The 38-year-old bodybuilder Dennis would do anything to find true love. He has never had a girlfriend and lives alone with his mother in a suburb of Copenhagen. When his uncle marries a girl from Thailand, Dennis decides to try his own luck and sets out on a trip to Pattaya, as it seems that love is easier to find in Thailand. He knows that his mother would never accept another woman in his life, so he lies and tells her that he is going to Germany. Dennis has never been out travelling before and hectic Pattaya is a huge cultural shock for him. The intrusive Thai girls give big bruises to Dennis’ naïve picture of what love should be like, and he is about to lose hope when he unexpectedly meets the Thai woman Toi, and they fall in love. When Dennis returns home, he decides to tell his mother about Toi, but as expected she gets very upset and wants him to end the relationship. But Dennis has other plans. He has found true love, and now he has no intention of letting go.

Director's Statement

The story recounted in TEDDY BEAR is about feeling like an outsider. I have always been fond of portraying people who do not fit in that well with society. What prejudices do we harbor when confronted with a tattooed, muscle-bound man? At any rate a hard, emotionally stunted individual – and hardly a vulnerable, shy, affectionate person with an overly close relationship with his mother. Likewise, there are many prejudices against men who travel to Thailand in search of love. In TEDDY BEAR I attempt to play around with people’s prejudices, and turn them upside down. For things are seldom as they appear from the outside … The film portrays different aspects of love. A mother’s clinging love for her son and also the very different pathways love between men and women can take in Denmark and Thailand. People in the West have other criteria when they seek love than purely financial considerations. In Thailand a woman has to find a husband who can support the family. Therefore poor girls head for Pattaya to find a Western man who hasn’t been able to find love back home. TEDDY BEAR is about love, and the search for happiness. It is about the bonds, healthy and unhealthy, that we create with the people we are fond of. And it is about Dennis, who has to learn how to pursue happiness according to his own needs, and not allow himself to be dictated by his surroundings.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Mads Matthiesen

Written by: Martin Pieter Zandvliet, Mads Matthiesen

Produced by: Morten Kiems Juhl

Cinematography: Laust Trier Mørk

Editing: Adam Nielsen

Production Design: Thomas Bremer

Original Score: Sune Martin

Cast: David Winters, Allan Mogensen, Kim Kold, Elsebeth Steentoft, Lamaiporn S. Hougaard

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2012