Mads Mikkelsen in The Promised Land (2023)

2024 Scandi film fest to open with Czech premiere of Prague-shot ‘The Promised Land’

The 2024 Scandi film festival, the Czech Republic’s annual showcase of contemporary films from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland, is set to bring a chilly Nordic air to audiences across the country from January 17 to 24. Now in its 10th edition, the festival will screen films in over 30 cinemas in the Czech Republic throughout the next week.

In Prague, the 2024 Scandi film festival will take over the halls of Edison Filmhub, Kino Atlas, Kino Lucerna, Kino Mat, Kino Evald, Cinema City Slovanský dům, Kino Dlabačov, and Kino Kavalírka through January 24. Most screenings at Edison, Atlas, Lucerna, Mat, and Evald will have English subtitles, but check the program at the official Scandi website to confirm.

The Scandi film festival, organized under the auspices of the Danish Embassy in Prague, will kick off with the Czech premiere of the Danish historical drama The Promised Land, which filmed largely in Prague and other locations in the Czech Republic, standing in for 18th century Denmark, in 2022. After premiering at the Venice film fest last year, The Promised Land was chosen as Denmark’s official submission for Best International Film at the 2024 Academy Awards, and has made the 15-film shortlist ahead of next week’s nominations.

Scandi film festival 2024
Scandi film festival 2024

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, and starring Mads Mikkelsen, who previously collaborated on 2012’s A Royal Affair, which was also shot in the Czech Republic, The Promised Land has also received three European Film Awards in the categories of Acting, Cinematography, and Costume Design. The film tells the true story of Ludvig Kahle, a courageous captain who conquers the Danish heathlands in the 1700s.

Another highlight of this year’s Scandi film festival will be the participation of director Billie August, whose 1987 feature Pelle the Conqueror won an Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film. August will personally present his latest film, the romantic drama The Kiss, in Prague at Kino Lucerna on January 22 and Edison Filmhub on January 23, and take part in a post-screening Q&As at both venues.

August is no stranger to the Czech capital: he previously filmed the 1998 adaptation of Les Misérables, starring Uma Thurman, Geoffrey Rush, and Liam Neeson, throughout the streets of Prague, which stood in for early-19th century Paris.

Other high-profile screenings presented at this year’s Scandi film festival will include Together 99, the first feature in a decade from director Lukas Moodysson (Lilya 4-Ever, Mammoth), and the Finnish drama Four Little Adults, starring Alma Pöysti from last year’s festival circuit hit Fallen Leaves. A total of 10 new Scandinavian films will have their Czech premieres during the Scandi film festival.

This year’s fest will also present a trio of revival screenings, including two films from legendary Swedish filmmaker Bo Widerberg: the 1967 romantic drama Elvira Madigan and the 1976 noir thriller Man on the Roof. The more recent 2015 dramedy A Man Called Ove, which was remade with Tom Hanks into A Man Called Otto, will also be screened during the Scandi film festival.

For more information about this year’s Scandi film festival in Prague and beyond, including a full schedule of screening times and ticketing info, check out the official festival website at scandifest.cz.

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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