FINAL CUT FOR REAL is a two-time Oscar®-Nominated production company based in Denmark dedicated to producing high-end, creative documentaries and fiction films for the international market. Founded in 2009 by producers Signe Byrge Sørensen and Anne Köhncke, the company today consists of two additional producers, Monica Hellström and Heidi Elise Christensen, and post producer Maria Kristensen. Korthe Barfod is our financial controller, and Waltteri Vanhanen is our in-house editing assistant. The company also brings in invaluable interns every semester.
We work with young directors as well as established talent to create a productive mixture of experience and innovative approaches to filmmaking. Our policy is to be curious, daring and to seek out directors with serious artistic ambitions. We work with the best cinematographers, editors, sound designers, composers and colorists in the industry, both locally and internationally.
Most of our films are co-productions in which we either lead as producers or support as co-producers. Our international collaborators include: Piraya Film, Sant & Usant and Mer Film in Norway; Story, Atmo, De Andre, Malin Andersson Film, Vilda Bomben, Anagram and Nonami in Sweden; Making Movies, Oktober and Tuffi Films in Finland; SP Films in Ireland; Murmur Media in Canada; Spring Films in the UK and Louverture Films in the US.
Recent titles: Les Sauteurs by Estephan Wagner, Moritz Siebert and Abou Bakar Sidibé, which premiered at the Berlinale in February 2016, Oscar®-nominated The Look of Silence (2014) and Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing (2012) by Joshua Oppenheimer, Pervert Park by Frida and Lasse Barkfors, which won the Impact Award at Sundance in 2014 and the Sports Kids series, including The Fencing Champion (2014) and Chikara - The Sumo Wrestler's Son (2013) by Simon Lereng Wilmont, both of which had IDFA premieres.
Signe Byrge Sørensen
CEO & Producer
+45 4118 4890
Signe Byrge Sørensen is a two-time Oscar® nominated film producer for the documentary films The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence. She was nominated for a Producers Guild of America Award in 2016 for The Look of Silence. She won Cinema Eye Honors for the production of both films. She has also won the Danish Documentary and film awards: the Roos Prize (2014), the Timbuktu Prize (2014) and the Ib Producer award (2016). Signe has been a producer since 1998, first in SPOR Media, then in Final Cut Productions Aps. In 2009 she and Anne Köhncke founded Final Cut for Real. She has produced documentaries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Thailand, Indonesia, Colombia, Argentina, in addition to Scandinavia. She holds a master’s degree in international development studies and communication studies from Roskilde University (1998), Denmark, and is a EURODOC (2003) and EAVE (2010) graduate.
+45 5354 6043
Anne Köhncke, originally from Norway before moving to Copenhagen in 1997, has been a producer since 2009 when she co-founded Final Cut for Real. She came from a job as Commissioning Editor of documentaries at DR2, Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as Sales Executive at TV2 World. She holds an MA in film from the University of Copenhagen.
Monica Hellström has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Production from The University of Bedfordshire (UK) and a Master's degree in Film Studies from The University of Copenhagen (DK), and has worked in the film industry (both in the UK and DK) since 1998. Monica's experience also includes four years at the Danish Film Institute and working for DR (Youth and Children) and Cosmo/Upfront Films. She graduated from EAVE Producer Workshop 2010. Today she is a producer at Final Cut for Real.
Heidi Elise christensen
+45 6177 3061
Heidi has worked as a producer at Final Cut for Real since 2014. From 2009-2014, she freelanced in the documentary industry and worked as a production manager at Magic Hour Films for a few years. From 2001-2009 she was in charge of Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries, in addition to facilitating the Nordic documentary industry at Filmkontakt Nord. She has studied Comparative Literature and holds a BA in Film and Media from the University of Copenhagen. She is a Eurodoc graduate from 2015.
Production Manager / Postproduction Producer
+45 4062 6690
Maria holds a MA in Film Studies from Copenhagen University (2010), specialized in ethics in satirical documentary. She has worked as a production manager, postproduction coordinator, first assistant director and production assistant on both short fiction films and feature films, and has also produced two short fiction films. Maria has been with Final Cut for Real since 2011.
Korthe is the superwoman in charge of all economic matters: Budgets, invoices and all things that fit in an Excel sheet.
Janus Billeskov Jansen
Editor & Co-Owner
Janus Billeskov Jansen entered the Danish film industry in 1970 and in 1973 he was the lead editor in charge on a feature film for the first time. He has edited a large number of internationally acknowledged feature films and documentaries, and directed numerous Danish documentaries. Since 1979 he has been teaching editing and narratology at The National Film School of Denmark. Janus has cooperated with most of the influential Danish directors in the past 30 years; most significant is the lifelong creative relationship with the Academy Award winning director Bille August.
