Mogens Skot-Hansen

(1908 – 1984)

LL.M., film producer and director, 19 Feb. 1908 - 25 March 1984.

The German occupation of Denmark had a crucial impact on Mogens Skot-Hansen''s career. The Prime Minister''s Office was first to point out the power of the German Kulturfilm to strengthen national sentiment. The so-called Employment Film Committee (Beskæftigelsesfilmudvalget) was established under the Prime Minister''s Office in 1941 as an umbrella organisation for the government''s future, and rather erratic, short-film production. The reins were placed in the hands of a highly enthusiastic, movie-struck head of section at the Ministry of Education, 33-year-old Mogens Skot-Hansen.

Prior to heading the committee, Skot-Hansen had written the script for Johan Jacobsen''s exceedingly lightweight feature, "En lille Tilfældighed" (A small Coincidence) (1939). But he was not completely won over by the glory of cinema until he collaborated with Theodor Christensen and Karl Roos on the sophisticated feature "Jens Langkniv" (1940).

Above all, he had a burning passion for the already classic British documentaries. This was evident in his short-film directorial debut, "Vi snakker Færdsel" (Talking about Traffic, 1941 for Dansk Kulturfilm), and his other short from the same year, the completely different "Tørveproduktionen sætter Rekord" (Peat Production Record, for his own office, the Employment Film Committee), which he also wrote. Skot-Hansen also directed and wrote several short films for the Ministries'' Film Committee (Ministeriernes Filmudvalg, MFU), as well as two features, in 1942 and 1944 respectively.

Giving Dreyer an international comeback was greatly on Skot-Hansen''s mind. He and the director first met at a reception in 1940, and Skot-Hansen was the main force behind Dreyer debuting in 1942 as a director of short films for the government. That fact helped convince Palladium producer Tage Nielsen that Dreyer had learned to be accommodating and was capable of working on a limited budget. Co-writing "Day of Wrath" in 1943, Skot-Hansen put in a big effort on what was Dreyer''s first Danish feature since "Master of the House" (1925).

In 1944, the Employment Film Committee became MFU and subsequently served as the official film entity for ministerial film requests. With liberation approaching, Skot-Hansen set his eye on a global perspective for Danish shorts to raise their status on the international market. In partnership with Arthur Elton, the grand old man of British documentaries, Skot-Hansen was in charge of the Danish end of a series of five short films about the Danish welfare state, ''Social Denmark''. Ultimately, the English treatment of "Good Mothers" was only a minor step in Dreyer''s resurrection. Also, Skot-Hansen''s final attempt to jazz up Dreyer as a dialogue director, with the cheeky voiceover for "Vandet paa Landet" / "Water from the Land" (Dansk Kulturfilm, 1946), did not turn out well.

In 1946, Ib Koch-Olsen became head of both Dansk Kulturfilm and MFU, while Skot-Hansen lived out his international ambitions as head of the UNESCO Film Section in Paris, later becoming the UN film representative in Hollywood from 1949-1954. In 1955, he started the Laterna Film production company, which produced numerous short films as well as a few, generally way too ambitious Danish productions that appealed in vain to the international market, including "King Lear" (Peter Brook, 1971).

Excerpt from Carl Nørrested''s article on www.carlthdreyer.dk.

Title Year Function Category
Historien bag kameraet 2006 Appearance TV documentary
The First Circle 1972 Producer DK/Feature
Narco - a film about love 1971 Production DK/Feature
Swedish Fly Girls 1971 Spadserende herre, Executive producer Feature
The tar-dealer 1971 Producer DK/Feature
King Lear 1971 Executive producer DK/Feature
24 Hours With Ilse 1971 Executive producer DK/Feature
Ang.: Lone 1970 Production DK/Feature
The only way 1970 Executive producer DK/Feature
Kameldamen 1969 Production DK/Feature
Love and kisses 1969 Production DK/Feature
Busybody 1969 Production DK/Feature
Dr. Glas 1968 Production DK/Feature
With the heir to the throne in Latin America 1966 Production DK/Documentary
De fem år [skoleudg.] 1960 Organizer DK/Documentary
Vi som går stjernevejen 1956 Producer DK/Feature
Filmforum S 09 1955 Appearance Audio recordings
Green gold 1949 Executive producer Documentary
Bekæmp rotterne [forkortet udg.] 1948 Script DK/Documentary
Copenhagen Calling 1947 Script DK/Documentary
Water from the land 1946 Executive producer, Director: speak DK/Documentary
Kornet er i Fare 1945 Script DK/Documentary
School for Divers 1944 Direction DK/Documentary
Mit liv er Musik 1944 Direction DK/Feature
Om igen - Fru Jensen 1944 Editing DK/Documentary
Fighting tuberculosis 1943 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Ellen Birgithe Nielsen spiller 1943 Direction DK/Documentary
Out being a maid! 1943 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
For the future of the nation 1943 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Day of wrath 1943 Script DK/Feature
Flyv med! 1943 Co-organizer DK/Documentary
Sport calls 1942 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Fuel for the Winter 1942 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Thi kendes for Ret 1942 Direction, Script DK/Short fiction
Technical porcelain 1942 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Vi kunde ha'' det saa rart ! 1942 Direction, Script DK/Feature
Who knows what? 1942 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Land-draining in the Danish agriculture 1942 Direction DK/Documentary
Sølv giver Arbejde 1942 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Hans og Kirsten 1942 Script DK/Short fiction
Good Mothers 1942 Producer DK/Documentary
Vi snakker Færdsel 1941 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Amager Gets Bigger 1941 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Tørveproduktionen sætter Rekord 1941 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Stay warm at home during winter 1941 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Bekæmp Rotterne 1941 Script DK/Documentary
Jens Langkniv 1940 Screenplay DK/Feature
En lille Tilfældighed 1939 Script DK/Feature