The Five Obstructions (2003), made by von Trier and Jørgen Leth, is a documentary that also incorporates lengthy sections of experimental films.The premise is that von Trier challenges director Jørgen Leth, his friend and mentor, to remake his old experimental film The Perfect Human (1967) five times, each time with a different 'obstruction' (or obstacle) specified by von Trier.It includes The Element of Crime (1984), Epidemic (1987) and Europa (1991). Trier completed the Europa trilogy in 1991 with Europa (released as Zentropa in the US), which won the Prix du Jury at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival Seeking both financial independence and total creative control over their projects, von Trier and producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen founded the film production company Zentropa Entertainment in 1992.
The Kingdom (Riget) was planned as a trilogy of three seasons with 13 episodes in total, but the third season was not filmed due to death of star Ernst-Hugo Järegård shortly after completion of the second season.
In 1995, von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg presented their manifesto for a new cinematic movement, which they called Dogme 95.
It was followed by an autobiographical film, The Early Years: Erik Nietzsche Part 1 (2007), scripted by von Trier but directed by Jacob Thuesen, which tells the story of von Trier's years as a student at the National Film School of Denmark.
It stars Jonatan Spang as von Trier's alter ego, called "Erik Nietzsche", and is narrated by von Trier himself.
The Dogme 95 concept, which led to international interest in Danish film, inspired filmmakers all over the world.
In 2008, together with their fellow Dogme directors Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg received the European Film Award European Achievement in World Cinema.
His next film, Epidemic (1987), was also shown at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.
The film features two storylines that ultimately collide: the chronicle of two filmmakers (played by von Trier and screenwriter Niels Vørse) in the midst of developing a new project, and a dark science fiction tale of a futuristic plague—the very film Trier and Vørsel are depicted making.
Von Trier achieved his greatest international success with his Golden Heart trilogy.
Each film is about naive heroines who maintain their 'golden hearts' despite the tragedies they experience.
In 1996, von Trier conducted an unusual theatrical experiment in Copenhagen involving 53 actors, which he titled Psychomobile 1: The World Clock.