Filmmaker Daniel Borgman Busy in Light and Shadow

Dunedin-born filmmaker Daniel Borgman, 31, whose latest film Resin world has premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema section, is now developing “a pair of high-concept projects”: the crime thriller The Shadows and the supernatural drama The Light. Variety’s international correspondent, Elsa Keslassy reports.

The Shadows follows Amanda, a farmer whose reclusive life in the countryside gets turned upside down when local police discover 13 migrant corpses in the neighbouring property, Keslassy writes. While she initially tries to stay away from the investigation, she bonds with Lisa, a burnt-out police inspector who struggles to solve the case while the community seems unwilling to talk.

The Light, meanwhile, tells the story of Lea, who is on her way to break the world record in free diving when she starts experiencing strange visions. She then finds out her mother fell in a coma after attempting to commit suicide. While the health of her mother keep deteriorating, she continues to be haunted during her dives by an unknown force.

Borgman is developing both projects with Tine Mikkelsen at Adomeit Film, the banner behind Resin, a Danish thriller based on Ane Riel’s book by the same name.

The thriller introduces Vivelill Sogaard Holm, who stars as Liv, a precocious 13-year-old who lives deep in the forest with her simple-minded father and bedridden mother. Liv doesn’t know that her parents have made the outside world believe that she is dead in an attempt to escape society’s norms and demands. Their reclusive existence is threatened when Liv’s curiosity propels her to venture into the world.

Borgman, whose two previous feature films The Weight of Elephants and Loving Pia world-premiered in Berlin, said Resin was an unusual project for him to take on for several reasons.

“I never made a genre film before and I was concerned about the premise. At first the premise seemed kind of clichéd to me as if it was a story that had been told a thousand times, but I was drawn to it because I liked the fact that it’s a cross-genre drama with thriller elements, and it explores our ambivalent relationship with nature,” Borgman said.

“Being close to nature, away from society, can be a rewarding experience; that said, ugly, grotesque and disgusting things can happen when you live in the nature. The story also dealt with the destructive aspect of love when it becomes suffocating,” said the director, whose credits also include Berik, which won a prize at Cannes’ Critics Week in 2010.

Borgman is a graduate of the Danish film school, Super16 in Copenhagen.

Original article by Elsa Keslassy, Variety, September 7, 2019.

Photo by Jacky Su.


Tags: Daniel Borgman  Resin  The Light  The Shadows  Toronto International Film Festival  Variety Magazine