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"Planning for project funding also means to dream"

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Estephania Bonnett Alonso • Producer


- Estephania Bonnett Alonso, Emerging Producer 2016 from Colombia, the guest country of the edition, produces for company Black Factory Cinema. We met up with her to discuss her work

Estephania Bonnett Alonso • Producer

Estephania Bonnett Alonso, Emerging Producer 2016 from Colombia, the guest country of the edition, produces for company Black Factory Cinema. We met up with her to discuss her work. 

Cineuropa: What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
Estephania Bonnett Alonso: A producer must have several qualities for the development of a documentary, in my case I value the projects that have a human and social context within which the life stories of one or more characters develop. It is essential to be receptive to issues that (even though they have a particular reality of a country or an individual) can strike a universal chord with different audiences. I am mainly interested in the process of transformation and the capacity of the human being to adapt, for example, as a social class, in a political context, in relation to an environmental change, or an economic phenomenon. Another quality is to be creative in designing a funding model specified for each project to diversify financing methods according to each theme. And it is also important to work with new windows of diffusion and distribution; to take into account the niches that each film targets and thus take advantage of new technologies that provide a way of including new audiences.

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To what extent do you, as a producer, get involved in the creative process?
Production is its own process, not just regarding economic management, but one of creation. As a producer I only engage in projects where I can contribute with a vision of creative production during the entire making of the film. Producers are the first spectators of the project in all its stages. They must give important and useful feedback during development. Of course, it is necessary to define the limits for each project and to respect the vision and creativity of the author and their intimacy with each topic. The passion of the producer towards the project should be as strong as the director’s because it is them who will produce a real and solid audiovisual product. Planning for project funding also means to dream.

What projects do you have under way?
Two and a half years ago, I founded the production company Black Factory Cinema with director Liliana Diaz. It is a company that is based in Colombia and Spain. We currently have two documentary films in development; one of them, Tejiendo vidas ajenas, explores the role of nannies in Colombia. The second, How Blue Was My Sky by French director Natam Blume, is a coproduction film made in Mongolia describing how the life of five children is affected by the changes in the country’s climate and culture. In the area of fiction, we are developing two feature film projects that have been selected for several festivals around the world.

The activity which we have most developed in parallel to production is the fostering of new directors and new audiences. For three consecutive years, we have organised practical workshops with the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami in Colombia, Barcelona and Cuba. At each workshop, 50 young directors, each created a short film within the 10 days of the workshop under the guidance of the Iranian director. Following the workshop, the short films have been presented at various festivals and other exhibitions facilitating the inclusion of these new directors in the international film industry.


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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