by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Following a couple of successful local films, including Totally True Love, Norwegian producer Teréz Hollo-Klausen is eyeing a Norwegian-US project
Norwegian producer Teréz Hollo-Klausen’s first feature, Norwegian director Anne Sewitsky’s Totally True Love [+see also:
film profile] (2011), was nominated for four Amandas, Norway’s national film prize, subsequently cashing in on one. It also opened the Generation programme at the Berlinale.
After finishing film studies in 1998, Hollo-Klausen worked as a freelance production coordinator and associate producer, until in 2006 she was signed up by Oslo-based production outfit Cinenord, where she was also involved in Norwegian director Arne Lindtner Næss’ Casper and Emma – Best Friends [+see also:
film profile] (2013).
Hollo-Klausen has since moved to Stavanger, where she is working on a Norwegian-US project: LA-based Norwegian director-producer Sten Hellevig’s feature debut, Dryads [+see also:
interview: Sten Hellevig
film profile]. Scripted by Hellevig and American writer Randall Jahnson, the drama will be ready next spring. At the same time, she is about to start up her own distribution company.
Cineuropa: How did you get interested in film, and which filmmakers have inspired you?
Teréz Hollo-Klausen: Going to the local theatre has always been one of my favourite activities, and I started to make films with my best friend when we were 12. One of my favourite directors is Norwegian – Bent Hamer – and while I was a freelancer, I had the honour of being production coordinator on his Kitchen Stories. It was a lovely film and a wonderful working experience. Over the years, I have found inspiration in many directors, probably most of all Darren Aronofsky’s film language.
Did you study film, or did you learn by “doing”? How did you get into the business?
I have a Master of Arts degree in film theory, marketing and communication, which is a useful background, but I have learned much more from my years in production. I started as a freelancer in 1998 and worked for several companies before producing my first short film in 2006 – a baby step towards a full-length feature.
Why did you decide to focus on producing? Are there things you are particularly good at – and some you are not?
I love the combination of being on the creative side, and at the same time organising, planning and structuring – I have an urge both to analyse and to execute, and I like how a producer is involved in so many different parts of the filmmaking process from start to end. My experience has made me pretty good at production planning, and I enjoy packaging and presenting projects both at an early stage and during release and marketing. Financing still makes me a bit nervous, so I put a lot of pressure on myself, focusing on how to make it fall into place – still it is just a question of finding the right way to tackle that exact project.
Do you have any special interest in children’s films, or was Totally True Love just a coincidence?
There are several reasons why I love to produce films for children. With Totally True Love,I was inspired by the opportunity to tell all the ten-year-olds, “I see you, and I see that first love – although you are only ten years old – feels really important.” We should take children and their stories seriously. I also find it important to show our kids films in their own language – not dubbed – with a content that relates to their everyday life. In Norway, films for children and youngsters even sell the most tickets in the theatres, and reaching broad audiences is important in fuelling my work (and the investors’ wallets).
You are now making Dryads, a Norwegian-American feature – what isthat about?
It is an original story by Hellevig and US writer Randall Jahnson (Mask of Zorro) about a band, Dryads, that moves into a torn-down house next to a 15-year-old girl, Hilde. She is looking for something exciting to happen in her life, starts spying on them and becomes so fascinated that… well, you will just have to wait until it is in theatres next year, in March.
What else is on your agenda?
I am about to establish a distribution company, Last Film, which will, for the next two years, focus on Dryads and other films I produce, and then I’ll build it up from there. One of my upcoming projects is a music documentary, One Hit Wonder Girl.