When Michael Obel today turns 50 years old, he can look back on his life and colorful carreer as an actor, line producer and an industrious movie producer in an array of movies that have provided positive attention to himself and to the Danish movie business – in Denmark and abroad.
As the son of cinema director Gunnar Obel, Michael Obel was fed with movies as a child. After a period as Denmark’s youngest film operator and child actor, he was hired by Nordisk Film in 1980 where legendary director Erik Balling tutored the youngster. Michael Obel spent ten years at Nordisk Film working as a crew member in the last 12 episodes of Matador before he started working on Weekend TV, Denmark’s first private tv-station. Soon after, Michael Obel found himself as a CEO in his own production company, Thura Film, which he established in 1991. It was with Thura Film that Michael as a producer succeeded with Nightwatch that received worldwide attention and put Danish film on the map.
Since then, as a producer, Michael Obel has put his name to more than 30 movie- and tv-productions, including The Substitute, Deliver Us From Evil, The Sun King, Old Men in New Cars, A Song for Martin, Charlot & Charlotte and On Our Own – productions that both critics and audiences have praised and that have helped put Michael Obel’s name on the list of the most respected movie producers in Danish cinema.
Rather uniquely for Danish producers, Michael Obel has also worked in Holywood. In 1995, he and his family moved to Hollywood to produce the American remake of Nightwatch starring acclaimed actors Ewan McGregor, Josh Brolin and Nick Nolte.
The original Nightwatch was selected for Cannes International Film Festival’s “Semaine de la Critique” and was selected for Sundance Festival as the first Danish movie ever. In this period, Michael Obel lived and worked abroad for three years before returning to his native Denmark.
Michael Obel’s family background the the cinema business has not been for nothing. Concurrently with his career as a producer, founder of Thura Film and co-founder of All Right Filmdistribution, Michael Obel started Elsinor Cinema Center in 1997 and since expanded his cinema distribution to include Hjørring Biocenter and Panorama Biografer in Slagelse. The great experience with movies and cinema resulted in him being headhunted by major cinema chain CinemaxX as CEO for their cinemas in Copenhagen, Odense and Aalborg, thereby further cementing his position in the Danish cinema market.
Other of Michael Obel’s notable positions include his board membership in The Danish Film Institute, membership of the European Film Academy and his position as board member in Copenhagen Theater.
Michael Obel received great honor when he received the Night Film Festival’s Grand Prix-award for his special effort for Danish cinema in 1997 and further won the Prix Italia award for the DR-series Charlot & Charlotte and Worth Fighting For.
Looking into the future, it is clear that Michael Obel will continue his work in the movie business, being the producer on the Hollywood-remake of The Substitute premiering in 2011.
Today, Michael Obel held a press conference announcing the filming of a new My Sister’ Kids movie starting monday in Northern Jutland.
Michael Obel lives in Hellerup with his wife Tatjana and his three children Asta, Clara and Elias. He was born in Nykøbing Mors.