What makes for a good story? Sigrid Dyekjær knows the secrets

Sigrid Dyekjaer
Photo credit: Marcin Kułakowski, PISF

Sigrid Dyekjær is one of the most experienced producers in Denmark when it comes to national documentary production and international cooperation. In financing, producing and creative consulting Dyekjær has an extraordinary ability to knock in doors and break down boundaries in the film-industry. Her latest documentary FREE THE MIND has so far sold 13.000 tickets in Danish cinemas and proved that there is indeed an audience for feature length documentaries.
Besides her work at Danish Documentary Sigrid teaches at the National Film School of Denmark, as well as doing master classes and lectures at film schools around the world, eg. her lecture 'Bridging the Gab' on documentary filmmaking and international pitching-sessions.

Sigrid is educated in dramaturgy from the University in Aarhus, and has been a part-owner of the production company Tju –Bang Film before she became part-owner of Danish Documentary Production.

What makes for a good story?

In my world there is no great story, there are only great Directors!

What is the connecting line between The monastery, Mechanical Love, The Good Life, Ai Weiwei, and all the other successful docs you have produced? (Ballroom Dancer...)

They all have really great directors. They are great storytellers, they invest themselves. and have a vision. The films are not perfect films, but they are personal films. I feel there is a director behind them, with a clear vision of what they want to tell, and they take care of telling it in an entertaining way, emotional way, so I get engaged as an audience.

You tell stories on the ground, on line and up in the air. You obviously are a hard-worker. How do you manage your work and private life?

I guess there never is a real answer to this, but my best answer is, I meditate, I do yoga 2-3 times a week - that helps me. AND I LOVE MY WORK.

Slots and strands in television are shrinking; the young audience does not watch TV anymore. Productions receive less and less funding. Yet, thousands of documentaries are produced every year and are screened in hundreds of festivals. Where can all this go? What is the future of docs?

I think we are in a time of change. Where a film previously was produced and distributed liniear, we now have the film in the center, circulated by a lot of possibilities around us. It forces us to think differently about our film, to be with our film in the center of it all, and look at all the possibilities we have around us. It has never been more fun to distribute your film, there are so many possibilities, ways of doing it, so much audience around the world you can get in contact with. Now you just have to learn tools, ways, social traffic in order to get in contact with them, but boy it is so much more fun! As long as we make great films, there is always an audience for them, you just have to find it.

Did you see any good films lately?
Tons - the new selection of films we will work with at this years Dok Incubator where I teach. Just wait until autumn, you will see 8 new wonderful films coming out of this program.

Stay on the blog ! there is more coming...

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