Zoran Galić • Producer, Vizart Film
“Producers’ curiosity brings great potential to make films better”
by Emerging Producers
- Interview with Zoran Galić, producer for Bosnian company Vizart Film and selected for the 2019 Emerging Producers programme
Why do you produce documentaries? Do you understand documentary film as an instrument of social and political change?
Zoran Galić: There are two main reasons why I started producing documentary films and I think they give answer to why they are both needed and growing in popularity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first reason, when I was just starting producing, was a financial one. In my country the national funding does not leave much space for other film forms, and documentary films can be a one man show. Over time, I’ve realized that they can be an excellent tool for telling compelling stories, but also that the audience often accepts documentary films as a kind of document, a fact, and rely on it as if what they’ve seen is reality and not the director’s vision of it. This gives documentary films great potential to be a tool for change that initiates new thoughts on subjects people already have strong views about. They can, perhaps, not only initiate but define new social and political worlds. They cannot maybe change the overall geopolitical situation, but they can certainly add to a more balanced view of issues they analyse. This is the second reason why I produce documentary films and why documentaries are much needed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country constantly in opposites and extremes. The feeling that I am engaged and contribute to bridging these gaps between us is a very fulfilling one.
What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
The role of a producer, therefore of documentary producers as well, has changed considerably over the past twenty years. I come from a country where producers mostly acted as organisers or financiers of the films and rarely participated in the creative processes. Today, the situation has greatly changed and if it hadn’t I probably would never have become a producer, especially when I consider that I was schooled to be a director. I’ve recently heard a definition that the only thing in common to all European producers of today is that they all have very diverse interests. It is my belief that this broadness or curiosity, reflected in their analysis of the author and the audience, of the politics and environment, of why cats purr or how to stop hiccups, brings great potential to make the film better through producer’s creative inputs.
What do you think is the future of distribution of documentary films?
Search for alternative distribution channels is becoming more and more popular, and not only for documentary films. It is my belief that the number of producers and directors who don’t care how their films are screened, via what technology and channels, is growing. They take a very broad view on the distribution challenges before them. Television is still the primary distribution source, but digital technologies are taking great strides and I’m confident that film distribution, as well as film formats (length, framing) will go in step with these oncoming changes, rather than adhering to the conventional approach.
What projects do you have under way (including in the area of fiction film and other projects)?
At the moment, Vizart Film has four ongoing projects. One feature documentary film, The Land, by Marko Šipka in late post-production, two projects in pre-production - The Sting, a short fiction film by Siniša Grabež, and Fear, also a short fiction film by Mirjana Milobratović (co-production with Turkey), and one film in early development, No News Agency, a feature documentary film by Marko Šipka and Adriana Trujillo (Emerging Producer 2017 from Mexico).
Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.
Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2020 edition is 15 March, 2019. Click here.
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