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Miguel A Faura • Producer

“I find it naïve to think that a product will only be consumed in one country”


- Cineuropa talks to Miguel A Faura, the Spanish producer behind films such as Hierro, Painless and Enemy, at the first edition of Brussels' Frontières Market

Miguel A Faura • Producer

At the first edition of the Brussels Frontières Co-Production Market, Cineuropa talked to Spanish producer Miguel A Faura. Usually working alongside fellow colleagues from other European and American countries, Barcelona-based Faura and his outfit Roxbury Productions have produced films such as Gabe Ibáñez's Hierro [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Gabe Ibáñez
film profile
, Juan Carlos Medina's Painless [+see also:
film profile
 and, most recently, Quebecois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve's Enemy [+see also:
film review
film profile
. Having also worked outside the borders of genre films, Faura has made quite a big name for himself in the field the market is dedicated to.

What do you find important when taking part in a film market like this one?
I knew the market from its Montréal edition, and I was interested in participating in this one. We have been selected in Off-Frontières [the complementary section] because our budget is a little bit more ambitious than the average, and because we are not completely in the genre-film niche. Our main objective in this kind of market is not to meet new people, but to test whatever project we're launching and to know the reactions. On the other hand, a production market also has a much more relaxed ambiance.

You have worked with both genre and non-genre films. Is there any big difference between both worlds, in terms of production?
We made genre films because we decided to emphasise the filmmaker's point of view. We have coincided with a very good generation of Spanish filmmakers, and we wanted to make both genre and fantastic films. But my experience tells me that it's been easier for me to co-produce and, overall, export. Our productions are really well sold abroad. We would not be able to work if we had to depend on our success in Spain. The industry's situation is important, but it is also pointless to make films like ours only for Spain.

Does genre film need to go abroad to be successful?
No, it is not just about going abroad. Genre film has helped us to export because it's a much more international style, and a kind of film that travels more. What we have lost is the capacity to make movies entirely within Spain. I just can't make a film by working only within Spain. What I do is to look for money abroad, and then come back and try to create part of the film there. Indeed, some have left, but we work with Spanish filmmakers, and it is just great if we can make the film there.

A lot of them end up leaving to the United States, but nonetheless, in terms of genre film, it's the United States that looks up to Europe...
I don't think it is a contradiction. With the financing and co-production model that can be found outside the United States, a lot of artistically relevant films are completed. That is what makes us special, and that is why they come to look for filmmakers from Europe, Asia... That is where they find talent, and decide to import it. It has happened, for example, with Denis Villeneuve, a foreign filmmaker who has been imported and who has been able to enhance a project without going too far away from the limits of his cinema, which is very important. We participated in his film, Enemy, through a Canadian co-producer. We had the chance to collaborate on Saramago's adaptation, with Javier Gullón as scriptwriter, three years ago, raising support from Spain, and adding a handful more European elements to it.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing in a project?
Our mission is to organise a project to the best of our ability, in order to keep it as spotless as possible during its development process. We try to make the productions and co-productions organic. Each movie has a different financing model depending on its features, and it is important to find a naturalness to it, while at the same time making economic sense. It is easier to produce a film without following a real path, but that leads to frustration – you can finance a film by “lying”, but in the end, its real nature comes to the surface. In those terms, we have been improving our work, and we are very proud of our projects.

Do you know which path film (genre or non-genre) should follow?
There is something obvious: we live in a globalised world, with plenty of immediate interconnections. I find it naïve to think that a product will only be consumed in one country. Our films are made with an international purpose, but films should always be made like this: a drama, an arthouse film - for everyone in the world. A country is only one piece; I have worked in different countries where I found a lot of great things regarding film producing. Each project has its cost in blood, sweat and tears, but if you want it to be done, you should not be limited by borders.


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