René Ezra • Producer
34 year-old René Ezra graduated from the National Danish Film School in 2003 with the film Afterland by Thomas Bjerregaard Nielsen. Soon after he joined Nordisk Film’s in-house production team where he worked as associate producer on Leif Magnusson’s Doxa and as executive producer on Mick Ogendahl’s comedy Undskyld (Sorry!) His first film as a producer is the highly anticipated new comedy by established filmmaker Tomas Villum Jensen and scriptwriter Anders Thomas Jensen: Sprængfarlig Bombe (with the English working title “Explosive Bomb”), starring Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas. René’s production slate also includes Family Denmark by Lars C. Detlefen and Jannik T.Mosholt, Charter Vacation) by Søren Frellesen, Uffe Holm and Tomas Villum, and Rocky by Martin Kellerman based on a successful Swedish daily comic strip.
Cineuropa: How did you get into feature film production?
René Ezra: My first hands-on experience was making shorts with my brother, getting ideas and trying to make them materialise. Later on I got into steadicam and dolly equipment. While at film school, I worked as an assistant in New Line’s European premieres of Lord of the Rings. In 2003, I got my first Nordisk Film job, taking on the Cannes promotion of Christoffer Boe’s Reconstruction, working for producer Tine Pfeiffer. Right after I graduated, I had a great opportunity to work with Kim Magnusson who had just been appointed Managing Director of Nordisk Film. His idea was to rejuvenate Nordisk Film with a similar energy and philosophy that he had used with great success at M&M Production, and a lot of directors such as Tomas Villum Jensen followed him at Nordisk. So I started working on a slate of mainstream projects at Nordisk.
But your first film as a producer is the already much talked about new film by Tomas Villum Jensen from a script by Anders Thomas Jensen’s Explosive Bomb, now in post-production. The film is supposed to be a satirical portrayal of a world-renowned Danish filmmaker Claus Volter, AKA Lars von Trier… quite challenging subject matter…
Yes, there has been a lot of talk about the film being a personal vendetta from Anders Thomas Jensen and Tomas Villum Jensen against Lars von Trier. But realistically, nobody with any sense could really have set about making a film with such a negative and boring topic. What Tomas Villum and Anders Thomas really did was use their personal experiences and great sense of humour to make a very funny comedy set in the Danish film industry, as both have been in the business for many years now. The film will be released in Denmark this autumn.
What type of films are you interested in making?
I’m interested in making both artistic and commercial projects that can reach their audience, whatever the genre, as long as I can develop a real and productive relationship with the director. I’ve seen different approaches to filmmaking from various directors, from Tomas Villum Jensen, Paprika Steen to Christoffer Boe and it’s all been very inspiring.
What do you expect from your selection at the EFP Producers On The Move initiative?
Many of my Danish colleagues are highly regarded internationally, so it’s been a real honour for me to be chosen by the Danish Film Institute. It is a great opportunity to develop my network of contacts in Europe and internationally. Through this EFP initiative, other European producers worth knowing have been selected, so I’m really looking forward to meeting them.
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