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Sarita Christensen

Producer on the move 2007 - Denmark

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Sarita Christensen

Sarita Christensen worked for Danish film company Zentropa from 1997 to 2006. She was assistant producer on several projects and feature films (Princess [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Italian for Beginners, among others) and in 2004 started Zentropa GRRRR’s children and youth department.

Cineuropa: What is background and how did you decide to become a producer?
Sarita Christensen: I started as a volunteer at Zentropa in 1997. I first worked as a runner, then production assistant, then production coordinator and the last three years I was head of Zentropa’s children and youth department. In May 2006 I decided to leave Zentropa to start my own company together with director Anders Morgenthaler, whom I met during the production of Princess. I didn't decide to become a producer but that's what I’m currently doing. Basically I see myself as a midwife.

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During your time at Zentropa you produced one animated film. How did you put the financing together?
Yes, I produced one animated film, Princess. Anders introduced me for his short film from the Danish film school Araki. As Zentropa didn't have any experience with producing and financing animated films I had to come up with a financing strategy myself. I presented it to the head of financing at Zentropa, Peter Garde, and he helped me from there. It was a very small production, everything was low budget and the production setup/pipeline was tuned to a very fast production. Altogether there was a team of 20 people, it took one year to produce the film and the whole production was in-house.

What are production conditions like for an animation company in Denmark?
Princess had a total budget of €1.2m and therefore it was possible to produce everything in-house. Our next feature film, The Apple and the Worm, has a budget of approximately €2.5m and therefore we have to outsource postproduction through a co-production. I have a company with Anders Morgenthaler, Copenhagen Bombay. It is a new company, which on original stories for children and youth. To be able to produce films ourselves we have build up an animation department with 20 digital workstations. One thing we don't want to outsource is the production of animation. And our philosophy is to produce simple yet strong stories, which are low budget and fast. I expect to meet other producers in Cannes thanks to the Producers on the Move event.

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