Audience building for historical films takes center stage in Lübeck


– The industry panel, held on November 6 during the Lübeck Nordic Film Days, focused on how to make historical topics current and relevant to today’s audience

Laurin Dietrich moderates the panel with Christina Rosendahl and Jonas Frederiksen

How can producers and distributors attract audiences to a film dealing with historical themes? What are the best practices for releasing a period film given current pandemic restrictions? How do you make historical topics current and relevant to viewers today? These are some of the questions addressed by one of the sectoral panels organized by the Lübeck Nordic Film Days, held on November 6. The 62sd The German rally’s edition, originally slated to be a hybrid event, was forced to go fully virtual due to the worrying increase in coronavirus cases and took place from November 4 to 8.

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The conversation, titled “Bringing the Past to the Future. Audience Building for Historical Films in Unprecedented Times ”, took place against the backdrop of the 100e anniversary of the reunification of South Jutland with Denmark and 100 years of Danish-German friendship. It saw the participation of players from both countries, who shared examples of current and upcoming releases and offered their perspective on building an audience for historic films. The speakers were Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-HolsteinManaging Director of Helge Albers, Managing Director Christina rosendahl, Nimbus Film producer Jonas Frederiksen, Tamtam Film producer and distributor Dirk Decker and marketing and distribution representative Henriette Ahrens. The panel was opened and moderated by Laurin Dietrich.

After a brief contribution from Albers, the floor was turned over to Decker and Ahrens, who presented the first case study, namely their campaign for the recent German exit of Kasper Torsting‘s An internal war. Decker explained that the film was a German-Danish-Czech co-production set during World War I and addressed a theme that played a crucial role in the marketing and distribution of the project, namely the historical facts behind the annexation of the southern Denmark, which forced 30,000 young soldiers to fight. for the German Reich. Decker was grateful for the strong support received from international partners, outfits and locals. The original plan was to release the film in Denmark on November 10, 2018, namely the 100e anniversary of the end of the First World War. “Fortunately, we managed to get him out on time despite the tight schedule. We had 45,000 admissions in southern Denmark and the film has become one of the most successful titles released in the region, ”he said. For the German release, the team preferred to wait for a few good selections at the festival and plan a real broadcast in 2020, on the occasion of the 100e anniversary of the border between Germany and Denmark. Later, Ahrens explained in more detail how they worked to intercept the desired German-Danish target groups by adopting a flexible strategy and doing extensive preparatory work. The pandemic disrupted several of their plans, such as the idea of ​​holding a first on the German-Danish border.

The second case study focused on The good traitor [+see also:
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. Frederiksen explained that the team had worked in two directions; namely, a rather conventional campaign dedicated to the interception of the good “appetite” in the televiewers, alongside the will to make a special project capable of promoting “cultural values”. In addition, a lot of work has been done in terms of advertising the film in local media, which “can be a struggle, as these need a local angle” but has proved successful nonetheless. Finally, Rosendahl underlined the importance of the story of Henrik Kauffmann, portrayed in his film, and how it has acquired special educational value in the current context, as it can inspire resilience and relieve viewers in these difficult times. . With local press, the director said their second main target was local movie theater owners, especially smaller ones, who felt left behind during this crisis and were ready to engage viewers in the community again. The panel closed with a short question-and-answer session and Dietrich’s closing remarks.

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