When Animals Dream

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Denmark | 2014 | 85 minutes | Jonas Arnby

Marie, a teenager stuck in a small Danish fishing town, finds that her impending womanhood comes with a side of lycanthropy in this unnerving thriller reminiscent of 2008’s Let the Right One In.

Friday, June 5, 2015

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Marie is a beautiful and lonely 16-year-old who lives in an isolated village on a small island off the coast of Denmark. Her father, Thor, runs a small grocery store, doing his best to make life as normal as possible for Marie and her invalid mother; wheelchair-bound and constantly on medication, she is virtually absent from life. Marie's situation isn't improved when she gets a job at the local fish processing plant, where she is bullied by her fellow co-workers. Then, one day, she notices a strange rash on her chest, a development that grows more even unnerving when it begins to sprout hair. Further symptoms arise, similar to the illness from which her mother suffers, leading her father and family doctor to prescribe medication to suppress her temper and aggression. But Marie wants no part in “taming” her inner beast. A sleeper hit at last year's Cannes Film Festival, When Animals Dream is a perfect horrific blend of past SIFF favorites Ginger Snaps and Let the Right One In—a portrait of teen-angst with razor-sharp teeth.

Director Biography
Born in 1974, Arnby studied film directing and still photography in England and Denmark before managing directing workshops at the National Danish Film Institute and doing below-the-line production work for the Lars Von Trier films Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark. After working since 1999 as a commercial and short film director, he chose to make When Animals Dream as his feature debut.

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  • Original Language Title: Nàr Dyrene Drømmer
  • Director: Jonas Arnby
  • Principal Cast: Sonia Suhl, Lars Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, Jakob Oftebro, Mads Riisom
  • Country: Denmark
  • Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 85 minutes
  • Producer: Ditte Milsted, Caroline Schlüter
  • Screenplay: Rasmus Birch
  • Cinematographers: Niels Thastum
  • Editors: Peter Brandt
  • Music: Mikkel Hess
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Bodil Awards 2015 (Best Cinematography), Robert Awards 2015 (Best Production Design, Make-Up), Athens International Film Festival 2014 (Best Director)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Danish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Gaumont