Producer Monica Hellström on the Move

NETWORKING. Monica Hellström, the producer behind the IDFA-winning and Oscar-shortlisted documentary 'The Distant Barking of Dogs', is selected as one of 20 promising Europeans for the networking event Producers on the Move.

Starting May 11, Monica Hellström can look forward to plenty of Zoom meetings, as she will be participating in the talent programme Producers on the Move. The event, normally a part of the Cannes Festival, will this year be held independently and in a digital edition due to the festival's postponement in light of the corona crisis.

The programme aims to strengthen the international network of the producers and inspire future co-productions. Thus, Hellström will have ample opportunity to present her upcoming projects and exchange ideas as one of the 20 European producers handpicked for the event.

Since her graduation from film studies at Copenhagen University, Monica Hellström has produced a number of international documentaries for Final Cut for Real, where she has been working as a producer since 2010. 

"Although it will be a different experience this year, I am looking very much forward to getting to know the other producers," says Hellström.

"Although I would have preferred to meet everyone in person, I still believe that we will benefit from the programme – and hopefully meet once the world reopens."

Hellström's CV includes Daniel Dencik's 'Moon Rider', which won an award at CPH:DOX, and Sun Hee Engeltoft's 'Forget Me Not', which also premiered at CPH:DOX. Simon Lereng Wilmont's 'The Distant Barking of Dogs', about a 10-year-old boy living in a Ukrainian warzone with his grandmother, received a number of awards at world-renowned festivals such as IDFA and was shortlisted for an Oscar.

Furthermore, Hellström has co-produced international documentaries such as Sébastien Lifshitz' French 'Little Girl', selected for this year's Berlinale, and feature films such as Tarik Saleh's Swedish Sundance-winner 'The Nile Hilton Incident' and Rebecca Daly's Irish 'Good Favour'. 

Upcoming projects

The title as Producer on the Move is an opportunity for Monica Hellström to present upcoming projects for potential collaborators. One of these is Jonas Poher Rasmussen's animated documentary 'Flee', a story about one of the countless refugees arriving to Europe every day.

"'Flee' is an international co-production with Norway, Sweden and France that is still seeking distribution and additional funds. As the festival market is completely changed this year, I look forward to hearing from both festivals and distributors about their changed strategies."

Hellström will also present Simon Lereng Wilmont's next feature, 'A House Made of Splinters', which is thematically connected to 'The Distant Barking of Dogs': 

"I hope to begin production on the film this summer and premiering it in spring 2021. Like 'The Distant Barking of Dogs', the film takes place in Ukraine. However, this time the focus is on the children and employees at a special orphanage near the front line. It is a grim story about survival, but also a life-affirming film about human strength and our capability of adapting."

Among other films on Hellström's desk are Cille Hannibal's 'I See for You', with Christine Hanberg as co-director, about a family whose adult son was born without sight nor hearing.

She is also a co-producer on Tarik Saleh's upcoming feature film, the Swedish-Danish co-production 'A Boy from Heaven', where she continues the collaboration from 'The Nile Hilton Incident' with her colleague Signe Byrge Sørensen and the same creative team. Saleh's new film also takes place in Egypt.

Producers on the Move runs 11-15 May 2020.

About Producers on the Move

Producers on the Move, a networking platform organised by European Film Promotion (EFP), presents twenty handpicked European producers, usually during the Cannes Festival, which in 2020 is postponed due to the corona crisis.

The initiative is aimed at connecting the producers with potential co-production partners and strengthening their industry networks. They take part in project pitching, meetings, case studies and social events and benefit from an extensive press campaign.

Main criteria for qualifying are international experience in co-producing and theatrical releases outside of the producer's home country.

Danish film has been present at Producers on the Move since 2000. The most recent producers include Signe Leick Jensen, Mikael Rieks, Eva Jakobsen, Katja Adomeit, Mikkel Jersin, Ditte Milsted and Nina Bisgaard. 

Producers on the Move is supported by EU's media programme Creative Europe, which also hosts Shooting Stars every year at the Berlinale.