The Filmmakers’ Vow of Chastity

Festen - First Dogme 95 Manifesto Movie

Creator: Dogme 95 is an avant-garde filmmaking movement started in 1995 by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg.

Purpose: Highlights traditional filmmaking values of story, acting and theme and excludes the use of overblown special effects or technology.


The Filmmakers’ Vow of Chastity

1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in. If a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found.

2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed, i.e., diegetic.

3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.

4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable (if there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).

5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.

6. The film must not contain superficial action (murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)

7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden (that is to say that the film takes place here and now).

8. Genre movies are not acceptable.

9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.

10. The director must not be credited.



Image: Festen or The Celebration was the first Dogme movie made. It was produced by Thomas Vinterberg.