Laura Jackson

OFFICE MANAGER & TEAM ASSISTANT

ACE Project Spotlight: DAVOS 1917

DAVOS 1917 by Jan-Eric Mack, Anca Miruna Lăzărescu and Christian Theede will premiere at Zurich Film Festival 2023. The project was developed during the ACE Series Special 2 by Ivan Madeo, and produced with his colleague and business partner Stefan Eichenberger (ACE Switzerland)

As World War I ravages Europe, the noble resort town of Davos seems like an oasis of peace. Behind the scenes, however, a relentless battle between secret agents of the world powers is raging in neutral Switzerland. The young nurse Johanna Gabathuler unexpectedly gets caught between the fronts of the spies. To save her illegitimate daughter, she becomes embroiled in a deadly game with the German secret service. Set against the breathtaking mountain panorama of the Grisons, the spy thriller DAVOS 1917 unfolds a politically explosive chapter in European history.

How did the ACE Series Special benefit you as a producer, and your ACE project?
The Series Special 2 Programme was a great benefit for DAVOS 1917 both on the development level and on the project presentation level with our series bible. I will never forget the valuable dramaturgical exchange with Emmanuel Oberg. He was a tremendous blessing that I was happy to share with our head writer Adrian Illien. With my fellow producers, I was able to discuss a variety of financing scenarios even before we knew how the final financial setup for our high-budget series would come together. Another extremely valuable aspect was the exchange with colleagues from the programme about the production challenges we face day by day, not only on a legal, financial and negotiation level but also on a psychological and emotional level. Because our profession is truly extraordinary and affects our personal lives profoundly.

What was the most challenging in getting this series from script to screen?
The first difficulty for us and our writers’ room was to tell a story that is set in a small village in the middle of the Alps but is still as internationally relevant as possible – and in a way that never feels constructed. I think we succeeded quite well thanks to numerous research on the true events during World War I as well as the cross-national cooperation of dedicated writers, producers, and commissioning editors from Swiss Television SRF and German Television ARD Degeto. The second major difficulty was the endless script revisions that were necessary due to the constant inflation, be it because of Covid, be it because of the Ukraine war. We finished financing and writing our series DAVOS 1917 half a dozen times before we had to tap additional sources of funding and face simplifications and cost reductions at the script level.

What’s ahead for you and your company? What are you currently working on?
The variety of films we are currently working on at Contrast Film is as large as inspiring. In Locarno, we have just premiered OF LIVING WITHOUT ILLUSION by Katharina Lüdin, a first feature that is now touring the festivals. At the other end of the budget scale are two big productions that we will premiere at the Zurich Film Festival: our TV series DAVOS 1917 starring Dominique Devenport, Jeanette Hain and David Kross as well as the co-produced feature film STELLA. A LIFE by Kilian Riedhof, a multi-country co-production led by Letterbox Filmproduktion Hamburg and starring a mesmerising Paula Beer. Furthermore, we are in post-production of our historical feature THE TRAITOR by Michael Krummenacher with Luna Wedler, Fabian Hinrichs and the fascinating new talent Dimitri Krebs as well as in post-production of the documentary CAN LOVE BE SIN by Martin Witz, a Locarno veteran. We are also involved as a minority partner in STRAY BODIES, a film by Elina Psykou as a co-production between Greece, Switzerland, Italy, and Bulgaria. On top of that, several co-productions are in the pipeline and new series are in development. So, there is some work, but also excitement ahead for the company.

 

More information on the ACE Series Special can be found here.

ACE Project Spotlight: La Bella Estate

LA BELLA ESTATE by Laura Luchetti will premiere at Locarno International Film Festival 2023 at the Piazza Grande. Producer Giovanni Pompili (ACE Italy) participated with the project in the ACE 30 Annual Programme.

1938. Young Ginia has just moved to Turin from the countryside. Looking for adventure she discovers the dazzling artists’ world and begins an affair with a painter. Amelia, the model who leads her into the bohemian quarters, is sensual, free, and different from anyone she has ever met. During her ‘beautiful summer’, Ginia yields to her first great love, celebrating the courage to be truly herself.

How did the ACE Annual Programme benefit you as a producer, and your ACE project?
Participating in the ACE Annual Programme definitely was a turning point for my education and career, as well as strengthening my industry knowledge and my international network. Meeting and sharing with my peers always brings different points of view on common topics and this is absolutely the greatest value the experience can bring. It helped me a lot to be able to look at myself from the right distance to my professional experience and to the company management.
And: The Annual Programme doesn’t finish with the workshop, but the ACE journey starts with it, being part of the association today is extremely important.

