- Slovenian producer Boštjan Ikovic has worked on Chefurs Raus! and Family Film, he now turns his hand to Goran Vojnović’s upcoming film Once Were Humans
Through his company Arsmedia, Slovenian producer Boštjan Ikovic has worked both on popular local comedies such as Goran Vojnović's Chefurs Raus! [+see also:
film profile] and Marko Naberšnik's Shanghai Gypsy, and the multiple award-winning Czech-German-French-Slovenian-Slovak co-production, Family Film by Olmo Omerzu. He has just finished Comedy of Tears, and the feature debut of writer-director Marko Sosič, and is currently working on the development of Vojnovic's new film, Once Were Humans.
Cineuropa: You have produced some locally popular films in Slovenia, but also an internationally renowned arthouse film. How do you balance these two approaches, and how do you pick your projects?
Boštjan Ikovic: To be the main producer, like on Chefurs Raus! and Shanghai Gypsy, and a co-producer, like on Family Film, is different in some ways. As a main producer one is in charge and responsible for everything. As a co-producer one is a part of a team and shares responsibilities, one does his/her part of the job but it is less demanding.
I pick projects depending on the following factors (in order of importance): the story – that is the most important to me; then the screenplay – it needs to be interesting for our country, but also to have international potential.
Tell us some details about Comedy of Tears and Once Were Humans, and what you expect from these projects.
Comedy of Tears was finished in April. Now we will start applying to upcoming festivals. The budget was very low, but it is a beautiful story about relations between a wheelchair-bound man and a lady who takes care of him.
Once Were Humans is a story about an Italian and a Bosnian living in Slovenia, and some refugees from Middle East. The two men want to start a business, but get into trouble with the mafia and the immigrants who want cross the border illegally…
The project is in development and we received support from the Slovenian Film Center for it. We already have co-producers from Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Screenwriters Tomasso Santi from Italy and Goran Vojnovićare writing the screenplay. The budget of the film is estimated at €1.5 million, but the last line of the budget will be specified after the development phase.
As I have mentioned above, the main thing is that it’s a good story, and after that, we have to work on the marketing. Both films have a potential for success.
How do you see the current situation in Slovenian production and distribution? How do you position your films with this in mind?
After recession in Europe, and also in Slovenia, there is less funding for films. But I am staying positive in hoping it will go up. We have good relations with distribution companies in Slovenia and in the region.
I think about a film’s distribution right from the start. For a successful distribution, marketing and promotion of a film, the producer and the distributer have to work together. The biggest advantage is that we have been working with our distributor for years and we know the market quite well. But the main problem is that our market is small and we always have to think of other markets as well, and that is a challenge.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move in Cannes?
I am very happy to be a part of Producers on the Move in Cannes. I expect to meet more new producers, form new friendships and work connections.