Source: Lava Films / Subject’s own

Mariusz Wlodarski, Frans van Gestel

Lava Films’ Mariusz Wlodarski from Poland and Topkapi Films’ Frans van Gestel from the Netherlands are among 12 producers selected for the second edition of ACE Leadership Special, a business workshop hosted by the ACE Producers network.

The 2023 edition will take place in Italy in June and in the Netherlands in September, with online elements over the summer.

Scroll down for the 2023 selection

ACE Leadership Special aims to help producers sustain solid business foundations, improve performance and prospects for their companies and develop their personal leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Business consultants for this year include Jeroen Achterberg, Jo Bishop of The Coaching Cabin and Mark van der Grift of True Brands.

As one of three producers at Poland’s Lava Films, Wlodarski’s credits include Magnus von Horn’s features The Here After and Sweat, which premiered at Cannes 2015 and Toronto 2020 respectively (Sweat received the Cannes label in the Newcomers category). He then produced Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert’s Venice competition title Never Gonna Snow Again, which was Poland’s entry for the best international feature at the 2021 Oscars.

With producer credits on film and television dating back to the 1990s, van Gestel was recently a co-producer on Lukas Dhont’s Close and Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta; he recently produced Aaron Rookus’ music comedy Goodbye Stranger, which debuted at International Film Festival Rotterdam.

“The large number of applications we received goes to demonstrate the widespread need and desire that producers currently have to establish a sound footing for their companies,” said Jacobine van der Vloed, ACE director.

Participants on last year’s inaugural edition included Match Factory Productions’ Michael Weber, Modern Films’ Eve Gabereau and Radu Jude’s producer Ada Solomon of Romania’s microFILM.

ACE Leadership Special 2023 producers

Damon D’Oliveira (Can), Conquering Lion Pictures

Felize Frappier (Can), Max Films Media

Sinisa Juricic (Cro), Nukleus Film

Kristine Knudsen (Nor), Den siste skilling

Fabian Maubach (Ger), Sommerhaus Filmproduktion

Paloma Mora (Sp), TV ON Producciones

Christof Neracher (Switz), hugofilm features

Iris Otten (Neth), Juliet (at Pupkin)

Marica Stocchi (It), Rosamont

Nadia Trevisan (It), Nefertiti Film

Frans van Gestel (Neth), Topkapi Films

Mariusz Wlodarski (Pol), Lava Films