Scandinavian Cinema: Genre Pics Get Their Profile

Danish shingle aims at global market

With Scandinavian auteur-driven genre films gaining traction overseas, Profile Pictures, a fairly young Copenhagen-based shingle, is emerging as one of the most interesting Scandinavian players.

The banner, founded by Jacob Jarek, Ditte Milsted and Thor Sigurjonsson in late 2011, powers up a strong slate of homegrown genre movies including Norwegian director Patrik Syversen’s horror-comedy “Party Animal” sold by L.A.-based XYZ, and “The Undertaker,” which will topline local A-list star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”), from Denmark’s celebrated director Jannik Johansen.

Jarek describes “The Undertaker” as a thriller in the vein of “History of Violence” turning on an ex-biker who faces his violent past. “Party Animal” centers on a bachelor party that turns bloody when the groom transforms into a werewolf.

Jarek recently line-produced Jonas Arnby’s werewolf coming-of-age tale “When Animals Dream,” which is repped by Gaumont, and co-produced Nicolas Winding Refn’s Cannes-preem “Only God Forgives” starring Ryan Gosling.

The shingle stands out from most other Danish companies as it’s clearly positioned on the international market. “We have the potential of moving a project in the global direction if that makes sense,” Jarek says.

The company’s senior producer Sigurjonsson, who has strong connections with U.S. talent and producers, is producing “Z for Zachariah” starring Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Although Profile Pictures doesn’t have an output deal in place it’s working closely with Scanbox, a leading Scandi distributor.

“ ‘Party Animal’ is actually a Norwegian-Danish movie taking place in the Norwegian countryside, so the appeal will be very strong in Norway,” Jarek says. “And we are planning to produce it simultaneously in English, since the story has a great universal appeal and could easily work internationally.”

Although genre is well-repped in Profile’s lineup, shingle is producing different kinds of movies, notably the Icelandic drama “Paris of the North,” Hafsteinn Sigurdsson’s follow-up to “Either Way.” It’s also producing the documentary feature “No Regrets” looking at how pregnant and unmarried Korean women feel forced to give away their newborn babies for adoption.

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