Waltteri Vanhanen was born in Helsinki, Finland 1990. After a self-taught beginning, he joined Final Cut for Real in 2015. He is working as an assistant editor on various films, as well as also providing technical assistance.
Mauricio González-Aranda was born and raised in Mexico before moving to the US, where he completed most of his education. He graduated in 2015 from Princeton University with a Bachelor's Degree in Physics. He is currently involved with the researching front for several productions.
Ida is currently doing a Bachelor in Information Architecture and Cultural Science at Copenhagen University. She is planning to do her MA in Film Studies. Ida has done some co-producing on theater plays, but after working as a Coordinator at CPH:DOX last year, she got an interest for documentaries and especially the entire process of filmmaking.
Joshua Oppenheimer is a two-time Oscar® nominated film director born in the USA. His debut feature film, The Act of Killing (2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), was named Film of the Year in the 2013 by the Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 international awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlinale Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film. His second film, The Look of Silence (2016 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), premiered at the 71st Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards, including the Grand Jury Prize, the international critics award (FIPRESCI Prize) and the European film critics award (FEDEORA Prize). Since then, The Look of Silence has received 73 international awards, including an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, an International Documentary Association Award for Best Documentary, a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and three Cinema Eye Honors. In 2015, Joshua Oppenheimer received a MacArthur Fellowship (popularly known as ’the genius grant’).
Camilla Magid is an award-winning documentary filmmaker born in Denmark. She studied Film at the University of Copenhagen, and Arabic Language and Culture at the Royal Danish Defense College. From this platform she made her first documentary "The Black Lines" (2006) which was shot in Syria. She has since made several documentaries in Denmark, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. Her latest film, "White Black Boy", about a boy with albinism in Tanzania, was nominated by the Danish Critic Association and has traveled to many international film festivals. Camilla has directed the documentary "Land of the Free" for Final Cut for Real.
Carl Olsson was born in 1984 in Kalmar, Sweden. He is educated at The National Film School of Denmark as a documentary film director (2009-2013). His graduation film 'Blessed Be This Place' (2013) was nominated for the Danish Academy Award, Robert Award 2014, and it has won several international awards and been at numerous festivals. His previous film from The Danish Film School, 'Mr. Magdy, Room Number 17 Please', won Special Mention at Stockholm International Film Festival 2013. He has further received education at Dramatiska Institutet/Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts and Nordens Folkhögskola Biskops Arnö in Stockholm, Sweden. His works include documentary film, visual art in relation to theatre and dance performances, music videos, trailers and dance films. He lives in Copenhagen and works primarily in Denmark and Sweden as a film director.
Christy Garland is based in Toronto, but works partly in Copenhagen and the Nordic countries. Her award-winning feature doc "The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song" was a Canadian/Danish co-production and premiered at Hot Docs and Sheffield DocFest in 2012. The theatrical premiere in Toronto garnered rave reviews: the Globe and Mail called it "unclassifiable, a love story between a filmmaker and her subjects, echoing the work of Bresson and the Dardennes"; Film Threat - "the most poignant true story ever told", National Post - "heart shattering" and Now Magazine called it "cinematic gold." Her latest film "Cheer Up", a Finnish/Canadian co-production, that premiered at Hot Docs and DOC NYC in 2016, was called "a biting portrait of young womanhood" by VICE Magazine.
She is currently working on "What Walaa Wants", a coproduction between Murmur Media, Final Cut for Real and National Film Board of Canada.
Frida was born and raised in Sweden. One of the youngest ever to get accepted, she graduated as a Fiction director from the National Film School of Denmark in 2009. Her graduation film 'Tick Tick Boom' won the Laterna Nordica and was nominated at Nordisk Panorma. She lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her first documentary, together with Lasse Barkfors, 'Pervert Park', won the Special Jury Award for Impact at Sundance 2015. It was produced by Final Cut for Real and Frida and Lasse's Swedish company De Andra. Frida is now working on a new documentary, 'Death of a Child', together with Lasse. The documentary is being produced by Final Cut for Real.
Lasse was born and raised in Denmark. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 2012. His graduation show earned him a lot of attention and he has shown his work in many countries and galleries throughout Europe. He also films and edits, and like Frida, works in fiction as well in addition to making several shorts. His first documentary, together with Frida Barkfors, 'Pervert Park', won the Special Jury Award for Impact at Sundance 2015. It was produced by Final Cut for Real and Frida and Lasse's Swedish company De Andra. Lasse is now working on a new documentary, Death of a Child, together with Frida, and produced by Final Cut for Real.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Jonas began his career as a film and radio documentary filmmaker at DR-television, debuting in 2006 with the acclaimed one hour documentary film 'Something About Halfdan', followed by a series of radio documentaries from around the world. He began directing fiction in 2008 after joining the Danish film collective Super16 at Nordisk Film, where he has written and directed three short fiction films.
