Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...
Co-production case studies and funding information
It is often complicated for a production company to afford on its own the production of a film in terms of financing and workload. The articles explains how to find solutions as financial co-production, access to national public incentives or bi-national agreement to actively foster the cooperation of countries in the field of cinema production.
A case study of Nir Bergman's film adaptation of David Grossman's novel Intimate Grammar. At a conference held at the European Film Market during the Berlinale, Bergman, Tatjana Michaelis (of publishing company Carl-Hanser Verlag) and producer Assaf Amir discuss how a director's growing success can influence the sales of a film and the novel on which it is based.
A case study on the new film by American director Miranda July, The Future, held during a conference at the European Film Market of the 2011 Berlinale. At the discussion, the US and German co-producers of July's sophomore effort recount how the collaboration came about between the two countries and the profoundly different production structures of each.
As part of the Tokyo International Film Festival’s (TIFF, October 23-31) push this year to become more of an international event, UniJapan, the Japanese entertainment industry umbrella organization, has organized an Entertainment Forum, including a series of panels looking at a range of issues facing the global entertainment industry.
Moe Honan and Emely Christians presented the back side of an international co-operation agreement between two European companies, the German Ulysses Filmproduktion and the Irish Magma Film describing the management of the animated series Ooops! Noah is Gone. "Partners in co-productions share a long and sometimes bumpy road. To be successful it helps to share the same approaches."
National cinema industries have several reasons for co-producing outside the EU. A shared language, a common cultural heritage, a maintained political influence or a neighbouring relation are some of the most common explanations. National cinema institutes can foster these relations both throughout legal frameworks and support programmes.
Former Dogma director Thomas Vinterberg’s film is based on a novel of unflinching realism by Jonas T. Bengtsson, a young Danish author. This case study focuses on what made the producers choose this dark content and how they turned it into a Berlinale Competition film.
Adam Resurrected is the adaptation of the – for a long time considered unscreenable - novel of the same name by Yoram Kaniuk, published in Israel in 1968. The director and the producers talk about the intense process of making the film come alive on screen.
Storm is an outstanding political thriller about a prosecutor working for the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague trying to track down a war criminal - a popular Bosnian Serb. Suited to the story, Storm is realised as an international co-production, the first for director Hans-Christian Schmid. Initiated by 23/5 Filmproduktion, the director's production company, the project became a truly international cooperation with many partners from many countries.
Organised by the company Sauve Qui Peut le Court Métrage in Clemont-Ferrand in February 2009, Euro Connection is the first European short film co-production forum. The forum played a unique role by providing detailed information about film productions, institutions and financial opportunities as well as general statistics of 10 partner countries.
Based on the novel Little Eyolf by Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen, The Frost is a Spanish-Norwegian co-production directed by Catalan director Ferran Audi. With a story set in Norway and Spain, the film was shot in both locations by a mixed crew of Norwegians and Spaniards. In this interview the producers Raül Perales and Amanda de Luis talked about advantages and difficulties of European co-production.
Tulpan by Kazakh director Sergej Dvortsevoy is one of the successful international art films produced by Pandora Film, a German-based independent film distribution and production company. In the interview, the joint owner of Pandora, Raimond Goebel talked about the background story of Tulpan and the important role of German regional film funding institutes for independent producers.
Love and Other Crimes directed by oscar-nominated Serbian director Stefan Arsenijevic provides a good example of European co-production. Financed by 15 different partners and co-produced by 4 nations (Serbia/Germany/Austria/Slovenia), the film was presented as a case study during the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2008. In the interview, the collaborators of the film talked about the co-production from their own perspective.
EAVE organized a special Estonian Panel to discuss the Estonian audiovisual landscape and international co-production opportunities in Estonia in December 2007. The panelists from several organizations in the country presented topics such as Estonian film history and marketing opportunities.
EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) presented Funding and Co-Production Opportunities in Eastern Europe and Baltic Countries held in December 2007. Manfred Schmidt director of MDM, Tanika Sajatovic EAVE Workshop Assistant, and Karlo Funk from the Estonian Film Foundation were invited as guest panellists to talk about the recent changes in the film industry structures in Eastern Europe.
Directo Ognjen Svilicic interviewed about his recent feature film Armin. In the interview, Svilicic talked about the collaboration with Cinelink and the co-production possibilities in Balkan countries, including his current film project Heaven on Earth.
The role of the World Cinema Fund for regional films was the main theme during the Berlinale 2007. The guest speakers had a heated discussion about the European funding system for regional films presenting detailed figures of some African and Middle Eastern countries.
The European Film Market (EFM) 2007 at the Berlinale established its status as being as important as Cannes in satisfying the growing demands of worldwide buyers. The number of attendees from the U.S and Japan has grown rapidly in recent years. EMF offered various genres including documentary, children’s, and horror films.
Several European film funds are open to Mediterranean film projects with budgets between 5,000 to 1 million euros. They support documentary, features, and animation under certain conditions such as handling distribution rights or the involvement of a national producer for easier access to the film market as the Hubert Bals Fund and World Cinema Fund.
The first conference of the three-year programme Euromed Audiovisual was held on February 10th and 11th during Berlinale 2007. After two-days of intense debate over strategies for the promotion of Euro-Mediterranean cinema, structural and political problems, financial difficulties, and audience education remained issues requiring future improvement.
The Elementary Particles, based on Michel Houellebecq’s controversial French novel, was selected as a case study for the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2006. The German director Oscar Roehler and the producers revealed the background story of making the film including its adaptation into German cinema style, and marketing strategies for the foreign art house films.
Two football-related films, The Great Match and Once in a Lifetime were selected as case studies for the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2006. The producers talked about the challenge of impressing buyers whilst competing with other similarly themed films in the market around World Cup 2006.
Grbavica, directed by Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic, was selected as one of three case studies for the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2006. In a dialogue with Amra Bacsik, Zbanic and the producers explained the process of financing and how they achieved the making of this film as an international co-production.
The Spanish film market has shown an intense growth in the last years, due to the current system of national subsidies. Despite the generous grant scheme, the incompatibility between EU and national laws makes it complicated for EU partners to co-produce in Spain. The urgent reformation of EU legislation remains a primary task for cultural integration in Europe.
The issue of development in African film industries was a focus at the baTic Film Festival 2007. During the discussions, given an awareness of the beneficial side of European contributions, the participants stressed the negative effects of the financial dependency on European countries on African film industries.