2020 Sundance Docs in Focus: INTO THE DEEP

INTO THE DEEP | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Emma Sullivan presents a chilling, up-close profile of a notorious murder case in Denmark.

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition


Sundance Program Description:

On August 10, 2017, in an event that transfixed the world, Danish inventor Peter Madsen brutally murdered Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his homemade submarine in the waterways outside Copenhagen. A year earlier, filmmaker Emma Sullivan had started documenting Madsen; his projects, including building a rocket to become the first amateur astronaut; and the group of enthusiastic helpers drawn to his workshop to help build them. Through this shocking sequence of events and astonishing filmmaking by Sullivan, the horrible truth of what happened to Wall can be told as never before.

Moving back and forth from before Wall’s disappearance to after, Sullivan shows how Madsen’s seemingly affable and charismatic personality concealed a dark side. As Madsen’s workers are left grappling with who exactly he was and their own possible complicity in what happened, their own memories and Sullivan’s footage become part of the evidence against him. Terrifying in only the way reality can be, INTO THE DEEP shows you a human monster hiding in plain sight.

Some Background:


  • Emma Sullivan

    Australian filmmaker Sullivan makes her feature directorial debut with this project.


  • Mette Heide
    Past Sundance docs:

    NEW SCENES FROM AMERICA (2003, short)

    The Emmy-nominated Heide is the CEO for Plus Pictures. She delved into true crime in the past as a producer of fellow Netflix doc AMANDA KNOX.

  • Roslyn Walker

    This is the first Sundance credit for the Australian producer.

Executive Producer:

  • James Marsh
    Past Sundance docs:

    PROJECT NIM (2011)
    MAN ON WIRE (2008)

    Marsh is an Oscar-winning, Emmy-nominated, and multiple Sundance award-winning British filmmaker based in Copenhagen.


Why You Should Watch:
Sullivan was unexpectedly positioned to not only tell this story from a unique, insider perspective, but to become part of it herself. Cleverly shifting the chronology like a puzzle, she draws from a wealth of exclusive footage to reveal Peter Madsen both before and after the murder, constructing a portrait that becomes increasingly unsettling and ends up instrumental to the case against the Danish inventor.

More Info:

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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