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"There’s a need to succeed"

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Jérôme Vidal • Producer

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- Jérôme Vidal, who heads up Parisian company Noodles Productions, talks about his close ties with Spanish cinema

Jérôme Vidal  • Producer

Just before the "Différent 9 ! L'autre cinéma espagnol" Festival (to be held between 15 and 21 June 2016 in Paris), Cineuropa caught up with Jérôme Vidal, whose Parisian company Noodles Productions is without a doubt the number-one French co-production partner for Spanish films. To its name, among others, are Blancanieves [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Pablo Berger
festival scope
film profile
]
and Abracadabra (currently being filmed) by Pablo Berger, Nobody Wants the Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film focus
interview: Isabel Coixet
film profile
]
by Isabel Coixet, Aloft [+see also:
trailer
interview: Claudia Llosa
film profile
]
by Claudia Llosa, Blackthorn [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Mateo Gil, and films by Marc Recha, Javier Rebollo, Pol Rodríguez Ferrer and Chema Rodríguez.

Cineuropa: How did Noodles Production forge its ties with Spanish cinema?
Jérôme Vidal
: In the early 2000s, I was a member of the CNC’s Distribution Aid Committee, where I met Mima Fleurent, who had been working with Spanish films for a long time. She got in touch with Elias Querejeta, one of the greatest European producers of the 20th century, which enabled me to co-produce Mondays in the Sun [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Fernando León de Aranoa. That brought me a certain amount of ‘fame’ in Spain and opened up doors, and gave me the opportunity to work with a series of authors as varied as Marc Recha, Claudia Llosa, Mateo Gil, etc. As well as getting to meet talented Spanish authors, this brought with it the opportunity of finding funding in Spain for French filmmakers who wouldn’t have succeeded in making their films in the French-speaking French market, like Evolution [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Don't Grow Up [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Thierry Poiraud.

Which is easier, finding funding in Spain for French films, or finding funding in France for Spanish films?
Finding funding in Spain for French films. The French system is excellent, but it is very much grounded in language, so competition is tough when it comes to obligations to invest in other European languages. We funded the French part of Blackthorn by Mateo Gil ourselves without any other French support to begin with, as we also did for Nobody Wants the Night by Isabel Coixet. For Little Indi [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Marc Recha, we only had French funding to work with, because the film was in Catalan, which is a French regional language. We really had to fight for Abracadabra, the upcoming film by Pablo Berger, which is currently being filmed and we’re co-producing in France with Films Distribution Productions, whilst with Blancanieves, I think Pablo showed that he would be an interesting director to follow. When it comes to shooting French co-productions in Spain, it’s not just easier to get hold of funding, you get to meet so many talented people too. For example, I wanted to work with Pol Rodríguez Ferrer on his debut feature, Quatretondeta [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which we’re presenting at "Différent 9 !", as I met him when he was first assistant to Marc Recha, then he worked on Thierry Poiraud’s film, and he is above all extremely talented.

Ironically, Spanish production seems to be doing very well, whilst the country’s economic situation is rather more complicated.
There’s a need to succeed, but in the end, when you find yourself in a difficult situation, your convictions become stronger. Films like Magical Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Carlos Vermut
film profile
]
, Flowers [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Marshland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Alberto Rodríguez
film profile
]
, etc. being released, alongside domestic films for the mass market that pull in the admissions, for example Spanish Affair 1 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and 2 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, make for an ensemble that shows just how much difficulties spur people on.

What projects is Noodles currently working on with Spain?
We’re working on the editing for Los gigantes no existen by Chema Rodríguez, which was shot in Guatemala. We’re also developing the debut fictional feature by director Neus Ballús, who stood out at Berlin with documentary The Plague [+see also:
film review
trailer
festival scope
film profile
]
. We’re also in engaged in discussions over the next film by Manuel Martín Cuenca, and we’re developing projects with Arcadia Motion Pictures too, who we work with a lot and with whom I produced Quatretondeta.

(Translated from French)

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