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Andrea Berentsen Ottmar • Producer, Oslo Pictures

“We have to protect artistic independence, artistic quality and cinema culture”


- The Norwegian producer, selected as one of EFP's 2022 Producers on the Move, talked about her current work and next project

Andrea Berentsen Ottmar • Producer, Oslo Pictures

We chatted with Andrea Berentsen Ottmar, producer at Norwegian firm Oslo Pictures. Berentsen Ottmar was selected as one of the participants in the 2022 edition of European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move initiative and spoke about her job, the Norwegian film industry and the lessons she has learnt after two years of the pandemic.

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Cineuropa: What pushed you to enter this industry?
Andrea Berentsen Ottmar: I was curious about filmmaking since I was young, as I have family members who work in this business. I got to follow them to film premieres once in a while as a teenager, and I could see the joy, relief, pride and togetherness the team expressed standing there, presenting their film. I didn’t know about all the struggles of course [laughs] but it was enough to make me explore what the production world was about.

What is the most challenging aspect of a producer’s job? Which is the most rewarding?
Producing is a juggle between so many things – your own skillset, time and energy, and how to manage the latter wisely – but it’s also about understanding the needs of the project, the creatives, the market, the team. Of course, the most rewarding aspect are the moments – every now and then – where all these things actually balance, and all those efforts turn into an actual piece of art to be shared with the world.

What are the main challenges and advantages of producing in Norway? How would you judge the current state of its film scene?
One of the advantages of my country is an easier access to soft money and support systems than in many other countries. There are always things that could be better, of course, and I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m fully aware that we have some privileges others don’t. Right now, I would say that the main challenge of the film scene is about how the industry will adapt to this new ecosystem, with big international streamers and players. We have to protect artistic independence, artistic quality and cinema culture.

How do you think being one of the Producers on the Move will benefit your career?
I think the timing couldn’t be better. It will help me expand my network and horizon at a time when I am really open and eager to learn and include new ideas and relationships in my upcoming projects and business.

How has producing changed after two years of the pandemic? Any lesson or insight you’d like to share?
In terms of production, we had to be more creative than ever, I believe. We had to find solutions under a lot of pressure and insecurity, and we learnt we could do things differently. I hope we can take some of this open-mindedness with us and keep on bending our ways of working. At least for some aspects, there are also a lot of things I definitely won’t miss or don’t want to keep. But it was valuable practice, as we now need to meet other demands of change, like becoming a greener industry.

What are your next projects?
Currently, I am developing and financing the first feature of the talented director Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel, titled Armand. I’m also discussing and exploring with Joachim Trier what he is up to next.

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