After 25 years, Aalbæk Jensen resigns as Zentropa chief
- The Danish producer will "sort of clean up behind the dresser" and leave top management of the high-profile production company that gave the world Dogme
Danish producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen (photo) has announced that he will leave the his top position as ceo of Zentropa Entertainments no later than February 2015 - 25 years after he instigated the Danish high-profile production company, which gave the world Dogme.
Aalbæk Jensen stated his decision following a press investigation of the Zentropa chain of enterprises led by local tabloid BT, suggesting that some of the €56.3 million public support they have received over the years may have ended up in private hands.
It also claimed that he and co-owner, Danish director Lars von Trier, sold Zentropa shares to company employees - producers, directors, staff - who lost money, then unknowingly guaranteed a loan covering Zentropa property transactions.
Aalbæk Jensen, who has declared that "the financial affairs of my companies concern the IRS, God and myself, in that order", explained he made up his mind last year, when he had to make 50 Zentropa staffers redundant because of the company's financial difficulties.
"It f****** hurt - firing somebody, whom I have grown up with, and whose wives and children I know. I will now use the next two years to stabilise the business, sort of clean up behind the dresser," he said. He hoped still to produce one film annually and stay closer to the filmmaking process.
Aalbæk Jensen and von Trier began Zentropa in 1992, reinvigorating the industry by introducing Dogme three laters later. Their first international break-through was von Trier's Breaking the Waves (1996), followed by his Palme d'Or winner, Dancer in the Dark (2000).
Zentropa launched Danish director Lone Scherfig's Italian for Beginners (2000), also films by Susanne Bier (such as her Oscar winner, In a Better World [+see also:
film profile] (2010) and Per Fly. Current chart-busters include Bier's Love Is All You Need [+see also:
film profile] and Nikolaj Arcel's A Royal Affair [+see also:
interview: Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
interview: Nikolaj Arcel
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