Peter Aalbaek Jensen will step down as Zentropa CEO in February 2015
His credits include Love Is All You Need, A Royal Affair and forthcoming Nymphomaniac.
Danish producer and ceo of Zentropa Entertainments Peter Aalbaek Jensen will retire from his top position of the company he created with Danish director Lars von Trier in 1992: he has informed the company board that he will leave the management as of February 2015.
According to local tabloid Ekstra-Bladet he made the decision last year when he had to make 50 Zentropa employees redundant because of financial problems. “It f****** hurt – firing somebody, whom I have grown up with, and whose wives and children I know. I will now use the next two years to stabilise the business, sort of clean up behind the dresser,” he said.
The announcement follows a series of articles in Danish papers, questioning Aalbæk Jensen’s business methods, suggesting that public support for film has been redirected into private enterprises, and that he sold Zentropa shares to producers, directors and staff, who later lost money, still – unknowingly – guaranteed for a loan covering Zentropa property transactions.
“Dear boys, the financial affairs of my companies concern the IRS, God and myself, in that order,” was Aalbæk Jensen’s response to further queries. As for his future plans he hoped he could still produce a film annually for Zentropa, now less executive, but closer to the filmmaking process, and run a week-end restaurant at his Herfølge home serving home-grown vegetables and pigs.
Among Aalbæk Jensen’s 169 credits are Danish directors Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need, and Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair, both on the current local charts from 650,000 and 540,000 admissions, respectively, which he executive produced. He is also backing Lars von Trier’s upcoming Nymphomaniac.