Unfortunately, we experienced it in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and we were still not used to handling this kind of online engagement. I did the first session from a hotel room while we were in Sardinia on the set of a shooting (SILENT LAND, co-produced with Lava Films and I/O Post) with COVID alert and protocol to manage and it was difficult to stay 100% focused. However, the ACE team did a tremendous job of making it as interactive and inspiring as possible. The feedback from my script team was invaluable, it was really the confrontation I needed at that time.

What was the most challenging in getting this film from script to the screen?
Making a film based on a book is always a great challenge. If the book is written by Pavese, a master of Italian literature, the challenge is even greater. With Laura, we talked a lot and the only way to respect such an important author was to make him our own. So, the script itself was the first challenge. In the production build-up, we had another big challenge given the fact that the film was supposed to be a co-production with France but four months before shooting everything fell through.
Thanks to our associate partners Lucky Red, Tapeless and True Colours who are handling international sales, we’ve managed to get to the set without changing or reducing the shooting days.

What’s ahead for you and your company? What are you currently working on?
In San Sebastián we will premiere in competition with PUAN, directed by Maria Alche and Benjamin Naishtat, a film I’m super proud of! It is an Argentinian-Brasilian-Italian-French-German co-production, led by Pasto and Pucara Cine together with Infinity Hill – Pandora Filmproduktion (Germany) – Atelier de Production (France) – Bubbles Project (Brazil)

In post-production, we have currently two films, the second feature by Carlo Sironi starring the French actress Noee Abita and co-produced with Julie Billy at June film in France and a minority co-production with the Netherlands based on the book A Beautiful Imperfection by Arthur Japin. It is produced together with Maarten Swart at Kaap Holland Films and Eye-Works Belgium starring Dar Zuso and Jonah Hauer-King.

In October we will have the principal photography of POLVO SERAN, directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet in co-production with Lastor Media (Spain) and Alina Films (Switzerland).

We are developing more films, both majority and minority co-production, it is in our souls to work on stories regardless of the passport of the authors. But the biggest challenge is to structure the company so that it can be independent of me, that is, to train professionals who can one day carry on what I started ten years ago.

ACE Project Spotlight: Sweet Dreams

SWEET DREAMS by Ena Sendijarević will premiere at Locarno International Film Festival 2023 in Concorso Internazionale. Producer Erik Glijnis (ACE The Netherlands) participated with the project in the ACE 30 Annual Programme.

1900. A secluded island full of flora and fauna. Amidst another sugar crisis, Jan — patriarch and head of a sugar factory — dies, leaving his two women to their own devices: Agathe, his wife, and housemaid Siti, the mother to his bastard son. A family reunion follows. When the illegitimate son turns out to be the only heir, it’s every man, woman, child, plant, and animal for themselves…

How did the ACE Annual Programme benefit you as a producer, and your ACE project?
ACE 30 was an extraordinary edition as we started during the COVID-19 pandemic. We had the pleasure of participating in the ACE Annual Programme for over one and a half years. During that time, I developed SWEET DREAMS together with writer/director Ena Sendijarević from the first draft until a shooting script and from the start, it was clear that it was an ambitious project.
My fellow producers within the group helped shape both the content and financial set-up of the film. At the end of my ACE journey, we moved forward to a shooting period in the Summer of 2021. The shoot was bound to take place in Indonesia, however, the Delta COVID variant really hit hard that summer. During our pre-production, we had to stop due to safety reasons. Later, we tried to re-set it up in Indonesia, but also started researching alternatives, and came across the island of La Reunion and eventually moved the production there. We finally shot the film a year later in the summer of 2022. It was an extremely tough period. I’ve learned a lot from this process, from my fellow participants’ input and from being involved in helping them with their projects.

What was the most challenging in getting this film from script to the screen?
On a productional level, it was what I mentioned above, creating a period piece with a small budget amidst COVID-19. The co-production structure was Dutch, Swedish, Indonesian, and French, getting our different cultures and way of working in line and being the first ever international co-production to shoot in La Reunion meant we had to work very structured. I should not forget to thank my dear colleague Leontine Petit (ACE NL) and my producing partners: Erik Hemmendorff (ACE SE), Judy Tossell (ACE DE), Kristina Borjeson (FilmiVast), Mandy Marahimin (Tala Media, Indonesia) and Laurent Medea from (TikTak production, La Réunion). We had just completed the co-production PLEASURE, where Plattform was the majority producer, and it was great to continue our relationship and collaborate on SWEET DREAMS.

