by Vladan Petkovic
- Slovenia's Miha Černec became a producer and the general manager of Staragara in 2011, after having already been involved in documentary film production
Slovenia's Miha Černec became a producer and the general manager of Staragara in 2011, after having already been involved in documentary film production. His latest titles, Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot [+see also:
interview: Matteo Oleotto
film profile] by Matteo Oleotto, The Tree [+see also:
film profile] by Sonja Prosenc and Dancing with Maria [+see also:
interview: Ivan Gergolet
film profile] by Ivan Gergolet saw a lot of success on the festival circuit, and he is now producing the new film by Janez Burger, which has the working title Ivan.
Cineuropa: You have had significant festival success with your films, but how are new Slovenian movies getting on in the current situation, in terms of distribution? Overall attendance in Slovenian cinemas fell 20% in 2014 compared to 2013. What do you think are the reasons?
Our market is really small, which used to frustrate me a lot in the past. But the fact that Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot made more money from in-flight distribution than in theatres says a lot about the distribution situation and helps me understand how important the international career of our films is for our company.
The 20% decline in attendance happened because of the wrong policies and a lack of strategies for audience-building. Only the arthouse cinema network is still working quite well, but there are just a few cinemas of that kind left in our country. I am afraid the results in cinemas in Slovenia will be even worse in 2015.
What are you currently working on? And what kind of films do you personally like to watch? Is there a difference between that and what you, as a producer, want to make?
Currently, I am in pre-production on Ivan, the fourth film by Janez Burger (Silent Sonata [+see also:
film profile], Idle Running), which I will present at Cannes this year. We are working on the script with writers Melina and Srdjan Koljević (Circles [+see also:
interview: Nikola Rakocevic
interview: Srdan Golubovic
film profile]), and with veteran Macedonian writer-director Ivo Trajkov as script consultant. I am still waiting for other financiers, and we will start shooting by the end of September.
I have two more short films in production and four features in development. We are developing Memento Vivere, the first feature film by Matjaž Ivanišin (Karpotrotter), and Man Without Guilt, a new film by Ivan Gergolet.
Personally, I like quality European films and American indies. As a producer, I would like to stay in arthouse film, but I have a taste for quality mainstream drama as well. I always connect with the theme of a film that I am producing, already at the early stages of development. I like to grow with every new film I am working on.
A lot of your movies are co-productions with other countries from the former Yugoslavia, and this is a development that has been happening increasingly often over the past ten years. How do you see the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
I perceive the former Yugoslavia as a basic region for co-production because of the similar language, and the common culture and past. All these markets are small and have the same problems. As I gather, the success in the Scandinavian countries has come from co-productions in their region. Of course, in the Balkans we have a complicated political and economic situation, but anyway, beyond the region, I see the whole of Europe as a potential partner on good film projects.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move in Cannes?
To be honest, I am expecting a lot. I am still looking for co-production partners for Ivan. I am "training" to be on top form for these six days. I am always happy when I get a chance to be in an environment with so many opportunities.