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At 60, Peter Aalbæk Jensen steps down as CEO of Denmark’s Zentropa


- After almost 25 years, the producer will be replaced by a five-member management team, which will run the company he started with Lars von Trier

At 60, Peter Aalbæk Jensen steps down as CEO of Denmark’s Zentropa
Peter Aalbæk Jensen bids a fond farewell as CEO of Zentropa Entertainments

In a surprise announcement today (8 April), as he is celebrating his 60th birthday, Danish producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen said he would be stepping down as CEO of Zentropa Entertainments, which he launched with Danish director Lars von Trier in January 1992.

“My time here has been full of days I have enjoyed – my latest remarkable victories, such as the triumphs over the archenemy, the Danish Film Institute, which was first overturned in a case about auditor’s records, and was then told that the decision to put Zentropa under ‘strict supervision’ was illegal,” he declared.

He also stated that his latest three productions, Danish directors Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune [+see also:
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interview: Thomas Vinterberg
film profile
and Jesper W Nielsen’s The Day Will Come [+see also:
film profile
, and Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s Conspiracy of Faith [+see also:
film profile
, are sure to sell at least 1.2 million tickets domestically during the first six months of 2016 – and Danish actress Trine Dyrholm won a Silver Bear for her performance in The Commune, to boot. 

At Zentropa, he will be replaced by a five-member management team, with Anders Kjærhauge as managing director and also including Frederik Nemeth, Rikke Ennis, Louise Vesth and Sisse Graum Jørgensen. “They will run it jointly; we have tried this model during the last year and a half, and it works.”

Aalbæk Jensen will continue in the company as an ordinary employee and will concentrate on instigating new projects, “which I have been flirting with for a couple of years – such as the Jussi Adler-Olsen Department Q franchise and The Day Will Come. This year, I will also start Birgitte Stærmose and Kim Fupz Aakeson’s Darling, and Anders Morgenthaler and Mikael Wulff’s Vejfesten.”

With 183 films to his credit as a producer, he still – with von Trier – owns 25% of Zentropa Entertainments; Danish director Kristian Levring has another 25%, while the remaining 50% is controlled by Danish major Nordisk Film.

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