"Content is king"
by Annika Pham
- We meet with the co-founder of the company Making Movies, Finland’s Producer on the Move in 2007 and producer of Petri Kotwica's first two features
Former journalist and filmmaker Kai Nordberg founded Making Movies in 1996 with Kaarle Aho. The production company has made over 70 documentaries and two feature films so far, both with filmmaker Petri Kotwica. For Nordberg, who was 2007’s Finnish Producer on the Move 2007 (see interview), content is king.
Cineuropa: how did you put the financing together for the film and bring on board German partners?
Kai Nordberg: I’ve lived five years in Berlin, so everybody assumes this is why Black Ice [+see also:
interview: Kai Nordberg
interview: Petri Kotwica
film profile] is a co-production with Germany. But that’s not the reason. The international collaboration on the film comes from the script. It was an exceptional script and we were able to present it to the right people who were able to recognize the story and put their skills, efforts and money behind the director. For me, the fact that our German partners Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv were able to connect with the content was essential.
Bavaria Film International also got involved in the project before Cannes 2007. We introduced the script to them and they got excited about it. In the same way Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg read the script and decided to get involved. Everybody had comments about the story. We took everything into consideration because making a film is about involving people, connecting with people. We also had to look for international partners because funding from the Finnish Film Foundation is too low. We had the idea that the minimum amount of money to make this movie was €1.8m. If you see what’s onscreen, the production value is actually quite high. The film is one quarter German and the rest is Finnish.
What were the German artistic elements in the film?
We have two German actors in Black Ice, and the sound design and all of post-production was done in Germany. We think that the triangle drama with a Nordic look can definitely appeal to a German and European audience.
Are you going to make another film with Kotwica?
We have several stories we are developing and will definitely continue to work together. With his first film, Homesick, on our third or fourth shooting day I had a very emotional moment. I suddenly realised: “I am now working with someone who has the potential to make a remarkable European film career, like Lars von Trier or Aki Kaurismäki.
I experienced that and knew it would be interesting and fascinating in the long run. I see our collaboration as a long process. We share this feeling. I know that Petri wants to make a lot of different films. It’s not only about the first or second film, it’s about building a film career with Petri.
What other feature films are you working on? I am working with Aku Louhimies on Tigerheart, a sci-fi children’s movie with a budget of around €2m. This will be our first children’s film. At Making Movies, we want to tell thrilling stories, no matter what the genre is. It will be an international co-production.