by Anne Feuillère
20/04/2007 - With such diverse backgrounds as economics, theatre and history, Nicolas de Borman, Stephane Heymans, Fabrizio Rongione and Samuel Tilman make up the eclectic four of Eklektik Productions. The outfit recently took a big step in its development with the production of Joachim Lafosse’s What Makes You Happy [trailer, film focus].
Cineuropa: What is it that characterises Eklektik Productions?
Samuel Tilman: First, a link to Africa through our documentaries and our careers. Stéphane – who, like Nicolas, studied economics – works for Médecins Sans Frontières. I did a thesis in history and documentaries, and made one of them with Nicolas. Fabrizio did the Conservatoire. We all met at university where we started to write together for theatre. We each have very different backgrounds, areas of activities and skills. As a result, we have a very wide range of projects. As none of us are financially dependent on the outfit, we have a certain detachment from our profession and enjoy the pleasure of working on what we like. Then there’s the desire to do films about the here and now, which bring us together and encourage us to ask questions about our generation. How to still have ideals and life projects at 30 is also a real question and is the basis of our work.
How did you get started in feature production?
Fabrizio met Joachim who was waiting to get funding for Private Property [trailer]. He too has an appetite for risk and wants to have partners his own age. We very quickly began writing without waiting for the financing to come through and gave ourselves the possibility of stopping at any stage of the process if we weren’t satisfied. A coherence was formed between what we were filming and what was going on in production, between the content of the film and its development. When we said we were going to shoot What Makes You Happy [trailer, film focus] (see Focus), everything went very quickly. For us it was the time to take a financial risk. We weren’t sure that we would secure the budget. But it worked out because at the base of our structure we have this freedom, this flexibility.
What are Eklektik’s projects?
Another feature Mobil-Home is in development. It’s written by François Pirot and Jean-Benoit Ugeux. François is making a short called Retraite and co-wrote Private Property which starred Jean-Benoît, who has also written for theatre and is an actor. Again the subject suits us: a comedy that is first happy and then sombre about thirtysomethings in crisis, more sociological than political, the story of two thirtysomethings in a small village, types of autonomous "Tanguys", between two phases in their lives, who want to leave to tour the world with their mobile home but don’t get any further than their village (laughs). At Cannes, we’ll try to find French-speaking partners but keep the door open to other types of co-productions. That would make the project more secure even if we could do it with a small budget and a little tax shelter funding. But what we really want is to co-produce. Cannes is a definite advantage in terms of meeting producers of our generation, building contacts and forming a network.
What are your personal projects?
I’m currently finishing a short called Voie de garage, which is quite a light comedy. But I’m really an autodidact, so I want to make another short before making the feature that I’m writing and which is really close to my heart. What I love about Eklektik is the possibility to enrich oneself through the contact with all these different projects, different worlds. That encourages me to ask questions about what I want to film.