When Animals Dream

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    When Animals Dream

    Når dyrene drømmer

    Directed by



    84 min

    • Danish

    Drama, Horror

    The young woman, Marie, is an outsider in the small coastal community where she has grown up. The townspeople live in fear of her and not least her mother, who is wheelchair bound, suffering from a mysterious illness. When Marie discovers her body changing – long hair growing on her chest and back – she begins searching for answers concerning her family’s hidden past. Something that will have great consequences for herself and her family – and the choices she has to make.


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    • Best Screenplay - Athens IFF



    Lars Mikkelsen
    Sonja Richter
    Sonia Suhl
    Jakob Oftebro
    Mads Riisom
    Esben Dahlgaard
    Benjamin Boe Rasmussen
    Rasmus Birch
    Niels Thastum
    Peter Brandt
    Liv Lynge
    Mikkel Hess

    Director's Statement

    I wanted to do a coming-of-age story about a young person who gets to know herself and becomes an adult. Screenwriter Rasmus Birch and I quickly agreed that we wanted to create a realistic and believable universe, while using the werewolf theme as a metaphor. If you get too involved in this whole world of werewolves, you can get lost in rules and dogmas about unibrows and full moons etcetera. We decided to stick to realism, and so it was obvious to turn the werewolf theme into a disease. After all, werewolves describe something human – the dark, animal side of humanity, the sex drive and the instinct to attack when cornered. The werewolf theme became more concrete that way.
    It was important to make the disease believable, to show what the consequences to the family and the community would be. That’s deliberately to make it believable that someone turns into a werewolf or an animal. It was my intention to show Marie’s quiet rebellion, how she stands outside the community, while she is forced to go on a journey where she learns who she is. The genre, werewolf films, is just a wrapper. I hope people will see that this isn’t just an action-packed horror film. Rather, it’s a portrait of a generation and a depiction of a character.



    Jonas Alexander Arnby's debut feature is a confident and good-looking work that owes more to the Nordic Noir gloom of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN than to the sanitized fluff of TWILIGHT.

    Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

    Jonas Alexander Arnby

    Jonas Alexander Arnby


    Jonas Alexander Arnby is a director born in 1974 in Denmake. He has been working in the film industry since 1993 and has, since 1995, directed music videos, commercial films and short fiction. In 2004, Arnby graduated from the alternative film school collective Super16. WHEN ANIMALS DREAM, selected for Critics’ Week at the Cannes Festival, is Arnby’s feature film debut.