Thanks to a tighter and more focused second Young Producers Club’ event in Cannes (May 16-18), 25 new Nordic producers had a unique opportunity to mingle with 65 Nordic and international senior industry people, including the Oscar winning producer Jeremy Thomas.

The producer of The Last Emperor was the guest star of the event co-organised by Tina Wagner Sørensen (pictured) from the Danish Film School and Noemi Ferrer from the Danish Film Institute to reinforce co-production and networking opportunities in Cannes for 25 young producers with their new company or junior producers in an established company. 

The importance of networking in Cannes is precisely what Jeremy Thomas was adamant to stress at YPC. He said he rarely closes deals in Cannes but focuses on seeing films and meeting people. The load of work around closing deals is left for home.

Other key speakers at YPC included director Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) and producer Erik Hemmendorff (Plattform Production), Tine Klint (LevelK), Roberto Olla (Eurimages), Nina Crone and Per Neumann (European Film Bonds) Producer Tero Kaukomaa (Blind Spot Pictures), Hanne Palmquist (SVT) and Bo Ehrhardt (Nimbus Film) among others. One of the two masterminds behind the event Tina Wagner Sørensen said: “In total we had around 65 international industry people who came and were generous with their time in Cannes. I am so grateful to all of them who remember what it is to start in the business, including Jeremy Thomas. He said it doesn’t matter if you do a film as a 25 year-old new producer or at the large scale that he makes his movies now. Producing is never easy and what remains essential is the passion that goes into producing”.

Besides the talks and new co-production case studies with mentors from the Dutch, Irish and German film bodies, two lunches were set up to consolidate the mingling between novice and established industry people. During the first one the young Nordic producers introduced themselves to the main sponsors: the Nordic film institutes, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Nordic Creative Media desks and Danish Producers Association. At the second lunch the 25 young producers were split into 12 small groups and asked to host some of the international executives in sales, financing, distribution, television. “We asked the young producers to do research about the people they were hosting and to be prepared for the face to face meeting. All in all it was very positive and I know a lot of young producers got a lot out of it”, said Wagner Sørensen.

Commenting on the event, the Finnish director AJ Annila (Sauna, Jade Warrior) who has just set up his own company Mangaani Motion Pictures said:” YPC was a great forum to meet people, effective and organised in a laid back atmosphere. Everything was new to me and I feel I know much more now in terms of financing a movie. What was great was to hear not only about people’s successes, but also about their failures and what they learnt from their mistakes”.

Danish producer Mette Lise Hansen who is starting producing features for her established company Sequoia Pictures added: Having YPC in Cannes is a good idea. Everybody is here. I really enjoyed the networking with my fellow Nordic producers from Iceland, Norway and Finland. Jeremy Thomas was great and I was surprised that my approach to film is quite similar to his. Being part of YPC is also a stamp of approval for us and useful when we go out there to pitch our own projects”.

For more information about the Young Producers Club, see the DFI website article: click here.