HCA NEWS New genre at HCA Cinema

HCA2005.com is offering HCA Comment as a new genre at HCA Cinema. There, you may access videos with personal perspectives on Hans Christian Andersen from people both known and unknown. The first video is from film director Bille August.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 08 April 2003

Hans Christian Andersen 2005 introduced today HCA Comment, which has its own page at hca2005.dk

HCA Comment is a personal perspective from someone, known or unknown, Dane or non-Dane, adult or child, who has something to say about Hans Christian Andersen. These personal commentaries will illustrate the multiplicity of Hans Christian Andersen's universe and map out what it is that Hans Christian Andersen can do - and why he touches us so deeply.

This HCA Comment was recorded by film director Bille August, who has just received the City of Odense's Hans Christian Andersen Prize for his upcoming work on a major international film about Hans Christian Andersen. On the HCA Comment page, you can also listen to Ghita Nørby tell about her relationship with Hans Christian Andersen.

Bille August received the City of Odense's Hans Christian Andersen Prize in the amount of 50,000 Euro at the celebration of Hans Christian Andersen's 198th birthday last Wednesday, April 2, in Odense.

Around 500 people attended the festive evening at Odense Theater. Senior lecturer in film studies, Peter Schepelern provided the keynote for the prize to Bille August. Among other thing in his speech, he said:

"There is no doubt that Bille August has all the prerequisites to lead this project to success. The expectation is a film that does for Hans Christian Andersen what Out of Africa did for Karen Blixen. He is able to give form to great tales and make the epic spirit come alive."

Peter Schepelern's speech may be read in its entirety here.

In his acceptance speech, Bille August thanked the City of Odense, Mayor Anker Boye and the Hans Christian Andersen board for the distinguished prize:

"I am very honored, because Hans Christian Andersen, as a storyteller of genius, is absolutely one of my greatest heroes. And now I am heading up a major film project on Hans Christian Andersen, and I am really looking forward to it. Not to keep alive the myth about him as a saccharine, self-absorbed, sentimental caricature, a deluded fool. But rather as a serious, laboring human being. A meticulous perfectionist. A European visionary, a far-sighted man who struggled against mediocrity. Like all other artists, Hans Christian Andersen used the creative process as an outlet for his joy and pain. And it is here I believe we get to the heart of the matter in a portrait of him. How the creative process works."

Read Bille August's entire acceptance speech.