By Grace Ashford, The New York Times Company The police officers crept through the remarkably realistic school hallway, ears trained for imitation gunshots. Sidestepping a…
Rikke Ennis, the CEO of TrustNordisk, is stepping down from the leading Scandinavian sales company. Susan Wendt, the head of international sales and marketing at TrustNordisk, has taken over as managing director of the company since Tuesday.
Ennis, who worked at TrustNordisk and its sister company Zentropa – the banner founded by Lars von Trier and Peter Aalbæk Jensen — for nearly two decades, has decided to leave the banner in order to launch her own company which will be dedicated to developing, financing and packaging TV series, as well as feature films.
“The TrustNordisk team has been like a family and I am proud of having been part of this great adventure, taking the company to where it is today,” said Ennis, who was featured in Variety‘s V500 ranking of the world’s most powerful film and TV executives.
“I have been dreaming about creating my own for a while and now that time has come. However, we will be working together on several projects in the future, said the exec, who added that she was confident the “TrustNordisk team with Susan in the lead will continue to be among the top international sales agents.”
Like Ennis, Wendt is a long-time TrustNordisk executive and has been in charge of negotiating some major deals on high-profile films directed by von trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Susanne Bier, Hannes Holm, Roar Uthaug and Hans Petter Moland, among others.
“Rikke and I have been working closely together for more than 10 years, and it’s for sure very sad and took some time to digest that Rikke had decided to leave TrustNordisk, but we will continue in her spirit,” said Wendt. “This has been prepared over a longer period of time and luckily we will continue working together in the future,” added Wendt.
Under Wendt’s leadership, TrustNordisk will keep its focus on selling strong Nordic and European content. The company’s Cannes slate boasts von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built” which will play out of competition at the festival; as well as “Paradise War,” based on Bruno Manser’s true story; “The Purity of Vengeance,” the fourth opus of the Department Q franchise; Hans Petter Moland’s “Out Stealing Horses;” and “Bergman Revisited,” a collection of short films based on Ingmar Bergman’s works celebrating the centenary of his birth.
Zentropa was in the news several months ago when Aalbæk Jensen was accused of harassment and bullying in December. The company sidelined him and reinstated shortly after looking into the claims.
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