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ACTORS Denmark

No royalties for The Idiots cast

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- Danish actors accuse production company, Zentropa, of unscrupulous business methods to avoid payment of due royalties

Danish film production company Zentropa is being given a rough time by the Danish actors’ association. about unpaid royalties due from the European profits generated by Lars von Trier’s Idioten (The Idiots). Interviewed by Danish daily, “Berlingske”, actor Troels Lyby said that the cast of Idiots accepted lower salaries in exchange for 10 per cent of the international royalties. That was five years ago and the actors have not seen a penny.
Lyby said that almost all the films produced by Zentropa are co-financed by non-Danish companies that are either owned by Zentropa, or by individuals with ties to Zentropa, because this ensures the company fast-track access to the international rights. He added that the profits made were recycled by Zentropa for new productions - in doing so, Zentropa were no longer liable to pay out royalties. The example given regards a French company called Liberator Production, in charge of handling the international sales of Idioten in France, Italy and Switzerland; 50 per cent of Liberator is owned by Zentropa with a futher 25 per cent owned by Vibeke Windelov, a Zentropa producer.

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