What’s ahead for you and your company? What are you currently working on?
We’re happy our different outfits (Lemming Film Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany) have a lot going on in terms of production. In the meantime, we’re working on our development slate and strengthening the organisation and our team. We’re also spending quite some time on the creative alliance we’re part of called The Creatives to further intensify our collaboration.

Regarding the projects: We’re in post-production with Tallulah Schwab’s MR. K, Lucrecia Martel’s CHOCOBAR, Stefanie Kolk’s MELK, Wang Xiaoshuai’s ABOVE THE DUST, Justin Andersons SWIMMING HOME and Isabella Eklöf’s KALAK.

This fall, I’m finally shooting David Verbeek’s feature film THE WOLF, THE FOX & THE LEOPARD, a co-production between The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Croatia, Ireland, and Taiwan. We’re involved as a minority co-producer in VÄRN, directed by John Skoog, and produced by Erik Hemmendorff and Caroline Drab (Plattform), with Denis Lavant as the lead. We’re also working on SKIFF, a feature film by Cecilia Verheyden, produced by Elisa Heene (Mirage Films). In the Spring of 2024, I’m shooting Michiel ten Horn’s ANY OTHER NIGHT with our German (One Two Films) and Canadian (Lithium Studios) partners. We also have two series and a high school comedy going into production in the first half of 2023, so it’s pretty packed until next summer with a wide variety of great projects.

ACE 34 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

Every year, ACE Producers accepts 18 experienced film producers into the renowned ACE Network after completing ACE’s Annual Programme of executive education. Interested producers are asked to submit a feature film project in development that is suitable for co-production and aimed at the international market along with their application.

Application deadline: 2 May 2024

Four events make up the core of the training programme, held in four different locations.

OCTOBER – CONTENT DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP
Through pitching practice training and sessions on leadership and core values, the producers learn more about themselves and each other, their own businesses and the types of projects they produce. Group sessions and walk & talk discussions provide insight into early development problems such as preparing intention notes, working with talents and maintaining good relationships with writers and directors. During group sessions led by consultants, producers are encouraged to offer each other script advice, and analyse financing plans and marketing materials. Participants also benefit from individual consultancy meetings analysing the concepts, dramaturgy, financing plan, and target audiences of their projects.
7th – 12th October 2024 in Leiden, The Netherlands

NOVEMBER – FINANCING STRATEGIES WORKSHOP
Interactive sessions exploring international financing opportunities and strategies through detailed analysis of producers’ finance plans, with input provided by high-grade professionals from across the industry. A uniquely open exchange of experience and ideas which sheds light on the evolution of co-production practices, public and private funding schemes, and the global marketplace in the digital age.
18th – 23rd November 2024 in Warsaw, Poland

APRIL – BUSINESS PROSPECTS WORKSHOP
Sessions on business growth, designed to provide producers with models of sustainable company management and ways to build businesses that have real value. Group sessions and panel discussions guide the producers through keener applications of marketing techniques and diversified commercial activities.
April 2025, exact dates and location to be announced.

APRIL – ACE PRODUCERS ANNUAL REUNION
Held in a different country every year over a long springtime weekend, and open to all members of the ACE Network, this event is an occasion for experienced producers to share news, knowledge, opinions and practical advice in an informal but confidential environment.  Warts-and-all case studies, production company showcases, insider-information sessions, and more.
Directly following the Business Prospects Workshop, exact dates and location to be announced.

ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS

  • Be an owner, partner or associate of an independent production company;
  • Have been the delegate producer (i.e. the principal responsible producer) of at least one theatrically-released feature film;
  • Have a fiction feature film project in development which is designed to attract international finance and distribution – ideally in the form of a first draft screenplay or long treatment;
  • Be available and commit to attending a selection interview during the first week of September, the Content Development Workshop (October), the Financing Strategies Workshop (November), the Business Prospects Workshop and the Annual Reunion (both in April).

APPLY
Please contact ace@ace-producers.com to establish your eligibility or to set up a meeting if you have any questions about the programme.
Applications will primarily be evaluated on the producers’ track record and motivation, followed by the strength of the project and its co-production and collaborative potential.

Visit the workshop section of the ACE Producers website for more information on the Annual Programme and application process.

PARTNERS
The ACE 34 Annual Programme is supported by Creative Europe MEDIA, Netherlands Film Fund, Polish Film Institute, Procirep, German Films, Téléfilm Canada, Screen Ireland, Roma Lazio Film Commission, Focal and APA – Audiovisual Producers Association.

