Christof Neracher • Producer, Hugofilm
by Muriel Del Don
- Swiss producer Christof Neracher talks passionately to Cineuropa about his participation in the next Producers Lab Toronto
Born in 1970, Christof Neracher is the managing director, producer and co-owner of Hugofilm (Zurich). He was a Producer on the Move during the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and he is an executive member of ACE. Hugofilm was founded in 1999 by a group of filmmakers, musicians and artists as a workshop for creative interaction and brainstorming; it is now one of Switzerland’s leading production companies. Hugofilm has produced, among others, Tobias Nölle's Aloys [+see also:
interview: Tobias Nölle
film profile] (FIPRESCI Award winner in Berlinale's Panorama section), Michael Koch's Marija [+see also:
interview: Michael Koch
film profile] (in Locarno 2016's competition and selected for Toronto's Discovery section) and Simon Jaquemet's Chrieg [+see also:
interview: Simon Jaquemet
film profile] (in San Sebastián 2014's New Directors section; Swiss Film Award for Best Cinematography in 2015; Jury Prize at the Marrakech International Film Festival; Max Ophüls Preis 2015, Saarbrücken). Neracher is part of the next Producers Lab Toronto (PLT).
Cineuropa: What does it mean for you to be part of the next Producers Lab Toronto? What are your expectations?
Christof Neracher: I think that, especially coming from a very small country with an even smaller marketplace, it is very important to take part in networking activities such as the Producers Lab Toronto. I am particularly excited to be part of the PLT, since I have a project in development: JILL by Steven Michael Hayes, which I intend to shoot in Manitoba and co-produce with Winnipeg-based Buffalo Gals. Besides that, I have other English-language projects, including a slate of three “arthouse-horror” projects by female directors, for which I am curious to see if there could be any interest.
Why do you think that meeting and discussing with Canadian producers is important for European producers, and especially for a Swiss producer like you?
As I mentioned above, Switzerland is very small. A market for theatrical releases of films other than local comedies or family entertainment hardly exists any more. So if I want to continue producing films that I personally like, I have to, not only to understand where our business is going, but also to widen up our field in order to be able to produce movies for an international audience. For that, talking to Canadian producers in particular is very interesting, since they are close to the States, yet also close to the Europeans.
Why did you choose to create your own production company? What makes Hugofilm different?
Quite simply because I love films and I have always liked, whatever I've been doing, to be involved within the whole process. I think Hugofilm is quite particular because we produce a wide range of different films, always trying within that to make high-quality movies that are well developed, intelligent and entertaining. That ranges from TV documentaries, through documentary features, “movies of the week” and TV series, to multi-award-winning festival films.
How do you (Hugofilm) choose the movies you want to produce?
Again, since we are based in a small country, the only real criterion is the quality of the project – either because it comes from a highly talented author-director or the story is intriguing enough that we feel it can make its way either to the theatres or to festivals.