Nadia Trevisan • Producer, Nefertiti Film
“Working in a border region has encouraged me to think about projects within an international context”
- We chatted with the Italian producer Nadia Trevisan about her experiences and her expectations as an EFP Producer on the Move at the Cannes Film Festival
Born out of a meeting between Nadia Trevisan and director Alberto Fasulo, and founded ten years ago, Nefertiti Film is an independent film production company which started life in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, but which is now firmly entrenched in the international film landscape. Aside from titles directed by Fasulo, such as Rumore Bianco, TIR [+see also:
interview: Alberto Fasulo
film profile], Parents [+see also:
film profile] and the recent Menocchio The Heretic [+see also:
film profile] – which was selected for the Official Competition of the 71st Locarno Film Festival - Nefertiti has also produced History of Love [+see also:
interview: Sonja Prosenc
film profile] by the Slovenian director Sonja Prosenc - by way of a co-production with Slovenia (Monoo) and Norway (Incitus) - and is now working on a new project side-by-side with France. Trevisan has been selected as one of the 2019 Producers on the Move by European Film Promotion.
Cineuropa: TIR won the 2013 edition of the Rome Film Festival. Then, when it was released in cinemas, it cleared the way for documentaries in Italy, as did Sacro GRA [+see also:
interview: Gianfranco Rosi
film profile], introducing the wider public to the “docufiction” genre. This is a great achievement given the challenges associated with circulating certain genres.
Nadia Trevisan: Producing TIR was a real formative experience. People still ask me whether it’s a documentary or a fiction film. I think it’s great to just be able to talk about films, and about this film which allowed us to share a world “hidden in plain view”, such as the world of lorry drivers. On the other hand, all the criticism surrounding the film - even if it wasn’t always favourable - encouraged people to talk about the film itself and about its author, Alberto Fasulo. With hindsight, after so many years, I can tell you that the only reason people talked about it so much was because it stirred and shocked the critics, and I can only be happy about that.
Menocchio The Heretic is a project financed and developed by a number of important European entities, such as EAVE, and which won a Special Mention from the jury of the Eurimages Co-production Development Award. It’s a bold and intense film which perhaps didn’t benefit from the level of distribution it deserved. This is a longstanding problem for quality Italian films. What did your strategy consist of?
The production process for this film went very smoothly, which also helped me to grow as a producer, as well as allowing the film to be developed and produced within an international context. I don’t entirely agree that it wasn’t distributed adequately, at least not as regards distribution in Italy. In this instance, we decided to distribute the film ourselves. It was released in cinemas at the end of October 2018 and is still in Italian cinemas as we speak. The distribution strategy was tailored to the film, paying attention to each and every detail. We followed the distribution process from cinema to cinema, welcoming operators’ requests and discussing with them the best approach for releasing the film in each individual cinema. The film screenings were followed by discussions with the director or with the lead actors, as well as historians, and a really interesting dialogue ensued. The feedback from the public was very positive and there was also a great deal of interest in the numerous Q&A sessions we organised throughout the tour.
As a company that was born and is active in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, Nefertiti Film is naturally pre-disposed towards co-productions with Eastern European countries, which is also demonstrated by History of Love by Slovenian director Sonja Prosenc. One of your next projects, Piccolo Corpo, is a co-production with France. Can you talk to us about these experiences?
Piccolo Corpo is a co-production with France, but we’re also waiting for responses from Slovenia. History of Love is the first co-production between Slovenia, Italy and Norway Menocchio The Heretic is a co-production with Romania. Living and working in a border region has naturally encouraged me to think about Nefertiti’s projects within an international context, as has the great internationalisation work carried out by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, which, alongside the FVG Film Commission, has allowed a region like ours to occupy a central position in the European film landscape. From a purely productive point of view, I believe international co-productions are highly formative, because they force you to forge relationships with film industry realities which are different from our own, and they also give the film a visibility and a life that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
What do you expect from Cannes as a “Producer on the Move”?
I’m very happy to have been selected for the Producers on the Move initiative. I’m grateful to the Istituto Luce Cinecittà for the opportunity they’ve given me and for nominating me as an Italian producer. I’m honoured to be able to spend time with the other producers who have also been selected for this year’s edition. Without a doubt, it will allow me to grow, professionally speaking, and to compare notes with high-level professionals from the film industry. I hope to expand my contact network and maybe even to open myself up to a few new international co-production opportunities.
(Translated from Italian)
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