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Substitute, The

Original title: Vikaren
German title: Alien Teacher, The
Denmark, 2007

Director: Bornedal, Ole
Production company: Thura Film A/S
Age recommendation: 12 years and up

6th Grade gets a new substitute teacher. She wants to train the class for an international competition in Paris. But something isn't right. How is she able read kids' minds? Why is she so mean? And how does she manage to convince everyone's parents she is so great when the whole class knows she is really an alien?

Children's thriller

Director’s statement:
“It’s a rather intense story – about love and hate, death and sorrow, paranoia and the ability to survive. The greatest fear of any child is that the parents don’t get it. That mum and dad will turn their back on you. THE SUBSTITUTE draws up this picture with a big, black line. The kids understand and the kids know – but the world has turned its back on them and sent them to therapy. Also, in a strange way, Ulla Harms encapsulates the capability of the human being: what we can. She is from outer space – yet she has the same job as Carl’s father, she is an anthropologist. Of any species in the universe, she has experienced that the human being is the strongest – and why? The loveless Ulla Harms seeks this explanation – and partly finds the answer”.
(Source: Giffoni 2007)

Children's Jury at the Oulu int. Children's Film Fesival 2007: "The best movie was really good. The plot was intelligently put together and it was a little unusual, but that is only positive. The special effects were good, at times they made the crowd jump. Still, there was no blood. The story was slightly dark, at times a little scary. The movie can help improve one’s self-esteem. The feelings and life of the main character were well presented, the progress of the character was even more pronounced later on. The actors, despite their young age, performed very well. The best film award goes to The substitute, directed by Ole Bornedal."

Marketing strategies:
More than 200.000 admissions in Denmark.

BUFF Malmö 2007 (awarded), Giffoni 2007, Vilnius 2007, Chemnitz 2007 (awarded), Cinekid Amsterdam 2007, Lübeck 2007, London Int. FF 2007, Oulu 2007 (awarded), Gijon 2007, Olympia Pyrgos 2007, Ale Kino Poznan 2007, Danish Bodil Awards 2008: Best Director of Photography, Antwerp/Brugge 2008, Leeds 2008 (awarded), Sprockets Toronto 2008 (awarded), Zlin 2008 (awarded), Discovery Dundee 2008, Cinemagic Belfast 2008, Augsburg 2009, Tromsø CFF 2013

World sales address/es:
TrustNordisk Int. Sales (DK)

Sold to:
Svensk Filmindustri (DK)
Folkets Bio (SE)
MFA+-Filmverleih (D)