Otago University film graduate Daniel Borgman has been based in Denmark since 2005. Borgman has made short films with Lars von Trier’s company Zentropa, and twice been invited to compete at Cannes. Following the success of Lars and Peter, follow-up Berik — about a deformed Kazakhstani — took the Cannes Critics’ Week prize in 2010. His first feature The Weight of Elephants debuted at Berlin in 2013.
Life is hard, but it’s also really beautiful, and film is a great medium in which to render that contrast. Daniel Borgman, in an interview on Lars and Peter
Filmed in New Zealand’s deep south, this feature follows the vicissitudes of Adrian: a sensitive 11-year old haunted by the disappearance of three local children, who befriends mysterious new-in-town Nicole. The adaptation of Sonya Hartnett’s coming of age novel Of A Boy, is the feature debut of Denmark-based Dunedin-born director Daniel Joseph Borgman, following on from his lauded shorts Berik, and Lars and Peter. The creative team behind the 'informal' Danish-NZ co-production included frequent collaborators of directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg.
This short is about a Dad and two sons who are rudderless in suburbia following the death of their wife/mother. Told through the eyes of nine-year-old Lars, the film focuses on his relationship with his struggling father, who drowns his sorrows and covets the neighbour. Lars and Peter’s tender exploration of the murkiness of grief and adjustment saw it selected in competition at Cannes (2009). It was made in Denmark by Dunedin expat Daniel Borgman: “life is hard, but it’s also really beautiful, and film is a great medium in which to render that contrast”.