Private Project

The Dinner

At an upper-class restaurant Lars is meeting his son, Frederik, and his new in-laws for the very first time in honour of Frederik’s 30th birthday. Lars and his wife Susanne are not used attending such fancy events, but have made the effort in order make a good impression with the wealthy family they have now become a part of. Evenings like these can be extra tricky for Lars and he usually finds comfort in alcohol, but he promised his son that this time would be different.
Lars is strict on sticking to the plan, but as the night goes on he feels more and more like a misfit, and at last he finds himself at the bar ordering shots. Lars is all of a sudden the centre of attention, feeding of the fascination from the in-laws, but Susanne and Frederik has seen this side of Lars enough times to know where he is headed, and when he rudely interrupts a speech from Frederik’s mother-in-law, Frederik storms out the restaurant with his girlfriend. Lars is right behind them. Lars manages to catch up with them, and in a last attempt to make Frederik stay, Lars grabs him by the shoulder. But Frederik pushes him off and he falls to the ground, leaving a handwritten speech on the ground starting with the words “dear Frederik”.

  • Marco Lawson
  • Marco Lawson
  • Ditte Juel
  • Fie Emilie Jørgensen
  • Søren Malling
    Key Cast
  • Anton Hjejle
    Key Cast
  • Camilla Bendix
    Key Cast
  • Henrik Birch
    Key Cast
  • Rebecca Kiilerich
    Key Cast
  • Andrea Vagn Jensen
    Key Cast
  • Michael Brostrup
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 27, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,048 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Alexa Mini LF (DIGITAL)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Marco Lawson

Marco Lawson is a self-taught Danish writer/director, who grew up in the center of Copenhagen.
He began his time in the film industry when he was hired as an assistant to Christian Tafdrup on the feature “A Horrible Woman”.

As he gained more experience behind the camera as an Assistant Director for film directors such as Bille August, Niels Arden Oplev and Gabriel Bier, he wrote and directed his first short, “The Privateschool” at Nordisk Film Productions. At Nordisk Film Productions he met the acclaimed Danish film director, Michael Noer, who later mentored him as a filmmaker.

Marco’s work often centers around social differences and the motivation from passivity to action. He is passionate about creating universes that question why people behave as they do. Marco loves to bring humor into his work through absurd and awkward situations that make you want to laugh even though the topic is serious. Through his work he wishes to tell stories that make the audience reflect on how they encounter and engage with the world.

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Director Statement

With this film, I wish to highlight social anxiety as an uncontrollable illness that can prevent people from achieving their dreams – an illness that is easily misunderstood as selfish behaviour resulting in hurting the immediate surroundings. Many people never reach the core issues to why people around them disappoint. They ask too few questions and therefore only scratches the surface of the problem. We must change that! I speak from experience as the encounter between my family and my in-laws frustrated me deeply and my reaction still embarrass me since I now have a far more nuanced view of the event. That is why I wish to give the audience the insight I myself was missing.

We wanted to create a timeless film that people across generations would embrace and identify themselves with as if it were their own narrative. My approach to convincing the audience was to create a narrative that focused on a serious topic, but throughout the film found the balance between the light and the dark. To suffer from social anxiety is hard and destructive, but at the same time a lot of comic situations occur as a side effect. Our film tries to shed a light on both sides of the issue by being honest and sensitive while also being wild and dramatic.

Social anxiety often leads to an amputated, self-conscious version of oneself which is the unfortunate consequence we wish to show in this film. The film portrays the main character Lars as a sincere man trying his best, but in the absence of abilities is defeated by his inner demons. I want the audience to question if Lars is a selfish father or simply a man who is not capable of controlling his feelings. I really hope that you wish to help us promote the narrative of good people challenged by their inability to cope with their insecurities by sparking thoughts about what triggers the behaviour.