Storytelling seminar – what unites and separates us in Europe?

18 Jan 2019, Posted by Liv Saalbach Holse in Uncategorized @en

Earlier this week 60 producers, screenwriters, directors and academics from Denmark, Sweden and Belgium were gathered in Malmö for two days of inspiration and new perspectives on stories and narratives that unites our nations across borders.

The ambition wasn’t to bang Danish, Belgian and Swedish producers and creatives on the head with their social and environmental responsibility. But rather the goal was to give food for thought on narratives from an international perspective.


Today co-production is a natural part of the financing puzzle for most producers. It is often an economic necessity when you are producing a film- or TV series to work across borders with co-production, regional funding or incentives. For the producer co-production between countries is often seen as challenging and mostly driven by economical needs.


With the co-production seminar ‘Inspired by Neighbours’ the three hosts Copenhagen Film Fund, Film I Skåne and Screen Brussels wanted to change the focus from these structural challenges and set focus on creativity and narratives in an international perspective. We wanted to focus on our common history in Europe, on the cultural differences and similarities of our countries and we wanted to investigate how we can create original, international and genuine stories with each other and for a bigger market.


The goal was to work as a ThinkTank. Therefore, we had invited both producers, directors and writers from each of our three countries to collaborate creatively and discuss how we can tell entertaining and important stories that cross cultures and nationalities without losing out on our local identity and origin. The program was full of speakers from both our own industry, but also invited speakers from outside the film business, which gave inspiration from both philosophical, historical and religious perspectives on storytelling in Europe. The opening speaker was Vincent Hendriks, professor in philosophy, who pointed out the necessity for European film and media to tell stories about the global challenges facing the world. His point was that we have to account for what we do by answering the question of why it is important.


At the seminar, we presented some cases of genuine European stories and co-productions and got a sales forecast from the big epic stories such as Babylon Berlin and Atlantic Crossing.

We hope that the seminar, during these days, resulted in or at least planted a seed for some ideas for film or tv-series that is based on our common European origins, history and stories!