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"Put yourself a bit in the director's shoes"

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Irina Andreea Malcea • Producer


- Irina Andreea Malcea of Luna Film, Emerging Producer 2016 from Romania, provides an enlightening list of features a documentary producer should have

Irina Andreea Malcea  • Producer

Irina Andreea Malcea, Emerging Producer 2016 from Romania, represents production company Luna Film.

Cineuropa: What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
Irina Andreea Malcea: 
a) Flexibility - Documentary always touches a very thin line. During production, at least in the case of observational documentaries, many things don’t happen as planned (e.g new additional characters appear, the first installments aren’t paid as scheduled, etc, etc). The best recipe would be to remain open-minded and find the best solutions. As there is always a solution for everything.

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b) Put yourself a bit in the director’s shoes – might sound a bit crazy for some people, but trying to be empathic with your director is for me a sign of intelligence and it cannot do anything but good to the project and the working relationship. Of course, with the amendment that you don’t stay there for too long…

c) Enjoy the story and be part of it – A documentary might take 2 -5 years of your life. If you don’t enjoy the story, you would get mad.

d) Have a good assistant that would help with the paperwork. It would help you stay creative, while at the same time focused on other production aspects. I’m still looking forward to this “quality”.

e) Be up-to-date with the changes in the documentary market. One of the most challenging aspects of making a documentary is engaging the audience. I think it’s important (provided you have a good team beside you) to be informed on how the market is evolving and what are the distribution opportunities

To what extent do you, as a producer, get involved in the creative process?
I would say - at least at this point in my professional life and taking into account the fact that I am producing projects not only on my production company, but also on the directors’ - that it very much depends on the people and the project. People generate ideas that can make a change. 

For some projects I am involved ever since we have the first rushes, for making the development trailers and for deciding together the future structure of the story. For others, I have a more specific input once we have a first assembly of scenes. But I love to get involved in the creative process, I think it’s a kind of magic!

What projects do you have under way?
In documentaries, The Wellness Process by Marius Iacob (post-production), Lost & Found by Dan Staiculescu (post-production), Teach by Alex Brendea (pre-production) and Borders by Ionut Piturescu (development). In fiction feature films, The Last Day by Gabriel Achim (closing post-production) and 1985 by Bogdan Muresanu (development). And in short films, Spid by Bogdan Muresanu, to be released.


Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2017 edition is 31 March, 2016. Click here.



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