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"What matters is to have a functioning team"

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Eero Talvistu • Producer

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- We met up with Eero Talvistu, Emerging Producer 2017 from Estonia, to discuss his work with the production company Kinoport Film

Eero Talvistu  • Producer

We met up with Eero Talvistu, Emerging Producer 2017 from Estonia, to discuss his work with the production company Kinoport Film.

What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
I have been contemplating that question for a long time now. And I have only recently stopped, because what matters is to have a functioning director-producer or producer-director team. We all need to be multitalented, both directors and producers, we need to be able to handle the sound recording equipment or camera, to deal with funds, characters, and so on. The only certain thing is that you cannot make it alone, or if you could, you would be very lonely and tired. If I were a director, I would love my producer to listen, grasp the idea, fight for it, respect my mood, confront me when I go flipping. Someone who comes back after a fight that makes our work environment better and our partnership stronger, and who has a smile in her or his eyes when I say that my project is “our project”.

To what extent do you, as a producer, get involved in the creative process?
It depends on the director and agreed partnership rules. It is very individual, and differs by the director and by the project. If a producer gets too involved, she or he cannot work on many projects at the same time. If it was financially possible, it would be perfect. In real life, it is always a balance with up and down curves. I believe there is no rule to it.

What projects do you have under way?
I have one current affairs documentary in production which is constantly “running away” due to the rapidly changing world. I have a documentary in the final development stage that is much deeper and bigger but if I need to pitch it in one sentence, it would be “a film about women set in a smoke sauna environment”. Contrary to the previously mentioned project I have one documentary at about the same stage of development dealing with a very controversial white South African photographer, whom the director has known for almost 20 years. I also produce a documentary about the president of the Estonian Republic – actually a film about a man in the president’s shoes. And I am finishing a documentary named Father Guy, which portrays an old man who has had a fascinating life and possesses great wisdom and perfect peace of mind, and who also practiced exorcism. In spring, we will have a premiere of a short fiction piece called Ice. Other projects are still in the “start-up” stage.

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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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