Signe Byrge Sørensen gets the Roos Award
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Danish producer, who staged US director Joshua Oppenheimer’s two Indonesian genocide films, has been awarded Denmark’s top documentary prize
While on her way to the film festivals in Venice and Toronto with US director Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence [+see also:
film profile] – his companion piece to The Act of Killing [+see also:
film profile] (2012) – Danish producer Signe Byrge Sørensen has received the most prestigious prize in Danish documentary film, the Roos Award. In his first film about the 1965-1966 Indonesian genocide, Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and an anonymous Indonesian director meet former death-squad leaders. In the second, meanwhile, the event is depicted from the victims’ perspective.
“Do not be fooled by her modest demeanour. She knows what she wants, and graciously, but stubbornly, she goes for it,” said the Roos Award jury of Sørensen, who had 1,000 hours of footage in front of her for the making of The Act of Killing, which was nominated for an Oscar and won the European Film Prize. “A film producer can be – but is not necessarily – a creative driving force. She is much more than a creative producer – with Oppenheimer’s film, she has shown herself to be a world-class visionary producer,” the jury added.
With an MA in International Development Studies and Communication, Sørensen is a Eurodoc (2003) and EAVE (2010) graduate; she has produced films since 1998 and founded her own production company, Final Cut for Real, in 2009. She has put her name to 22 Danish and international documentaries – most recently, Danish director Michael Madsen’s Halden Prison (2014), one of the six instalments in German director Wim Wenders’ Cathedrals of Culture [+see also:
“It is a gift to us all that her overarching goal is to contribute to a better world with greater equality and social justice. Her films have been known to knock people off their feet, but she herself stands firm – on the red carpet or among the Syrian refugees, who are the subject of one of her upcoming films,” the jury concluded. In 2012, Sørensen also staged Indian director Nishtha Jain’s award-winning Gulabi Gang, about a group of female vigilantes and activists from India, operating in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh.