In a surprise move, producer Lars Bredo Rahbek (the man behind Denmark's biggest box-office hit of the year Flame & Citron) is to leave Nimbus after 11 years to take up a new position as Chief of Fiction at state broadcaster DR TV.
The move comes as Nimbus appears to have made a strong recovery from its problems earlier this year when the company cut its staff by a third in the autumn.
Last year, Nimbus saw four films in succession underperform:
- Thomas Vinterbergs' A Man Comes Home
- Jannik Johansens' White Night
- Natasha Arthys' Fighter
- and Hans Fabian Wullenweber's Cecilie
The disappointments destabilised the company.
However, Rahbek is departing at a time when Nimbus is enjoying substantial domestic box-office success. Both Flame & Citron (which posted 668,000admissions) and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's What No-One Knows, also produced by Rahbek, which reached close to 200,000 admissions, have registered strongly with Danish audiences.
'I think Nimbus is in good condition. It's true that there is a crunch and that Nimbus has been squeezed,' Rahbek commented but pointed out that with new projects coming up, among then Thomas Vinterberg's Submarino, Charlotte Sieling's Over Gaden Under Vandet, Jacob Bitsch's Camping, 2009 is looking like a robust year for the company.
Nimbus is likely to draft in a new producer shortly to help take care of the feature projects Rahbek is leaving behind.
Rahbek also predicted that Nimbus would safeguard its independence. 'Compared with most other companies in Denmark, things are looking bright,' Rahbek commented.
He added that these are paradoxical times for Danish production companies. 2008 has been a very strong year for Danish movies in their own market.
Nonetheless, 'the ironical thing is that although Danish film is performing so strongly, most of the production houses are really suffering. Given the overlap between film and TV in Denmark, Rahkek is likely to continue working with some of the directors whose work he has produced at Nimbus.
'Danish film wouldn't be the same without a company like Nimbus Film. Nimbus is the guarantee for continued art house fare in this country,' the producer commented on the eve of his departure.
Rahbek leaves Nimbus at the end of this week. He starts his new job at DR TV on the 15th of January 2009.