festivals of their own. We don’t want to be left out,” Louie Angelo Cruz, Cultural Affairs Officer admitted when asked why they staged the festival. “It’s something for us to share to the public—the Danish lifestyle, the culture of Vikings, their food, and the way families are.”
Further affirming how rich Danish film industry is, Cruz shared, “I can tell you, there’s a film school in Denmark where they accept less than ten number of students—Denmark is really focused on film and they really train their students to be good directors, producers, and actors at specialized institutions.”
On a final note, Christensen told The Manila Times, “We are very much looking forward to engage with the Philippine public, this is just the start. I hope next year, we can put together programs specifically targeting children and youth.”