FAQ: A few guidelines to co-producing

By Noemi Ferrer Schwenk

Are you looking to work with Danish partners on your next project? Our international producer Noemi Ferrer Schwenk guides you through the first steps of co-producing under the Danish Film Institute's international support programme.

Q: What kind of funding is available in Denmark for co-productions?

A: If you have a project that you would like to co-produce with Denmark, the first step is to find a Danish co-producer. The Danish co-producer can then apply to the Danish Film Institute (DFI).

DFI has minor-coproduction schemes for shorts and documentaries with two deadlines a year and for feature films (fiction and animation) three times a year. DFI may support six to nine minor co-productions in feature films and four to six minors in short and documentary films and per year. You can find all the necessary information for applying on DFI’s website:
Shorts and documentary films

Furthermore, there are three regional funds in Denmark: Den Vestdanske Filmpulje in Denmark’s second largest city of Aarhus (filmpuljen.dk), FilmFyn on the island of Funen (filmfyn.dk), and a new fund in Copenhagen that should be up and running from June 2013. Read about the Copenhagen Film Fund.

Q: How do I find a Danish co-producer?

A: Our online trade directory DFI-Bogen contains contact info on people, companies and institutions in the Danish film industry. You can find the directory in an English version: www.dfibogen.dk/english

Also, check our annual Facts & Figures brochure to see which minor co-productions were supported in previous years and which producers have been active internationally: Facts & Figures

In the case of documentary films, try Filmkontakt Nord who promote international networking in documentary and short filmmaking. The office can give you an idea as to whom it might be interesting for you to contact: Filmkontakt Nord

Q: What is the film commissioner system?

A: A key aspect of the Danish support system for film production is the Film Commissioner Scheme. The scheme is based on individual case processing, where six film commissioners allocate funding to the best film projects on the merit of their content and artistic quality.

Each of the six film commissioners performs a subjective assessment that is grounded in a professionally competent analysis. Hence, the commissioner’s work very much involves engaging in close dialogue with the applicant about the artistic development of the film project. In this respect, the commissioner’s work is about acting as a consultant to the applicants. The dialogue between the applicant and the commissioner revolves around the project’s strengths and potentials, its weaknesses and challenges.

Each commissioner is backed by a DFI producer who provides an assessment of the project’s financial and technical aspects.

The basic principle in the film commissioner’s work is to prioritize the state funds in order to secure the best possible artistic quality, diversity, volume, and audience appeal in Danish cinema and film culture, domestically and internationally.

Regarding DFI’s minor co-production schemes, the film commissioners play the following role:

Under the co-production scheme for feature films, their analysis is one of three key assessments taken into account by the panel making the final decision.

Under the short and documentary co-production scheme, it is the film commissioners who decide if they want to support the project.

Producer Noemi Ferrer Schwenk. Photo: Thomas Tolstrup

Contact our international producer
Noemi Ferrer Schwenk coordinates the Danish Film Institute’s work with international co-productions and is one of the key figures in the Film Institute’s overall international activities.

Noemi Ferrer Schwenk
Phone +45 5096 7411

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