Nordisk Film Prize goes to Anders Frithiof August.

Copenhagen’s largest cinema, the Imperial, hosted the opening of the third CPH PIX - the Copenhagen International Film Festival – last night with Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as friends on a culinary road trip.

The rest of the 18-day programme (which runs until May 1) includes more than 160 new films, for a total of 400 screenings and events. They will not only unspool in the capital’s traditional theatres, as festival director Jacob Neiiendam has also selected some unusual venues for his functions.

The Blair Witch Project will unspool in the middle of a forest on Apr 19, and George A Romero’s third deadly visit - Day of the Dead - will show at Copenhagen’s Trekroner Fortress on Apr 15 and 16.

As a festival prelude, American director David Lynch’s The Elephant Man has been performed live at the Skuespilhuset under the direction of Anders Lundorph, and during a guided city tour (Apr 23) A Wall Is A Screen will project shorts on the fronts of buildings.

Among the first arrivals are the three-member jury for the New Talent Grand PIX competition: Danish-born, Paris-based producer Marianne Slot, who has backed the films of Lars von Trier; Jackie Raynal, long-time arthouse curator from New York; and German director Benjamin Heisenberg.

Most directors vying for the €30,000 first prize will join them, including Romain Costa-Gavras (France), Djo Tunda Wa Munga (Democratic Republic of Congo), David Dusa (France), Pedro Caldas (Portugal), Alistair Banks Griffin (UK-US), and Buyar Alimani (Albania).

One of the festival’s main attractions, Neiiendam says, is a full retrospective of Polish director Andrzej Zulawski’s 13 films, including TV movies, which will screen between Apr 15-20. Zulawski will be on hand for introductions and a masterclass.

Musical events include a film-cum-smaller-orchestra performance of German director FW Murnau’s 1927 silent Sunrise, accompanied by the KTL duo, and an evening with UK Oscar-winning composer Michael Nyman and Athelas String Quartet (both Apr 29).

At the festival opening, Danish scriptwriter Anders Frithiof August — son of director Bille August — received Denmark’s largest honour for new film talent, the Nordisk Film Prize accompanied by a $20,000 (DKK 105,000) cheque, from committee chairman, the company’s production and development chief, Thomas Heinesen.

His credits include Dorte W Høegh’s Oscar-nominated short Pig (Grisen) and Martin Zandvliet’s Applause, and August most recently wrote Ole Christian Madsen’s local hit,  SuperClásico.

The prize from the Danish major, which was awarded for the 15th time, is calculated from the company’s age (105 years) x DKK 1,000.