SEATTLE, WA / ACCESSWIRE / September 24, 2019 / From documenting the war against ISIS, to leading a global production company, Henrik Friis de Magalhães e Meneses (Portuguese/Norwegian) is making noise in the film industry.
HF Productions runs 25 film festivals around the world and is already setting the scene of how film festivals are being curated. The company, expecting to turn over $1 million dollars this year, credits its success to promoting independent filmmakers without charging excessive fees for submissions and events. "Championing inclusivity is such an important element in order for the independent film scene to thrive and as a result we always aim to find affordable solutions so filmmakers from all economic backgrounds can participate and more importantly, showcase their passion", Friis says.
In 2015-2016, Friis periodically left university in London in order to go to Iraq to document the war against ISIS. He got elected as Student Government President and effectively lobbied the university into changing the absences policy to encourage more student participation in extracurricular activities. This of course also meant Friis could afford more absences. "A lot of people were surprised that I went to Iraq, and it definitely took a toll on my family - but on the other hand, the war against ISIS was reaching its boiling point and I felt the international community had done very little to intervene… in other words I felt obligated to go and document the situation at the time" Friis concludes.
After graduating, Friis briefly joined the Royal Danish Army, while running his newly started company. Today, HF Productions runs dozens of film festivals worldwide, including the Arctic Film Festival, the northern-most film festival in the world. When asked about why putting events in such remote locations, Friis responds: "This is what we are all about. We want to reach filmmakers from all corners of the world and not only raise awareness but push on action items for important issues such as climate change".
The festival is in partnership with the United Nations SDGs platform and had participants attending all the way from Australia to the United States. HF Productions are already looking to incorporate the SDGs into other festivals and initiatives that they run in Oslo, Sydney, Rome, Los Angeles and more than a dozen other cities.
Head of Production, film producer Benn Wiebe says, "we are international, inclusive, and there is such a unique opportunity here to use these platforms to champion the film world's ability to drive action for important global goals".
Besides running festivals, HF Productions produces social impact content and provides consultancy for companies and filmmakers all over the world. Most recently, Friis & Wiebe were Co-Executive Producers for Women of the Gulag, which was shortlisted for an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards.
When asked about the future, Friis states, "we're still a young start-up. We've managed to overcome some of the early challenges and generate mass interest in our events worldwide. We are very excited to continue shaping the film festival industry as we move forward".
Check out Friis' recent TEDx talk he gave in London here.
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