"Documentaries can make a change, like drops that drill into a rock”
Industry Report: Documentary
Agnieszka Skalska • Producer, Koi Studio
The Polish producer, one of the 2021 Emerging Producers, talks about her work and producing documentaries nowadays
Why do you produce documentaries? Do you understand documentary film as an instrument of social and political change?
Agnieszka Skalska: I produce documentaries because the stories written by life move me a lot. I love discovering new subjects and digging deep to find the second and third bottom in every person and every story. I am convinced that documentaries can make a change, like drops that drill into a rock. I like making documentaries because I like small teams where everyone knows what to do and works with a sense of mission and achieving a common goal.
How do you deal with the current pandemic situation as a producer? What are your main concerns (or opportunities)?
The pandemic is affecting my personal and professional life, as it probably does to every person on earth. When it comes to producing films – for some of my projects the pandemic has opened up new opportunities, for others it has put the brakes on the work. I feel sorry for film-related events, like festivals and workshops, which were always energizing for me and which have completely moved online – I really hope that soon everything will be back on track.
What do you think is the future of the distribution of documentary films?
I think the pandemic has accelerated the unavoidable change in the distribution of not just documentaries, but all films in general. Documentary films and series are extremely popular on VOD platforms, which I think is great news because it means that the audience for documentaries is growing. I believe that festival audiences will continue to be interested in artistic documentary films because our audiences have always been passionate and enthusiastic and I believe they will always be there.
What projects do you have underway (including in the area of fiction film and other projects)?
I work mainly on documentaries, and they are all completely different, but great projects. I am in production of adventure documentary film The Current directed by Rafal Skalski (here we are a bit stopped by the pandemic, but we don’t lose energy), I just started production of new documentary by Matej Bobrik Guest Worker – we are in very interesting moment of discovering how much possibilities we do have with our protagonists and deciding which path we would like to take, I am also after shooting to German-Polish co-production Silent Love, which we are co-producing with wonderful Tondowski Films and MDR/Arte. A lot is going on, because this is only a part of my current projects.
EMERGING PRODUCERS is a leading 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 2022 edition is 31 March 2021.
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