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"I am embodying the limits that reality imposes on the creative process"

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Jean-Laurent Csinidis • Producer

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- We met up with Jean-Laurent Csinidis, Emerging Producer 2017 from France, to discuss his work for his company Films de Force Majeure

Jean-Laurent Csinidis • Producer

We met up with Jean-Laurent Csinidis, Emerging Producer 2017 from France, to discuss his work for his company Films de Force Majeure.

What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
Jean-Laurent Csinidis: Ethics, curiosity, tenacity, sharpness, flexibility, commitment.

To what extent do you, as a producer, get involved in the creative process?
I am generally the first feedback and brainstorming person at every stage of the creative process: writing, shooting, editing, and post-production. I try to be as precise and exhaustive as I can in my feedback. Time to time, I can also make spontaneous suggestions, popping with ideas and asking questions along the way. In special cases, I am particularly involved in the writing process. 

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My suggestions can be more or less substantial. It’s important that I can make my point and set out all my arguments, but the director always has the final word – except when it comes to legal or financial limitations of course. I am also embodying the limits that reality imposes on the creative process, which can be very frustrating for the directors.  

What projects do you have under way?
We are currently finishing Game Girls, a feature documentary by Alina Skrzeszewska whose premiere is expected in early 2018. Game Girls is about women living at the extreme margins of contemporary US society. It was shot in Los Angeles’ skid row, co-produced with Blinker Filmproduktion (Germany) with the support of Eurimages, Arte/ZDF, PACA Region, to name a few. Our world sales agent is Doc&Film International. 

We have just finished Songs Next Door, a documentary short by Flavie Pinatel which combines a documentary approach and musical elements in order to portray a housing estate near Paris. It will premiere in spring 2017. 

Also, we have just finished an animated experimental short by German visual artist Alexander Schellow entitled A Biography, which deals with the memory of the body of an old woman with Alzheimer’s disease.

Our slate of projects in development includes two documentary features: The Dark and Bloody Ground by Thomas Jenkoe and Diane Sara Bouzgarrou and The Factory by Judith Rueff. The Dark and Bloody Ground deals with a secluded rural community living in the Eastern Kentucky which claims a complete independency from the US Federal State. The Factory is about a French tea factory that has been taken over by its own employees after a long strike. Both are currently at the stage of location scouting, with shooting expected in 2018.

Last but not least, we are developing an ambitious animated web-series by Austrian director Paul Wennigner, Swamp, where a human-sized puppet explores our postmodern world and encounters human beings who are ultra-connected and completely lonely at the same time. 

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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 2018 edition is 31 March, 2017. Click here.

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