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Berlin: Denmark’s Good Company Films Attracts Emerging Talent

A Danish production banner largely driven by women, Good Company Films is rolling off a strong year with Danish-Iranian helmer Milad Alami’s “The Charmer,” an intense psychological drama that won prizes at the San Sebastian, Chicago, Lubeck, Warsaw and Palm Springs festivals. The film is set for Nordic premiere in the Goteborg Film Festival.

The outfit made its first feature with “The Charmer,” co-produced by Garagefilm Intl., Film i Vast and Paris-based Vixens. The film follows a young and handsome Iranian immigrant who is desperately trying to find a woman who will secure his stay in Denmark and unexpectedly falls in love in the process.

GoodCo was launched in 2014 by a mix of well-rounded film and TV execs: Anni Faurbye Fernandez and Ole Sondberg, the former CEO and founder, respectively, of Yellow Bird, the powerhouse behind “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” films, “Wallander” and “Headhunters”; Vibeke Windelov, a veteran producer who’s worked with Lars von Trier, Bille August and Susanne Bier; and Stinna Lassen, a former exec at Nordisk Film who produced the pan-European TV series “The Team” shortly after graduating from film school in 2011.

“All four of us have different backgrounds and relationships which make us very complementary, and at the same time we share a common ambition to develop new talent, like Milad Alami, as well as with more established directors such as Kaspar Munk,” says Faurbye Fernandez. “We produce both low-budget and more commercial projects which can reach a wider audience.” She adds it’s become increasingly necessary for local producers to seek partners outside Scandinavia to finance projects.

Good Company Films is already behind some of Scandinavia’s most ambitious projects, notably Munk’s “Wild Witch,” a family fantasy feature based on the popular books by Lene Kaaberbol; and Kasper Skovsbol’s “C4,” a high-concept, modestly budgeted film about the last day in the life of Danish King Christian IV — told from inside a horse carriage.

Sold by TrustNordisk, “Wild Witch” follows a 12-year-old girl, Clara, who gets scratched by a mysterious black cat and discovers she belongs to a family of witches with a strong connection to nature and animals.

Faurbye Fernandez says “Wild Witch” was Good Company Films’ biggest feature project so far. Budgeted at about €4.5 million ($5.5 million), “Wild Witch” will boast “high production value, lush cinematography and shot on location in Hungary with lots of animals and beautiful nature,” says the producer.

Good Company Films is also producing high-profile series such as “Wisting,” a $14 million, 10-part thriller series based on Jorn Lier Horst’s crime novels. It is being co-produced by Norwegian outfit Cinenord and just started lensing in Norway.

Faurbye Fernandez says Good Company Films aimed for “Wisting” to be more than a classic Nordic noir. “It’s undoubtedly a crime series, but it’s also about the relationship between a father whose wife has died and his daughter; it’s about grief, yet we don’t want the show to be too dark and slow, and we will strive to make it very visually appealing,” adds the producer.

Gary Farkas, who co-produced “The Charmer” with Good Company, pointed out the outfit was an “attractive partner for non-Nordic producers because it’s driven by a combination of well-established Nordic executives who have stellar track records, and a young, energetic producer like Stinna Lassen, who’s in touch with interesting new talent across Scandinavia.”

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