Art as Activism – Activism as Art

19 Sept, 15:00 – 16:30 Cest, Scandic Triangeln
Phie Ambo graduated from the Danish Film School in 2003 – but as early as 2001 she won the main award at IDFA for her film Family, co-directed with Sami Saif – a film that marked a dramatic stylistic change in Danish documentaries.

A path for making poetic and personal films was thus established at an early stage – but her quest for exploring the human condition didn’t remain within the strictly personal. This has been a journey creating universal stories focusing on complex issues in science, sustainability and consciousness.

Her trademark is her ability to get close to her characters allowing them space to unfold. In in her films you feel her everpresent curiosity giving a sense of an unbiased attempt to understand the issue she is dealing with, whatever it is.

Never replicating her cinematic form, but continuously exploring new artistic boundaries, a constant in Phie Ambo’s body of work seems to be the question of what it means to be a human being – and of late, more precisely, the meaning of citizenship. Because, more than a filmmaker, Phie Ambo is an activist – and through her art she finds ways to address the important issues of our times, with a clear goal to make an impact – be it a story of children establishing their own mini society in the alternative school Phie has helped establish, in the film Rediscovery (2019) , or by showing politicians at work fighting for a crucial climate law in the Danish parliament in her latest film 70/30.

Everyone deserves to be heard – and everyone has a voice that should be used.

Through Phie Ambo’s films we see a choir of different lives lived and each individual cinematic experience gives us a new understanding of the world we live in.

During Nordisk Panorama you have the possibility to see three of Phie Ambo’s films – and during the masterclass we will talk about them and many others of her vast body of work – giving an overview of Phie Ambo’s cinematic journey while diving more specifically into methods of storytelling, turning points in her career and whether the issues remain the same – or if anything has changed along the way?