Copenhagen Film Fund attracts historic BBC/HBO drama to Copenhagen

13 Dec 2018, Posted by Liv Saalbach Holse in Uncategorized @en

With an investment from Copenhagen Film Fund, BBC shoots parts of the new "Gentleman Jack" television series in Copenhagen. But these major international productions may become a rare sight in the future, as the film fund lacks funding from 2019.

Spectacular panoramas inside Copenhagen City Hall, horse carriages in central Copenhagen and royal chambers at Gavnø Castle. BBC One and HBO took full advantage of historic Copenhagen and the surrounding area when they shot some of the last scenes for their new 18th-century drama series 'Gentleman Jack' in Copenhagen late November.

The Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl takes on the role of Queen Marie and plays opposite the British actress Suranne Jones ('Doctor Foster') as the lead role of Anne Lister. The cast also includes Sophie Rundle, Gemma Jones and Timothy West.

The television series 'Gentlemen Jack' tells the authentic story of Anne Lister, a British landowner who challenged social standards in the 18th century England by being the first woman to live in an official lesbian relationship. Her story led to Copenhagen, where she spent time in the company of Danish Queen Marie.

"'Gentleman Jack' is a high-profile mini-series, which will be distributed worldwide. Thus, we will have central locations of Copenhagen and surrounds playing on screens all around the world, while the production has spent five times the fund's investment on Danish talent, labour, equipment, hotel and catering. With a Danish star like Sofie Gråbøl in a supporting role, this production has the whole package, so to speak, based on our investment criteria," says Thomas Gammeltoft, CEO of Copenhagen Film Fund, who has invested in the production.


The Fund lacks funding from 2019
However, Copenhagen Film Fund's investment in 'Gentleman Jack' will be one of the last since the fund's main contributor, the municipality of Copenhagen, in September announced that they withdraw their support from 2019. Hence, it will be more difficult to attract international film and television productions to Greater Copenhagen.

"Major international film and television productions move to countries that offer funding in return for local labour, studios and locations. Hence, it is crucial for a country to offer financial incentive schemes if it wishes to strengthen the growth and development of talent and skills within the domestic industry. Today, Denmark is the last country in the EU that has not made a political agreement on introducing a national incentive scheme for film and television productions," says Thomas Gammeltoft, fearing that Copenhagen and the metropolitan region may lose its position as a generator for growth and innovation within the Danish film and television industry - a position that benefits the entire country.

"Copenhagen Film Fund has not only created growth and jobs throughout investments in film and television - but has also helped in branding Copenhagen internationally. Our work suffers a great deal with the lack of support for the fund," says Thomas Gammeltoft.

'Gentleman Jack' will air as a mini-series in eight episodes on BBC One in the UK, on HBO in the US and distributed worldwide by HBO in the spring of 2019. Danish viewers will be able to find the TV series on HBO Nordic. The British author and director Sally Wainwright, known for the British crime series "Happy Valley", has created the series. In addition to Sally Wainwright, the executive producers consist of Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester from the production company Lookout Point together with producer Phil Collinson. On Danish soil, the production is handled by Marlow Film Productions.