by Birgit Heidsiek
- Ingmar Trost, producer at Cologne-based production outfit Sutor Kolonko, is aiming to build up long-running partnerships with writers and directors
Ingmar Trost, a producer at Cologne-based production outfit Sutor Kolonko, is aiming to build up long-running partnerships with writers and directors.
Cineuropa: You produced the documentary Sofia's Last Ambulance [+see also:
film profile], which premiered in the Critics' Week in 2012. What kind of projects are you bringing to Cannes this time?
Ingmar Trost: I am delighted that I am continuing to work with Ilian Metev, the director of Sofia’s Last Ambulance. I am preparing his first feature, Mimu Pepo Tati, which we developed at the EAVE Producers' workshop. The project received development support from Creative Europe, script funding from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, as well as a production grant from Bulgaria. We are working full steam ahead in order to start the principal photography this autumn or in spring 2016. Further projects include Vaterland by Tom Schreiber and Francisco Hervé, which we will produce in co-production with Jirafa Films in Chile. We are looking for a third partner, preferably from France or Benelux. In addition, I have four or five further projects in the pipeline.
What do you expect from your participation in the Producers on the Move programme?
First of all, I hope to have interesting meetings with my European colleagues and potential future partners. From experience, I know that such arranged meetings not only broaden the network, but can actually lead to cooperation.
How do you choose scripts and projects?
I leave that up to my taste and my gut instincts. The rather more rational issues of whether a film can be made or if it has any commercial potential follow later. But these subjects are really important because it is essential to know what kind of deal that is. Therefore, it is important to appraise a project. There are always two important decisions to make; what counts is the content, but also the team that is involved in the production. An international co-production is not only about the director, but also about the co-producers. After all, it takes at least three years to produce a movie.
Do you focus on Spanish-language projects?
Yes, I have a special relationship with the language and culture because I studied Spanish and lived for a while in Buenos Aires in the late 1990s. Last year, we had the premiere of our first co-production with Mexico, the documentary Death in Arizona by Tin Dirdamal. I am partnering with the producer Julio Chavezmontes on the next project, Ojos de Mar y Tierra by José Álvarez, which is already in production. In addition, I am working on two other co-productions with Latin America: Oscuro Animal [+see also:
film profile] by Felipe Guerrero is a co-production with Gemafilms from Argentina and Mutokino from Colombia, while Vaterland is co-produced by Jirafa Films in Chile.
What would be the perfect co-production partner for you?
The most important thing for me is trust and the honest willingness for transparency as well as a real involvement in all content-related and production-relevant issues. Of course, we have to agree on content and aesthetics, but the other qualities are more crucial – and probably hard to find.
You are a filmmaker yourself. Does it help you to better understand directors?
For four years now, I have been concentrating on production. It is hardly possible to do both at once. But I am still close to this side of filmmaking. My practical experience as a filmmaker also helps me as a producer because I have a better understanding of certain situations and my colleagues in their daily routine.
What are your aims as a producer?
I want to contribute to the achievement of exceptional movies. A film should be a challenge, in terms of the story, the style and preferably also production-wise. Since I founded my production company, I have aimed to build up long-running relationships with writers, directors and other producers. I like to be a springboard and a safe haven for filmmakers, especially for upcoming talents. I am delighted if the films turn out to be successful, but in the beginning there are other issues that count more.
What are your next projects?
We are planning to shoot Mimu Pepo Tati with Ilian Metev in Sofia in the autumn. After that, we will continue with Vaterland by Tom Schreiber and Francisco Hervé. In addition, we have two German projects in development: the new movie by Ingo Haeb (Das Zimmermädchen Lynn), and a film that will be co-directed by Ulrich Köhler (Sleeping Sickness [+see also:
interview: Ulrich Kohler
film profile]) and Henner Winckler (Lucy [+see also: