THE SAINT BERNARD SYNDICATE
Rasmus doesn't have much time left to enjoy life. He's just been diagnosed with ALS. But instead of drowning in self-pity, he forges ahead. His old friend Frederik is looking for a partner and investor in his business. Together, they set off for China to sell Saint Bernards as status symbols to the new middle class. Soon, however, the two men notice that they are really far away from home. Brügger actually did send Danish journalist-actors Frederik Cilius and Rasmus Bruun to China with a script, but had them largely improvise on location. His first feature film is thus a bizarre mixture of satire, buddy movie, and the kind of revealing documentary one expects of Brügger.
Meet the director
Danish journalist, moderator, and filmmaker Mads Brügger was born in 1972. He worked in print media and radio and was the occasional host of THE 11TH HOUR (2007), a late-night talk show. Brügger's career in film and television began in 2001 as the author of several episodes of the Danish television series KLEINROCKS KABINET. Three years later, he directed the satirical documentary series DANES FOR BUSH. His documentary film THE RED CHAPEL (2009), in which he exposed the absurdity of the totalitarian North Korean regime, received the jury's award for best foreign documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. In THE AMBASSADOR (2011), Brügger posed as a diplomat in order to investigate Africa's trade in blood diamonds and received a Robert, Denmark's most prestigious film award, for best documentary. Since 2011, he has also been the head of programming at radio station Radio24syv. His first feature film, THE SAINT BERNARD SYNDICATE (2018), was, like THE RED CHAPEL and THE AMBASSADOR in previous years, screened at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. His latest film, COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD (2019), was also honored at the Sundance Film Festival; this time, Brügger received the award for best director of a foreign documentary.