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CPH PIX kicks off with Northwest; Munk wins Nordisk prize

Copenhagen festival will screen 160 features.

Danish director Michael Noer’s award-winning gangster movie, Northwest (Nordvest), was last night (Apr 10) the first local feature to open the CPH PIX Copenhagen International Film Festival, which runs through Apr 24. Noer’s latest work will also participate in the festival’s New Talent Grand PIX competition for €15,000 with another nine first films.

At the gala opening in Copenhagen’s Imperial Theatre, Noer presented fellow Danish director Kaspar Munk with the Nordisk Film Prize – DKK 1,000 x 107 (the age of Nordisk) = DKK 107,000 (€18,600) – also targeting upcoming filmmakers. Noer received the prize three years ago with Tobias Lindholm, with whom he made the prison drama, R; Munk most recently directed You and Me Forever, which the Danish Film Academy awarded Roberts for Best Film for Children and Young Audiences and Best Actress (Frederikke Dahl Hansen).

CPH PIX, which last year reached 40,200 admissions, will unspool 160 features at 400 performances in eight Copenhagen cinemas, adding special events, such as an open air screening of American director Garry Marshall’s Pretty Women in Copenhagen’s red light district; Dutch director Richard Raaphort’s horror flick, Frankenstein’s Army, presented in a military bunker; and a series of festival cinematic concerts, including by Australian group JG Thirwell-Manorexia, at Copenhagen’s Marble Church on April 25.

Austrian director Ulrich Seidl will be in Copenhagen to introduce his Paradise trilogy – Hope, Faith, Love (Hoffnung, Glaube, Liebe), and Dutch director-producer George Sluizer will discuss three of films in the 3x3 series: The Vanishing (Spoorloos), Utz and Dark Blood.

Among the visiting filmmakers with entries in the New Talent Grand PIX – besides Northwest’s Noer -  competition are Canadian director Frédérick Pelletier (Diego Star); Kasach director Leonardo Brzezicki (Night); Italian director Leodarno di Costanzo (The Interval); Spanish director Neus Ballús (The Plague); Swiss director Ramon Zürcher (The Strange Little Cat); Israeli director Tom Shoval (Youth); French director Syephane Cazes (Ombline); New Zealand-Danish Daniel Joseph Borgman (The Weight of Elephants).

Although grounded by the regime, Iranian director Jafar Panahi most recently managed to made Closed Curtain, which won for Best Original Screenplay at the recent Berlinale; the film is on show in the festival’s Iran Behind the Façade section, which with Spotlight: the Middle East updates the cinema situation in the region.

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