by Annika Pham
30/04/2010 - Lizette Jonjic of Migma Film has been coaching and supporting up-and-coming filmmaker Håkon Liu since his very first short film Phantom Pain (2005). His debut feature Miss Kicki [trailer], starring Pernilla August, was the first ever Scandinavian co-production with Taiwan and it won awards at Pusan, Mannheim-Heidelberg and Stockholm.
Cineuropa: How did you get into production and what kind of filmmaking do you enjoy the most?
Lizette Jonjic: I started working in film and television 11 years ago at Swedish broadcaster SVT, making coffee and helping out as much as I could. Then I worked as a freelance production manager before getting a job at Magma Film. I don’t really have a specific genre that I’m most interested in. If a director comes to me with an amazing script, I would just be incredibly thrilled to be offered it.
What is most exciting to you about producing?
I really enjoy having a long-term relationship with a filmmaker. It’s like a partnership. We help each other grow and develop.
Getting arthouse films to audiences is very difficult in Sweden. During the latest Stockholm Film Festival Miss Kicki had the privilege of winning the Telia Film Award and reaching 350,000 Telia customers via their digital TV. How was this experience?
The Telia deal was limited to ten days, during the Stockholm Film Festival, but we had problems with Sweden’s major exhibition chain, which was very annoyed with this initiative. I found it very strange as Miss Kicki is a very small film…not Avatar! In any case, for us it was a great opportunity to get our film out to a wider audience during the festival. The film was then released theatrically early February by Folkets Bio and it is still playing in their cinemas.
Is it exciting to see Swedish films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [trailer, film focus] and Easy Money [trailer] create bidding wars among international distributors?
The success of those films has certainly helped us in Sweden get more attention. It has also shown world audiences and distributors that we can do all kinds of films, not only gloomy psychological dramas.
What new projects are you working on?
I’m working on Håkon Liu’s second feature film, with the working title of Kill Me, Fuck Me, Hug Me. It’s a passionate love story for teenagers, set in Northern Sweden. We’re working on the first draft of the script. I have several other projects in development but Liu’s project is at the top of the pile!
How do you feel about being selected as a Producer on the Move?
It’s a great honour. I hope to share my experiences as a producer and meet fellow European colleagues to develop co-productions together.