Magazine article Screen International

Danish Film Institute: Venturing Out

Magazine article Screen International

Danish Film Institute: Venturing Out

Article excerpt

Danish Film Institute international producer Noemi Ferrer Schwenk tells Wendy Mitchell about the country's aim to do smarter co-productions.

Denmark is starting to look outward in a new way. Traditionally, the Nordic countries have favoured national production or banded together regionally for their co-productions. While that continues to be true in most cases, there is a new generation of Danish producers that is increasingly looking beyond its own borders.

"There is a younger generation that is very interested in international work," says the Danish Film Institute's international producer Noemi Ferrer Schwenk. "There are more and more Danish film-makers venturing out there and figuring out how to finance films internationally."

Indeed, Ferrer Schwenk's job itself is a sign of changing times. The DFI created the position in late 2011 after a 2010 study looked at the international potential of Danish films and Danish companies. "It identified that Danish films have a huge potential but probably given the amount of changes currently in the financing landscape of films - like MGs [minimum guarantees] no longer being available for smaller films, VoD revenues not replacing DVD yet, TV having a different remit right now - there would be a need for people to find some money outside of Denmark or even Scandinavia," Ferrer Schwenk notes.

The executive, of Spanish and German heritage who has a master's degree in Scandinavian studies, was a natural fit for the post, after working at Zentropa, the Irish Film Board, Eurimages and Germany's Prokino.

As part of her multi-faceted job, Ferrer Schwenk gives Danish producers the tools they need to work in a successful manner internationally, such as organising seminars and talks from potential foreign partners. She also guides them to the right international events - for instance, getting Danish producers involved earlier this year with Rotterdam's CineMart, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and producers' workshop EAVE.

Her position encompasses the supervision of funding for minority co-productions, working with Eurimages and the MEDIA Desk, and consulting on international opportunities with Danish producers. "I can lead them in the right direction about other funds or put them in touch with people who could be good co-producers," she says.

Danish projects that have recently expanded international horizons include Susanne Bier's Italy-set Love Is All You Need, Kristian Levring's South Africa-shot western The Salvation, Tobias Lindholm's Somali pirates story A Hijacking and Ole Christian Madsen's Argentina-set SuperClasico. …

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