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The Celebration (1998) More at IMDbPro »Festen (original title)

Photos (See all 23 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Celebration -- In this gripping drama, friends and family gather at a grand country estate for the patriarch's birthday, when his son delivers a toast that turns it into a surprise party from hell.
The Celebration -- At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.


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8.1/10   62,863 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Thomas Vinterberg (screenplay) &
Mogens Rukov (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Celebration on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 June 1998 (Denmark) See more »
Every family has a secret. See more »
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 31 wins & 19 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
God bless the Dogme 95! See more (257 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ulrich Thomsen ... Christian

Henning Moritzen ... Faderen - Helge

Thomas Bo Larsen ... Michael

Paprika Steen ... Helene
Birthe Neumann ... Moderen - Else

Trine Dyrholm ... Pia
Helle Dolleris ... Mette
Therese Glahn ... Michelle
Klaus Bondam ... Toastmasteren - Master of Ceremonies
Bjarne Henriksen ... Kokken - Kim
Gbatokai Dakinah ... Gbatokai
Lasse Lunderskov ... Onklen - Uncle

Lars Brygmann ... Receptionisten - Receptionist
Lene Laub Oksen ... Søsteren - Sister
Linda Laursen ... Birthe
John Boas ... Farfar - Grand-dad
Erna Boas ... Farmor - Grandma
Bent Henningsen ... Statister - Extra
Poul Kajbæk ... Statister - Extra
Vibeke Dalset ... Statister - Extra
Janne Thomsen ... Statister - Extra
Anette Jakobsen ... Statister - Extra
Poul Petersen ... Statister - Extra
Gulli Sejrsen ... Statister - Extra
Vibeke Kaiser ... Statister - Extra
John Johnsen ... Statister - Extra
Dan Eilertsen ... Statister - Extra
Søren Søgreni ... Statister - Extra
Annette Jakobsen ... Statister - Extra
Kate Goldschmidt ... Statister - Extra
Jens Nørring ... Statister - Extra
Bent Kaiser ... Statister - Extra
Maria Myrgård ... Statister - Extra
Peter Krag ... Statister - Extra
Stig Poul Hansen ... Statister - Extra
Kaj Rasmussen ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
Robert Strandgård ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
Gry Worre Hallberg ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
René ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
Christine Louise Jørgensen ... Børn - Children
Dorte Olofsen ... Børn - Children
Kasper Olofsen ... Børn - Children
Emilian Sejersen ... Børn - Children
Susanne Funck ... Børn - Children
Rosmarie Jørgensen ... Børn - Children
Lasse Jacobsen ... Børn - Children
Sigrid Aalbæk Jensen ... Børn - Children (as Sigrid Aalbæk)
Mikkel Jacobsen ... Børn - Children
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Birgitte Simonsen ... Christian's Friend (uncredited)

Thomas Vinterberg ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)

Directed by
Thomas Vinterberg (uncredited)
Writing credits
Thomas Vinterberg (screenplay) &
Mogens Rukov (screenplay)

Thomas Vinterberg (idea)

Produced by
Birgitte Hald .... producer
Morten Kaufmann .... line producer
Original Music by
Lars Bo Jensen 
Cinematography by
Anthony Dod Mantle 
Film Editing by
Valdís Óskarsdóttir  (as Valdis Oskarsdottìr)
Casting by
Rie Hedegaard 
Lene Seested 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eigil Jacobsen .... assistant director (as Eigil Jakobsen)
Sound Department
Morten Holm .... sound designer
Bruno Langiano .... foley artist
Ad Stoop .... boom operator
Nick Watson .... sound consultant: Dolby
Kasper Val Bjerregård Larsen .... sound engineer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Peter Hjorth .... technical supervisor
Thomas Bo Larsen .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Hjorth .... additional camera operator
Lars Høgsted .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Thomas Caspersen .... synchronization: location
Jan Gundtofte-Bruun .... synchronization: location
Vagn Rose .... assistant editor
Music Department
Lars Bo Jensen .... musician: piano
Other crew
Mie Andreasen .... production staff
Jens Arentzen .... consultant
Peter Hjorth .... technical supervisor
Signe Leick Jensen .... production staff (as Signe Jensen)
Torben Stig Nielsen .... production staff
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Karina Strand .... production staff
Camilla Thomsen .... production staff
David C.H. Østerbøg .... production staff (as David Østerbøg)
Jens Arentzen .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Trine Breum .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Susanne Bruun de Neergaard .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to, Skjoldenæsholm Hotel og Konferencecenter
Per Fly .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Karin Trille Høy .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to (as Trille Høy)
Jørgen Kromann .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to (as Jørgen Kromann Larsen)
Ole Christian Madsen .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Birgitte Simonsen .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Ingerlise Vinterberg .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Carsten Walbom .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Lone Walbom .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to (as Lone)
Maria Walbom .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Festen" - Denmark (original title)
"The Celebration: Dogme #1" - Canada (English title) (DVD title)
See more »
Rated R for strong sexual content and language, including references to sexual abuse
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Thomas Vinterberg "confessed" to having covered a window during the shooting of one scene, which is a breaking of two Dogme rules - no bringing props onto the set, and no use of special lighting.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: In an early scene, a cameraman can be seen reflected in a bedroom mirror (director Thomas Vinterberg noticed this but kept it in).See more »
[first lines]
[subtitled version]
Christian Klingenfeldt:[on his cellphone] Christian speaking... Hi, I'm here now. I landed this morning. What? Er... Washed? I shaved at the airport if you must know. I shaved at the airport if you must know! I'm fine... right now I'm looking across the fields. At the land of my father. It's beautiful. It makes me want to move back for good, but that'd be problematical. I'll make it. Yes, I suppose it will be... shocking. What?... You're dropping out. O.K. Bye.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Boys (1977)See more »
BrudevalsenSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
62 out of 81 people found the following review useful.
God bless the Dogme 95!, 7 May 2000
Author: Artêmis from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

I always wanted to watch "Festen" since I knew about the Dogme 95. As any Danish movie, it was released in a unique cultural theater. And, as most of the European movies, in less than 3 weeks, it wasn't...

OK, you'll tell the truth: I don't know why but I didn't watch it on a theater, and I could have done it. I waited for its release in video but all the times I went to the videostore I forgot to rent it. But one year after the release on theaters, it was rolling in Eurochannel (a cable-TV channel. It's all about Europe). I couldn't miss that chance so, on a Friday night, at 22:00, I finally watched it. And what an AMAZING film!!!

At first, the plot seems interesting and simple but after 20 minutes you finally realize how strong and provocative Festen really is. It's about one celebration made by the patriarch of the family Kingenfelt in the hotel where he lives. He's commemorating his 60 years. Christian, the older son, makes a speech where secrets are revealed.

The rules of the Dogme 95 as the use of natural light, camera in the hands, etc, help to create a claustrophobic and confidential clime, like nobody knows that someone is filming them. The scenes look incredibly real. Paprika Steen (Helene) and Ulrich Thomsen (Christian) were more than extraordinary. Paprika is a great actress and I can't stand waiting to watch "Idiotern", the second Dogme, in which she's acting again.

"Festen" is not just a worth watching film. It's a worth watching, re-watching, watching again, renting many times and recording to watch it a hundred times. Being the first Dogme, it's a mark in the cinema's history.

Grade - A+

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