EFM Producers and Projects Hub – 2024 Partnership

In partnership with the European Film Market, ACE Producers will co-host the Consultancy Round Tables with experts from ACE Producers, aimed at all international producers attending the EFM with a professional business goal. Based on one of the core competencies of the European Film Market as a sales and distribution platform, the EFM Producers Hub provides a working environment for professionals during the Berlinale. It will be the key location for producers to meet and network with potential partners.

The EFM Producers & Projects Hub, in collaboration with ACE Producers, will offer daily round-table discussions from the 17th until the 20th of February, centred around the following themes:

Strategies on how to develop your project at International Training Platforms
Saturday, 17 February: 11:00 – 12:00
Find the consultants here.

Strategies on how to finance a project in an International Context
Sunday, 18 February: 11:00 – 12:00
Find the consultants here.

Strategies for Distribution
Monday, 19 February: 11:00 – 12:00
Find the consultants here.

Strategies on how to build Audiences (with AI)
Tuesday, 20 February: 11:00 – 12:00
Find the consultants here.

 

The experts are the consultants and moderators of each session, you can pre-register and indicate your preference for one of the consultants here.

Please note:

  • To access the Gropius Bau and the round tables, you need to have a Berlinale Market Badge.
  • Signing up for the round tables is required beforehand.
  • Producers can only sign up for a maximum of two round tables.
  • Registrations will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If you are selected to participate, you will receive a confirmation by email mentioning which session(s) you will join.

SELECTION ANNOUNCED FOR ACE MENTORING PROGRAMME NL 2024

Gearing up for the fourth edition, ACE Producers has selected three upcoming producers based in The Netherlands and Overseas Territories to participate in the ACE Mentoring Programme NL 2024. The programme aims to support emerging producers in reaching the next level of their careers and developing their international network.

The selected participants have been matched to a mentor of the ACE Producers Network according to their specific needs. The mentorship includes meetings throughout the year at international festivals and events, and online.

The ACE Mentoring Programme NL has been set up in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund.

 

SELECTED PRODUCERS FOR ACE MENTORING PROGRAMME:

Ewoud Bon, Provider Films – The Netherlands
Mentor: Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė (ACE 33), Just A Moment – Lithuania

Sasha Gertsik, GROM Productions – The Netherlands
Mentor: Helen Ahlsson (ACE 19), Nordic Drama Queens – Sweden

Sam Godfried, Yalla docs – The Netherlands
Mentor: Lisa Marie Russo (ACE 11), Fly Film Company – United Kingdom

 

Together with ACE Training Days, the ACE Mentoring Programme is part of ACE Springboard, a combination of programmes focusing on emerging independent producers to strengthen careers at an early stage. ACE Springboard provides participants with the tools needed to be adaptable and innovative in an ever-changing film industry – for a successful new generation of independent producers!

More information on the ACE Springboard Programmes can be found here.
For questions, contact us at ace@ace-producers.com.

Oscar Nominations 2024

BEST PICTURE
ANATOMY OF A FALL by Justine Triet
Produced by David Thion (ACE France)

POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

BEST DIRECTING
ANATOMY OF A FALL by Justine Triet
Produced by David Thion (ACE France)

POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Sandra Hüller for ANATOMY OF A FALL by Justine Triet
Produced by David Thion (ACE France)

Emma Stone for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Mark Ruffalo for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
FOUR DAUGHTERS by Kaouther Ben Hania
Produced by Nadim Cheikhrouha (ACE France)
Co-produced by Thanassis Karathanos (ACE Germany)

ANIMATED FEATURE
ROBOT DREAMS by Pablo Berger
Produced by Jérôme Videl (ACE France)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
THE AFTER by Misan Harriman
Produced by Nicky Bentham (ACE United Kingdom)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Justine Triet and Arthur Harari for
ANATOMY OF A FALL by Justine Triet
Produced by David Thion (ACE France)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Tony McNamara for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Robbie Ryan for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

FILM EDITING
Laurent Sénéchal for ANATOMY OF A FALL by Justine Triet
Produced by David Thion (ACE France)

Yorgos Mavropsaridis for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

PRODUCTION DESIGN
James Price and Shona Heath for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jerskin Fendrix for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

COSTUME DESIGN
Holly Waddington for POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston for
POOR THINGS by Yorgos Lanthimos
Produced by Ed Guiney (ACE Ireland)
Co-produced by Ildiko Kemeny (ACE Hungary)

