"To produce films that are close to our hearts"
by Boyd van Hoeij
- German producer Klaus Maeck heads Corazón International, the production company founded in 2004 by Maeck, producer and TV-director Andreas Thiel and director Fatih Akin
Corazón International was founded primarily to co-produce Akin’s own films, including his Golden Bear winner Head-On [+see also:
film profile] and has steadily grown. In 2006, the company produced Özer Kiziltan’s Takva and Akin’s feature film The Edge of Heaven [+see also:
interview: Fatih Akin
interview: Klaus Maeck
film profile]. The two films represent Turkey and Germany respectively at the 2008 Foreign Language Oscars.
Cineuropa: How would you describe the company philosophy of Corazón International?
Klaus Maeck: The founding of his own production company made it possible for Fatih to produce his own projects as well as other independent projects from talented writers and directors. With Corazón we are constructing a firm basis in the international film market from which to produce films that are close to our hearts – that is why the company is called Corazón; spanish for "heart".
You were a music consultant on Head-On and also produced Akin’s musical documentary Crossing the Bridge [+see also:
film profile]. How important is music for films, and how much are you involved with the music in non-music focussed projects such as The Edge of Heaven?
As music publisher and advisor I have fought for years for a greater recognition of film music, because often the music is only added as a backdrop in the last edit. Film and music can complement each other to create marvelous works of art if one uses music consciously - such as Fatih Akin does, who already considers musical ideas during the writing of the script, or who paints characters with music. Fatih has the first musical ideas very early on, which means we have enough time to polish the concept and final selection. It feels right if the music can be played before the relevant scenes are shot. One can see it in a film, particularly in Head-On.With our latest film Fatih only wanted to use music only sparingly, and after initial scepticism we decided to go for a more classical score. The compositions had to be based on Black Sea music but should also sound modern, so we agreed very quickly on Shantel, who presented traditional music in a modern way with his Bucovina Balkans Dubs.
Is it easier to have a name director such as Akin as part of the company and do you use local partners in Turkey?
Fatih’s name and reputation do help to open some more doors in Turkey and Germany. Both countries are proud to have a talented and awarded film director who represents part of their cultures, as different as they are. And yes, we use local partners. Anka Film was already involved in Head-On and Crossing the Bridge and we never change a winning team!
Two films you produced have been submitted for the Foreign Language Oscar. Is this something that helps the film marketing-wise, and how do you see your Oscar chances?
I hope it will help to draw some attention to these films. After the submission of The Edge of Heaven we suddenly got some interest in the US from distributors who had refused to make an offer before. Strange arthouse films like his don’t sell there normally. It is even more important for Takva , since it is not easy to promote this strong film outside of Turkey and film festivals to a wider audience. It is certainly not mainstream, but as the Oscar thing is so important it will certainly help to make it more popular. So I am very happy that Corazón has two chances for an Oscar nomination; what a compliment for a young production company like us! But we keep calm, we don’t expect anything. But as we seem to ride on a lucky wave, I can imagine everything is possible.