Danish movies and the Danish film industry is highly regarded around the world. No less than 3 Danish movies have won an Oscar for the best foreign film. Danish movies, film directors and actors have won many other prestigious international awards.
Danish Dogme movies, dramas, thrillers, comedies, action movies have been watched by millions around the world.
Danish Oscar winners
In 2011 Susanne Bier won an Oscar for best foreign film for In a Better World. In a Better World has also won a Golden Globe award in 2011.
In earlier years the Danish movies Pelle the Conqueror by Bille August and Babette's Feast by Gabriel Axel have won an Oscar for best foreign film. Pelle the Conqueror won the prestigious Oscar award in 1988 and Babette's Feast won in 1987.
In 1995 4 Danish film instructors wrote a Dogme Manifesto. The film directors Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jakobsen wrote the manifesto in order to make a counter attack on the trend of high-tech mainstream moviemaking and bring back simplicity to the movies.
All of the 4 instructor have made internationally successful movies. Lars von Trier is known for movies like Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves. Other Dogme classics include Thomas Vinterberg's The Celebration, Kristian Levring's The King is Alive and Søren Kragh-Jakobsen's Mifune.
Many other Danish and foreign movie instructors has taken on the 10 rules of moviemaking from the Dogme 95 Manifesto.
The Olsen Gang and other Danish comedy
All over Europe Denmark is known for the Olsen Gang movies. The Danish comedy about an unsuccessful criminal gang was very popular in 1970s. A total of 14 Olsen Gang movies where produced from 1968 to 1998.
All but the latest Olsen Gang movie where produced by the film instructor Erik Balling. The series was so successful that the movie concept was exported to Germany and Norway. Therefore you will also find Olsen Gang movies in German with German actors and Olsen Gang movies in Norwegian with Norwegian actors.
Many other Danish comedies have been produced since the Olsen Gang movies, but non of them has been quiet as successful internationally.
Danish movie history
Danish moviemaking has a proud history. Nordisk Film has existed in over 100 years and is still producing movies and TV-series today.
One of the first Danish pioneers within moviemaking was Carl Th. Dreyer. He was regarded as one of the grand old men of European film culture. His movie Day of Wrath from 1943 got international recognition with an Oscar nomination.
Today the Danish company Zentropa is among the best known moviemaking companies in the business. Zentropa is together with the Swedish film company Memfis Film the companies behind the co-production of the Oscar winning movie In a Better World.
The National Film School of Denmark is renowned for educating future film directors and other professionals in the film and media industry. The National Film School of Denmark is an art school which offers four study programmes including film, TV, animation directing and scriptwriting.
Acting schools in Denmark
In Denmark there are many ways of becoming an actor. However most actors attend an acting school or a theatre school. The most renowned schools include The Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance in Copenhagen, The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Odense and Esbjerg and The Acting School at Aarhus Theatre in Aarhus.
The best known Danish actors
Some of the best known Danish actors and actresses include Mads Mikkelsen, Viggo Mortensen, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Connie Nielsen, Paprika Steen, Iben Hjejle, Brigitte Nielsen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Anders Bertelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Jesper Chistensen, Trine Dyrholm, Cecilie Thomsen and Sidse Babett Knudsen.
Movie funding in Denmark
Each year the Danish government helps fund selected movie productions. The government also offers general support for the Danish movie industry.
The Danish Film Institute is a government agency under the Ministry of Culture. They allocate funding and subsidies for the production of Danish movies. The Danish Film Institute also supports film education institutions and help in the international distribution and promotion of Danish films.