01 February, 2012
By Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
Danish director Mads Matthiesen left the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend with gold. His film TEDDY BEAR earned him Best Director honors in the World Cinema Dramatic competition. The film is the story of a champion bodybuilder, an awkward hulk who lives with his demanding mother, who feels something is missing in his life. He sets off on an adventure of a lifetime to Thailand, where he begins to overcome his fears and personal limitations. His quiet revolution makes this a subtle and moving story about integrity, the inherent strength in gentleness, and what it means to be dutiful to one's self. The competition jury was impressed with Matthiesen’s strong but sensitive hand and with the internal performance of his lead Kim Gold. The film, which is represented by the Danish Film Institute and represented one of five high profile Danish films at the Festival, is the director’s debut feature after winning prizes for his short films at film festivals in Venice, Berlin, London, Melbourne and Los Angeles. No US distribution deal for the film has yet been announced, but a number of specialty companies are circling the film, impressed by its unique story and the depth of its message.