Producers on the Move 2013 - The Netherlands
- After a period at Lemming Film, Dutch Producer on the Move Marleen Slot has set up her own production company, Viking Film
After a period at Lemming Film, where she produced films such as Taking Chances and co-produced Cannes competition title My Joy, Dutch Producer on the Move Marleen Slot has set up her own production company, Viking Film.
Cineuropa: How did you become a producer?
Marleen Slot: By accident. I didn’t really know what a producer’s job entailed, initially. I’d studied Communication Science and had a work placement at Lemming Film in Amsterdam, where I learned about what the qualities and characteristics of producers were, and I realised that I had these characteristics too. I didn’t know a job like this existed, that fits in exactly with the kind of person that I am!
How would you describe your place in the Dutch cinema landscape?
I produced several features at Lemming, including Tony 10, Snackbar and Taking Chances, and I also co-produced three international films: My Joy, ¡Vivan las Antipodas! and Oxygen. After those experiences, I felt the time was right to start my own production company, Viking Film, which I did almost two years ago. The company is a start-up, but I do bring my experience as a producer to the table. It is called Viking Film because I was looking for a name that could work internationally and had personal resonance – I grew up in a place called the Island of the Vikings.
Do you feel that producing in the Netherlands is very different from other European countries? What could be improved?
What’s lacking in the Netherlands is a tax rebate or shelter system, which means that we lose a lot of talent and productions to more advantageous places abroad. The Dutch historical film Kenau, for example, is currently being shot in Hungary, with post-production taking place in Belgium. We’re also only a small country, so producing is very different compared to places like France and Germany. That said, the Netherlands Film Fund are very much focused on the international aspects of producing and they encourage it, which is great.
How do you choose which international co-productions to support? Films such as Leones, Oxygen and My Joy seem like very different projects from the children’s features you’ve produced?
At Viking, I’m trying to target three different pillars – international art-house titles from the Netherlands and elsewhere, Dutch children’s films and animation projects geared for either adults or children. Dutch children’s films are a real phenomenon, they are respected internationally and travel well, and they can help not only in terms of box-office but also because they help establish contacts internationally to finance new projects, including for art-house fare.
You’re also working on Sacha Polak’s film that was in the Berlinale Residency programme?
Her second feature, Zurich, will be the first majority-production feature I’ll have produced through Viking. I’m also producing a TV documentary that Polak’s directing, and we collaborated on one of her shorts, Brother. I loved her debut, Hemel, and I think she’s very talented. The new feature will be co-produced with Belgium and Germany and since it’s a road movie we can also shoot in these places. It’ll still be an art-house film, but it’s music-based and accessible to a wider audience.
How would you describe your ideal project?
For me, it would start with the filmmaker and the kind of person he or she is. Story-wise, I’m not looking for a specific theme; I like universal stories. I’m an alumnus of EAVE and ACE and I learnt there that it’s more interesting and fun to produce something that has international potential.
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