by Giorgia Del Don
- As recommended by Swiss Films, Aline Schmid (of Intermezzo Films, Geneva) will be the Swiss Producer on the Move during this year's Cannes Film Festival
After graduating in sociology, contemporary history and communication sciences in Fribourg (Switzerland) and Lisbon, and later screenwriting in Stuttgart, Aline Schmid worked for several film and music festivals (she has worked as festival coordinator for Tous Ecrans in Geneva) and the arthouse film distributor Cineworx. Finally, four years ago she joined the Intermezzo Films crew as creative producer. Her poignant co-production Broken Land [+see also:
film profile] by Stéphanie Babey and Luc Peter (co-founder and producer at Intermezzo Films) was screened at prestigious festivals such as Locarno and Rotterdam. Cantos, by Charlie Petersmann, her second production within Intermezzo Films, received a Special Mention at Visions du Reel and the DOK.horizontes Prize at Munich. Her two latest productions, Horizontes by Eileen Hofer (read the review) and Gangbé! by Arnaud Robert, had their world premieres in Nyon at Visions du Reel. Schmid is currently working on Almost There by Jacqueline Zünd and Auf Leber und Tod by Res Balzli.
Cineuropa: Could you tell us a little about your background and why you wanted to become a producer?
Aline Schmid: I grew up in the German part of Switzerland and studied sociology, contemporary history and communication sciences in Fribourg and Lisbon, and received further education in screenwriting in Stuttgart. After university, I worked for several film and music festivals, spent three years working for arthouse film distributor Cineworx (in Switzerland) and moved to Geneva in 2010 to work as festival coordinator at Festival Tous Ecrans. After these mostly promotional experiences, I felt the need to work closer to the movies’ development and creation process. In 2011, I became associated with Intermezzo Films and I have been working there ever since as a creative producer.
How did you get involved with Intermezzo Films? What makes Intermezzo different from other Swiss movie production companies?
Intermezzo Films was created in 1993 to foster innovative and creative movies. It connected both documentary and feature-film directors such as Vincent Pluss, Juan Lozano and Luc Peter, who – by helping one another – self-produced their films. In Switzerland, this style of collaboration has been used successfully in the famous “Groupe 5” surrounding Alain Tanner and recently Bande à part, with Ursula Meier, Frédéric Mermoud and others. But it is definitely not the usual setting for a Swiss production company. I got involved with Intermezzo as they were looking for a “pure” producer to run their company. It was a great opportunity for me, as I like working close to directors, even though I do not have ambitions to be one.
How was your experience as a producer on Broken Land, a movie about the sensitive subject of illegal immigration across the border between Mexico and the USA?
The subject has often been dealt with, both politically and cinematographically speaking, so we wanted to develop (and reduce) it around one specific point of view: the perspectives of the Americans living on “their” side of the border. Production-wise, two choices were fundamental for this project: a long preparation and research phase in the area for the two directors, and the highly inspirational collaboration with Swiss-Canadian director/cinematographer Peter Mettler during the shoot.
What are your expectations when it comes to Producers on the Move?
I am looking forward to getting in touch with open-minded and inspirational producers and filmmakers from around the world so as to enrich my own way of seeing and doing things.