Peter Aalbaek Jensen, the producing partner of helmer Lars Von Trier, is planning to step down as chief exec of Zentropa Entertainments, the production company they set up in 1992 and introduced the biz to the stripped-down Dogma 95 style of filming.
Jensen told the company’s board that he will leave no later than February 2015, although he is expected to continue producing pics.
Zentropa, which is 50% owned by Nordisk Film, has weathered turbulent financial waters, and Jensen has been plagued by critical stories in the Danish press regarding his management. Its fortunes were not helped by Von Trier at the Cannes preem of “Melancholia” last year, when he said he was a Nazi.
But the strength of Zentropa’s creative output has remained high, its pic popular with foreign distributors and harvesting top kudos. In recent years, its prizes have included the foreign-language film Oscar for Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World,” the European Film Award for film for “Melancholia,” the actor and screenplay prizes at Berlin for Nikolaj Arcel’s “A Royal Affair” and best actor at Cannes for Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt.” “A Royal Affair” is Denmark’s Oscar entry in the foreign-language pic category.
Its upcoming projects includes Von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac,” starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard.
Jensen and Von Trier retain a 12.5% stake each in Zentropa, with the remaining 25% held by the staff.