Katja Adomeit: “I want to produce films that make a difference”
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Currently readying three new productions, the Danish-German producer is looking for arthouse projects by young filmmakers from all over the world
“I want to produce films that are important, films that make a difference, but not so much through their plots; it is their attitude that counts – their message, if you will,” says Danish-German producer Katja Adomeit, of Copenhagen’s Adomeit Film.
Having presented Norwegian-Afghani director Shahrbanoo Sadat’s Wolf and Sheep [+see also:
interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
film profile] at Cannes, at the recent New Nordic Films – the market section of the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund – Adomeit introduced two of her upcoming films: New Zealand director Daniel Borgman’s Loving Pia and Danish director Annika Berg’s feature debut, Forever 13.
Shot on Denmark’s provincial island of Langeland, with real people playing themselves, Loving Pia follows a 60-year-old mildly intellectually disabled woman, who lives in the care of her 84-year-old mother. Pia has never had a boyfriend, and she longs for romance; now she thinks she needs to find a man to love, also in order to survive, when she no longer has her mother to help her. She meets Jens at the harbour, and begins a quiet and simple relationship with him, not realising that now her mother has been left alone.
Shooting without a script and with real-life girls making up the cast, Forever 13 is described as a punk-drama about a group of teens who usually meet in a club, which is about to be closed, and to mark the occasion, they decide to organise a major exhibition. They are all having such fun but feel like they are disappointments: “I am just so stupid, I don’t dance as well as she does, I am not as good-looking as her – but I am sure the film’s teenage audiences will lose some of their inferiority complexes and feel less freaky once they have seen it,” Adomeit explains.
Adomeit is also in production with Lida, the third film she has staged for Swedish director Anna Eborn. It is a documentary set in a waning Swedish settlement in Eastern Ukraine, portraying 81-year-old Lida, one of only six remaining speakers of the old Swedish language from the 1800s. In the 1950s, Lida and her sister Maria lived in a Soviet labour camp in Siberia – there she gave birth to her son, Arvid. Since then, she has seen neither Maria nor Arvid – Maria stayed in Siberia, while Arvid lives in St Petersburg.
German-born, Berlin-based Adomeit decided that she wanted to become a film producer after having worked as a director’s assistant for a year in New Zealand. So she sent applications for a job to all of the production companies worldwide that she thought could be interesting for her. “And I only got one response, from Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments. I was invited to an interview with CEO Peter Aalbæk Jensen, and in the end he told me, ‘Learn Danish, and you can start here’; I moved to Denmark, and shortly afterwards, I began as his personal assistant,” she recalls.
While with Zentropa, she started producing zero-budget shorts, and after six years – in 2011 – she instigated her own company, focusing on arthouse projects by young filmmakers from the world over. Her first feature was Danish director Anders Rønnow Klarlund’s The Secret Society of Fine Arts (2012), followed by a major project: Borgman’s The Weight of Elephants [+see also:
film profile] (2013). She also co-produced Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s award-winning Force Majeure [+see also:
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile] (2014) with Paris’ Coproduction Office, and they are collaborating once again on Östlund’s upcoming The Square.