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Danish documentary filmmaker Mads Brügger completes lineup at Visegrad Film Forum (11th – 14th March, 2015)

Visegrad Film Forum
Visegrad Film Forum

The Danish documentary director Mads Brügger will come to Visegrad Film Forum Bratislava to talk about his trademark documentary filmmaking. In his films Mads Brügger plays different roles in order to gain access to environments controlled by dictators (North Korea) or corrupt politicians and businessmen (Central African Republic). His debut The Red Chapel, which takes place in North Korea won the World Cinema Jury Prize Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. Two years later, Brügger’s next film The Ambassador, in which he created a false identity of a Liberian diplomat, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize Documentary at Sundance.

Mads Brügger with his feature debut The Red Chapel will join five other guests from the United States and Europe: Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, winners from Cannes, Academy Award winning sound mixer Christopher Newman, independent programmer and adviser Ludmila Cviková and András Nagy, renowned Hungarian director of photography.

Students of film schools and film enthusiasts can still sign up at www.visegradfilmforum.com. The deadline for application is March 7th, 2015.

Mads Brügger is filmmaker, reporter and TV presenter. In 2004 he created a satirical docu-series Danes for Bush. With this docu-series Brügger started his role-playing documentary career. He travelled with a colleague around the U.S. pretending to be Danish neoconservatives who are campaigning for the re-election of George W. Bush with the slogan: „Save us from old Europe”.

His feature-length documentary debut The Red Chapel (2009) won Nordisk Panorama 2009 and also the World Cinema Jury Prize Documentary at Sundance in 2010. For this film Brügger created a fake Danish-Korean theater group. The duo consists of Simon, who aims to perform an acoustic rendition of Oasis’s “Wonderwall” accompanied by a choir of Korean schoolgirls, and Jacob, a self-described “spastic” whose mangled speech is incomprehensible to Korean minders assigned to “assist” the troupe. With Brügger as their manager, they travel to North Korea for a cultural exchange, performing an absurd sketch comedy. „Basically its commedia del arte. I am the evil white clown and Jacob and Simon – the Laurel and Hardy of Danish-Korean comedians – are the two august clowns. I knew beforehand it would be a film about theater, manipulation, and propaganda on a staggering amount of different levels. If North Korea documentaries are a genre of its own, this is really some special stuff. It’s a film about how a total dictatorships warps and destroys human emotions.“ says Brügger.

In The Ambassador (2011) Brügger makes his way solo to the Central African Republic, posing as a Liberian Consul after having purchased a diplomatic passport. Hidden cameras enable the audience to watch Brügger disappear into the character his new passport has brought forth. Brügger claims to have an intention of opening a brand new match factory that will bring a lot of jobs to the area. Revelations in the documentary brought embarrassment to the involved countries and the government of Liberia has taken legal steps against Brügger. However the Danish government has not been presented with a formal demand for the extradition.

Visegrad Film Forum (VFF) is a networking and educational platform for emerging film professionals, students with major in film, media or audiovisual studies and film enthusiasts. Through open dialogue, sharing and exchange of innovative experiences it aims to strengthen cooperation among young film professionals. VFF’s main goal of is to set up an educational base focused on film-making issues specific for Europe and to promote quality projects of young filmmakers, allowing them to introduce their work and find partners for their international co-productions. VFF is divided into several sections, including screenings of student films, master classes with renowned experts and case studies of interesting film projects.