When their son Esben moves away from home, middle-aged Danish couple Kjeld and Vibeke are left with a sense of uncertainty and lack of purpose. In an attempt to reignite the magic of their younger days, they move into the old student apartment where they first fell in love. The experience changes them in strange and unexpected ways. Literally recapturing their youth, they wake up one morning to find themselves 30 years younger – and they are forced to recognise that the past they once knew might no longer exist.
Motivation of the adjudication committee
Danish film seldom acknowledges its roots in Nordic mythology and Hans Christian Andersen, and rarely explores the supernatural. Christian Tafdrup remedies this in his debut feature, Parents, in which a middle-aged couple wake up to find themselves young again. It sounds crazy, silly and far out – but like all good fantasy, it strikes a familiar chord. Bodil Jørgensen and Søren Malling are unforgettable as the rejuvenated couple.
Writer/director – Christian Tafdrup
Christian Tafdrup (born1978) is a renowned filmmaker and actor. As an actor, he has appeared in more than 30 films and TV series since he graduated from the Danish National Theatre School in 2003. He starred in Susanne Bier's After the Wedding, and in the popular Danish TV series Park Road and Borgen, for which he won a Robert award for Best Supporting Actor in 2014. He has directed three short films, including Awakening, which screened at more than 30 festivals and won a Robert for Best Short Film. Parents is Tafdrup’s debut feature. The film had its world premiere at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 before touring a dozen other festivals. Among the accolades it has collected are Best European Film at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival and Best Actor (Søren Malling) at the Valletta Film Festival. The film won three Robert awards for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Editor, and four Bodil awards from the Danish film critics, including Best Script.
Tafdrup’s next film as writer/director is the comedy drama A Horrible Woman.
Producer – Thomas Heinesen
Thomas Heinesen (born1961) graduated as a producer from the Danish Film School in 1989. Throughout his career, he has played many roles in film crews, acquiring first-hand knowledge of the craftsmanship that lies behind every production. Over the past 17 years, he has worked with major Danish directors such as Susanne Bier, Niels Arden Oplev, Jakob Thuesen and Nils Malmros, and won numerous awards for his children’s films, including Triple Dare, Karla’s World and the animated Terkel in Trouble.
Upcoming productions include the 3D animated The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear, directed by Philip Einstein Lipski, Jørgen Lerdam and Amalie Næsby Fick, the comedy A Horrible Woman by Christian Tafdrup, and major film and mini-series Lucky Per by Bille August.
Original title: Forældre
Director and scriptwriter: Christian Tafdrup
Principal cast: Bodil Jørgensen, Søren Malling, Miri Ann Beuschel, Elliott Crosset Hove
Producer: Thomas Heinesen
Production company: Nordisk Film Production
Running time: 87 minutes
Danish distribution: Nordisk Film Distribution
International distribution: LevelK