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A guide to Danish films playing in Canadian theatres this summer

This summer you will have many chances to get a taste of what Denmark has to offer in cinematography as a number of venues across Canada will be showing Danish feature- and documentary films through the rest of July and August. Get the full overview here.

Image: Thomas Vinterberg (left) and Mads Mikkelsen (right) at Cannes International Film Festival in May 2012. Vinterberg’s latest drama The Hunt, playing in Canadian theatres this summer and featuring Mads Mikkelsen in a leading role, is among this season’s most lauded films in Denmark (Colourbox).  

Whether you prefer feature films or documentary, whether you live in Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto or Vancouver – this summer you will get the opportunity to enjoy some of the most debated and cherished Danish films of this season. Among the films showing in Canadian theatres this summer are documentaries that will surprise you and maybe even shock you, a feature film from an Oscar-winning Danish director and another from a Danish director, who most likely hopes that this particular film will secure him one of the coveted Academy Award statuettes in 2014.

So, if you need a break from the Canadian heat, you should consider taking a seat in an air-conditioned cinema and enjoy a Danish film. Below is a guide and an overview of the films playing in Canadian theatres this summer. Enjoy!  

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 The Act of Killing

ByTowne Cinema, Ottawa, July 18–21                (read more here)

The Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa, July 22-25             (read more here)

TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto, July 19-25                (read more here)






The Act of Killing, which is a co-production between Denmark, Norway and USA, is a chilling and thought provoking documentary portraying the unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads as they are challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love. The film has won a number of awards including the Panorama Audience Award at Berlin International Film Festival 2013 and the CPH:DOX Award at CPH:DOX 2012 in Copenhagen.

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 Only God Forgives

Cinéma du Parc, Montréal, July 19-25                     (read more here)


Only God Forgives, directed by Nicholas Winding Refn (Fear X, Bronson, Drive) and starring Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas, tells the story of Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, who sees his life get complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death. The film bears Winding Refn’s cinematographic trademark by introducing the audience to a dark and bluntly violent underbelly of the world – in this case in Bangkok.

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 The Hunt

Varsity Cinema, Toronto, July 19-25                    (read more here)

Fifth Avenue Cinemas, Vancouver, July 19-25     (read more here

ByTowne Cinema, Ottawa, August 16-25            (read more here)






The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration, It’s All About Love, Dear Wendy) is both a captivating and excruciating story about Lucas; a kindergarten teacher, whose life in a small Danish community takes a dramatic turn and is shattered to pieces when he suddenly stands accused of a horrible act. Mads Mikkelsen was awarded ‘Best Actor’ at Cannes Film Festival 2012 for his portrayal of Lucas and The Hunt is, by many experts, considered a strong candidate to receive a nomination for ‘Best Foreign Film’ in the 2014 Academy Awards. 

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 Love Is All You Need

ByTowne Cinema, Ottawa, August 8-11                (read more here)





Love is All You Need, starring Pierce Brosnan (James Bond, Mamma Mia!, The Ghostwriter) and Trine Dyrholm (The Celebration, In a Better World, A Royal Affair), is both a life-affirming and warm story about love, family and fate as well as an important testament of a modern woman, who tries to steer her life in the right direction while battling cancer.

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 Free The Mind

The Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa, August 9-11           (read more here)





Danish documentary Free the Mind, directed by Phie Ambo, follows an experiment conducted by American brain scientist Professor Richard Davidson, who teaches yoga and meditation techniques to US war veterans, in an effort to help them move on and once again live a normal and social life. Free the Mind is both a wondrous story about the workings of the human mind and an insight into the lives of veterans of war battling with Post-traumatic Stress. It was one of 10 Danish documentary films selected for the program of this year’s Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto.