Take Norwegian films to Europe
Six Norwegian film producers go to the Cannes Film Festival next week to discuss co-productions with international colleagues. Asle Vatn been selected in the prestigious “Producer on the Move” forum.
Aftenposten met with four of the Norwegian film makers to represent Norway in Cannes, and they are almost unanimous about what the presence in the acclaimed film festival means: This gives them first and foremost the ability to plan and finance the Norwegian-European co-productions of artistic and ambitious movies international potential.
“Network and access to financing. Being able to build on the relationships you already have,” said Asle Vatn production company Friland on hopes ahead of the Cannes festival which starts next Wednesday, while three colleagues nodded vigorously.
“Building a reputation is also very important. You get a small box to stand on to say a little to everyone. For Cannes is a big circus, and the forums we will participate give us a clear advantage. You will be put into a context that you have a certain credibility. It is up to ourselves to do something out of it,” said Eric Vogel of Tordenfilm.
Norwegian Film Institute has picked out Vatn as Norway’s only representative in the forum “Producer on the Move.” The forum provides Vatn the ability to participate in a round table conference in which new projects can be presented, a press campaign with manufacturers’ profiles in industry magazines and co-production lunch with over 100 European producers.
18 meetings in four days
“I have agreed to 18 meetings in four days, the organizer is reasonably full,” he says.
Right now Vatn produces for director Jens Liens Teori and company, and he is producing the upcoming action-thriller Head Hunters, based on Jo Nesbø’s novel. Earlier, he and colleague Christian Frederick Martin produced feature films Upperdog, Vinterkyss, Tommys inferno og URO.
Vogel will, together with colleagues from Maria Ekerhovd Kong film, Finn Gjerdrum from Paradox, Synnøve Horsdal from the Maipo and Yngve Sæther from Motlys participate in the so-called “Producers Network” forum. Here’s the opportunity to meet international producers and industry people for talks on future cooperation projects.
“I’m a sober optimist compared to what this will provide for my further career. Most of what’s happening in Cannes, I have already made arrangements in advance,” says Synnøve Horsdal. She has recently worked with a number of Norwegian films with international potential, as Petter Naess’ Maskeblomstfamilien, People in the sun, based on a history by Jonas Gardell, and children’s film Doctor Proktors work based on a Jo Nesbøs book.
The latter two have Maipo now attached to his German partners for great feedback on the European Producers Club’s co-production forum in Berlin earlier this year, according to the Norwegian Film Institute.
Easier with the European agreement
Is it easier to be a Norwegian producer in Europe after Norway last year ratified the European co-production agreement?
Clearly. The agreement means that we now have full access to all public funding sources in Europe. That means for example that a Norwegian film is French as you have obtained a co-producer in France. There is a door opened for the national film funds in the country. There is still a huge job to be done before we can receive financial support, but opportunities have been completely different than before, answered Vatn. With the new movie to Jens Lien has Friland received production support from France recently.