How to understand a Maqam

How to understand a Maqam

Emil Nørgaard Munk / Egypt, Denmark / 2023 / 30 min / World Premiere

A Danish filmmaker goes to Egypt to make a film about a group of Egyptian composers, but discovers that he is on a cultural outsider in the advanced Arab music theory.

How do you make a film about something you have no idea what is? That question is the setting for ‘How To Understand A Maqam’. A Danish director travels to Egypt to document a workshop for young composers to develop new compositions inspired by the sandy surroundings. But when he gets there, he finds out that he knows nothing about Arabic tonality and advanced music theory and therefore understands nothing at all about what the workshop is about. Instead, he goes hunting himself in the Egyptian desert and the hot, mythical landscapes where past and present have collapsed, to find answers to what his film should really focus on and how he should try to capture the complexity of music.

Faith, Hope & Pottery

Faith, Hope & Pottery

Nadia Rosalie Nissen / Denmark / 2023 / 14 min / World Premiere

The camera and the center of attention turn 180 degrees when actress Laura Drasbæk suddenly confronts the film’s director with her own denial and shattered acting dreams.

Danish actress Laura Drasbæk dreams of becoming a slightly crazy pottery lady. She’s taken up pottery to have something else to do in her life besides acting. Her former student Nadia visits her to make a film about the career change. But it soon becomes clear to the potter that her former student has come to her for another reason. Then suddenly the focus and camera turn 180 degrees and the film becomes about Nadia and the denial and broken dreams she carries around after not being accepted to acting school. ‘Faith, Hope & Pottery’ is a warm film about the autonomous paths of the subconscious, about how much you want something and when to give up, and of course about making clay and waiting to see if the cup will be crooked or good, or your very own.

Papa - Notes on Life and Death

Papa – Notes on Life and Death

Andreas Bøggild Monies / Denmark / 2023 / 19 min / World Premiere

The director’s diary told in still images of a dramatic period in which he becomes first a father and then almost loses the love of his life when his girlfriend – filmmaker Lea Glob – goes into a coma after giving birth.

Director Andreas Bøggild Monies is happy. He has just become a father and has just bought a new camera, so he is documenting all the happiness that comes with having a baby. But soon after, his girlfriend Lea (the filmmaker behind ‘Apolonia, Apolonia’) becomes so ill that she has to be hospitalised and put into a coma. There she is for a long time while he cares for their child, and the time comes when he must enter the hospital room and say goodbye to his comatose girlfriend. ‘Papa – Notes on Life and Death’ is a touchingly violent, but also hopeful, tale, told in the director’s own voice and consisting mainly of the many stills he took with his new camera as happiness and tragedy occurred simultaneously.