His feature film debut 'Searching for Bill', a mix of documentary and fiction, won him the Nordic Dox award at CPH:DOX and the international competition at DocAviv. Jonas is now editing his new documentary project 'What He Did' (House of Real) and in development with a feature doc supported by The Danish Film Institute produced by Final Cut for Real.
Nitesh Anjaan lives in Copenhagen, where he is currently studying at The National Film School of Denmark. "Far from Home" is his debut as a film director. It premiered at CPH:DOX '14.
Simon Lereng Wilmont
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Simon holds a BA degree in Japanese, with modules in Film and Science, and Visual and Audited Anthropology, and graduated as a Documentary Film Director from The National Film School of Denmark in 2009. As a director his films include "Ramona's Journey" (2004), "Dormitory Master" (2009, Gold Panda Award at the Sichuan International TV & Film Festival), "Above Ground, Beneath the Sky"(2008, Best Short Film at Vision Du Reel and Best International Documentary at Vienna Film Academy International Film Festival 2009), "Travelling with Mr. T" (2012, co-directed with Andreas M. Dalsgaard), "Chikara - The Sumo Wrestler's Son" (2013) IDFA and "The Fencing Champion" (2014) IDFA.
Rami Farah is a young Syrian filmmaker born in 1980. From 2000 to 2005 he studied dance in Damascus at the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts. Then he graduated from The Arab Film Institute in Amman 2006 after a one-year documentary director’s course. He has also attended many training courses and workshops in contemporary film and dance. His first films and videos both use a blend of dance and audio-visual material. ZamKan, made in 2004, unfolds as a dialogue between a ceiling fan and a chair in a silent room. It was followed by Point, a short arts video that was screened in several exhibitions and festivals around the world. He also co-created the work “Not a Matter of If, But When” with Julia Metzer and David Thorne. In 2006 as a gradutation film in Amman Rami shot and produced a 35-minute documentary about the Golan Heights entitled Silence. Since the Arab uprising in the region, Rami is involved in the peaceful protest movement in Syria. He distributed cameras to young people all over the country and started shooting his own feature-length documentary.
Sun Hee Engelstoft
Sun Hee Engelstoft is a Danish documentary director based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Born in Busan, South Korea in 1982, she was adopted to Denmark in 1984. Having attending several schools for photography she was accepted in 2007 at the prestigious National Film School of Denmark, which she graduated from as documentary director in 2011. She is directing the project 'No Regrets' at Final Cut for Real.
Mahdi Fleifel is a Danish-Palestinian film director who graduated in 2009 from the UK National Film & TV School. He is the co-founder of London-based production company Nakba FilmWorks which he runs alongside Irish producer Patrick Campbell. Mahdi is currently based in Amsterdam where he has lived since 2014.
His debut feature, A World Not Ours (2012), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and picked up over 30 awards, including the Peace Film Prize at the 2013 Berlinale and the Edinburgh, Yamagata and DOC:NYC Grand Jury Prizes.In 2016 he won the Silver Bear at the Berlinale with A Man Returned. His most recent film, A Drowning Man, was selected for the official competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Vibeke Bryld is a Danish filmmaker and writer, born and raised in provincial Denmark, and educated in Copenhagen and London. She holds a BA in literature and a Masters in documentary filmmaking. She has directed short documentaries for Al Jazeera, a few experimental documentaries, and a TV series. Her last documentary "Pebbles at Your Door" is touring the world and it premiered at Berlinale 2015. "Bedtime Stories from the Axis of Evil" (2011) was nominated for best documentary short by the Danish Film Academy. Besides directing documentaries she was the Editor in Chief of DOX, the European Documentary Magazine until September 2014.
Estephan Wagner has worked as documentary director for more than a decade, always approaching his themes from the point of view of his protagonists. Estephan was originally trained as an editor in Germany and his edited work has won several international prices including at the Berlinale. He has edited both independent films and documentaries, and television for several international broadcasters (ARTE, ARD, BBC, DR). He later obtained an MA in documentary direction at the National Film and Television School in the UK.
Latest release is Les Sauteurs, which premiered at the Berlinale in 2016 and has played at more than 60 festivals and won 15 awards. Previous films: Last Dreams (2013), Vanishing Worlds (2011), The Finishing Line (2009), Waiting for Women (2008).