”A producer needs persistence and patience”
Industry Report: Documentary
Patricia D’Intino • Producer, Good Kids
Interview with Patricia D’Intino, producer for Hungarian company Good Kids and selected for the 2020 Emerging Producers programme
Why do you produce documentaries? Do you understand documentary film as an instrument of social and political change?
Patricia D’Intino: I produce documentaries first and foremost out of love and dedication for storytelling and filmmaking. Primarily I consider myself as a filmmaker in general regardless of the genre so my curiosity expands beyond format in which the story is told.
My general approach to picking up a project depends on its individuality, and integrity and independence from the mainstream. Because of our standing in the production ecosystem my company usually aims to target young up and coming directors with a mission and dedication to socially relevant topics who are otherwise unlikely to realize their projects. This is more often than not independent from the financial success of the film.
Social impact of a documentary is a broad stroke and not all documentaries are meant to create social change; however, from the two particular documentaries we are currently engaged in one is targeting an individual change in behaviour and attitude towards a specific topic and the other is geared more towards the possibility of a long-term institutional change as a result of its impact.
Having said that we try to set realistic goals for impact and it greatly depends on where that specific topic or issue is in the public consciousness but having the audience see our films, better connect with the specific topic and understand the issues and create awareness and a dialogue is equally valuable to us.
What qualities should a documentary producer have these days?
Persistence and patience. I really think that in every genre if the producer considers him or herself a filmmaker then the dedication comes genuinely.
What do you think is the future of distribution of documentary films?
With the emergence of behemoth streaming services such as Netflix / Amazon / HULU, etc. it is dramatically changing. There is perhaps an increasing emphasis on quality documentaries with a marketable cast and a pre-existing audience base for the particular topic. Even though it is still a challenge to tear down the wall between the creators and the gatekeepers there is always a potential for independent release on social media and festival circuit exposure. I feel that theatrical release is less and less of a factor especially as long format content is gaining increasing relevance although we seemingly live in the world of snaps. Documentaries that have the transmedial potential may have a longer life and a better chance to create a lasting audience and interest groups on the net.
What projects do you have under way?
We currently have 3 projects in development: 2 documentaries and one fiction. The documentaries are in production while the fiction project by Istvan Kovacs is in development. One of the documentaries is a co-production with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union directed by Anna Rubi while the other one is a time-lapse story about a unique and new family model and a way of having a baby (directors Nagy Eszter and Sara Czira).
Istvan Kovacs’s successful Siege story is being developed into a feature film. Besides the developments and our own projects, my company Good Kids is doing international service productions.
Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.
Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2021 edition is 15 March, 2020.
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