ACE Producers’ Films at IFFR 2024

TIGER COMPETITION

PRAIA FORMOSA by Julia De Simone
Produced by Filipa Reis (ACE Portugal)

SWIMMING HOME by Justin Anderson
Produced by Emily Morgan (ACE United Kingdomm) and Giorgos Karnavas (ACE Greece)
Co-produced by Leontine Petit and Erik Glijnis (ACE The Netherlands)

 BIG SCREEN COMPETITION

PORTRAIT OF A CERTAIN ORIENT by Marcelo Gomes
Co-produced by Eliane Ferreira (ACE Brazil) and Simone Gattoni (ACE Italy)

 LIMELIGHT

LA CHIMERA by Alice Rohrwacher
Produced by Carlo Cresto-Dina (ACE Italy)

LOS DELINCUENTES by Rodrigo Moreno
Co-produced by Bruno Bettati (ACE Chile), Gilles Chanial (ACE Luxemburg) and Hernán Musaluppi (ACE Argentina)

FOUR DAUGHTERS by Kaouther Ben Hania
Produced by Nadim Cheikhrouha (ACE France)
Co-produced by Thanassis Karathanos (ACE Germany)

THE GREEN BORDER by Agnieszka Holland
Co-produced by Diana Elbaum (ACE Belgium)
and Maria Blicharska (ACE France)

HOLLY by Fien Troch
Co-produced by Frans van Gestel (ACE The Netherlands)
and Laurette Schillings (ACE The Netherlands)

HOW TO HAVE SEX by Molly Manning Walker
Executive producer: Giorgos Karnavas (ACE Greece)

LOST IN THE NIGHT by Amat Escalante
Produced by Nicolás Celis (ACE Mexico)
Co-produced by Leontine Petit and Erik Glijnis (ACE The Netherlands), Eva Jakobsen (ACE Denmark)

MADAME LUNA by Daniel Espinosa
Co-produced by Katja Adomeit (ACE Denmark), Marco Alessi (ACE Italy)

 HARBOUR

8 VIEWS OF LAKE BIWA by Marko Raat
Co-produced by Misha Jaari (ACE Finland)

BISONS by Pierre Monnard
Produced by Patrice Nezan

LEVANTE by Lillah HALLA
Co-produced by Claire Charles-Gervais (ACE France)

MELK by Stefanie Kolk
Produced by Leontine Petit and Erik Glijnis (ACE The Netherlands)

TWITTERING SOUL by Deimantas Narkevičius
Produced by Dagne Vildziunaite (ACE Lithuania)

Berlinale 2024 winners

Silver Bear Jury Prize
THE EMPIRE by Bruno Dumont
Produced by Andrea Paris (ACE Italy)
Co-produced by Dorothe Beinemeier (ACE Germany), Olivier Dubois (ACE Belgium), Bertrand Faivre (ACE France), Fabrizio Mosca (ACE Italy)

Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
DYING by Matthias Glasner
Produced by Jan Krüger (ACE Germany)

Encounters Best Director
CIDADE; CAMPO by Juliana Rojas
Co-produced by Clement Dubois (ACE France) and Ingmar Trost (ACE Germany)

Grand Prix for Best Film in Generation 14plus
WHO BY FIRE by Philippe Lesage
Produced by Galilé Marion-Gauvin (ACE Canada)

Special Mention – Crystal Bear for Best Film
YOUNG HEARTS by Anthony Schatteman
Co-produced by Annabella Nezri (ACE Belgium) and Floor Onrust (ACE The Netherlands)

Second Prize – Panorama Audience Award
CROSSING by Levan Akin
Co-produced by Katja Adomeit (ACE Denmark)

Forum – Ecumenical Jury Prize
MARIA’S SILENCE by Dāvis Sīmanis
Produced by Inese Boka-Grube (ACE Latvia)

Teddy Jury Award
DYING by Matthias Glasner
Produced by Jan Krüger (ACE Germany)

Guild Film Prize
DYING by Matthias Glasner
Produced by Jan Krüger (ACE Germany)

Special Mention – AG-Kino Gilde Cinema Vision 14Plus
DISCO AFRIKA: A MALAGASY STORY by Luck Razanajaona
Co-produced by Nicole Gerhards (ACE Germany)

Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Jury Award
DYING by Matthias Glasner
Produced by Jan Krüger (ACE Germany)

Eurimages Co-Production Development Award
SCREAMING GIRL by Antonio Lukich
Produced by Vladimir Yatsenko (ACE Ukraine)
Co-produced by Jessie Fisk (ACE Ireland)