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“It’s not about reaching those who are cinemagoers but reaching those who have free time”

Industry Report: Documentary

Genovéva Petrovits • Producer, Kino Alfa


The Hungarian Emerging Producer talks about producing documentary films and finding audiences for her productions

Genovéva Petrovits  • Producer, Kino Alfa

An interview with Genovéva Petrovits, producer for Hungarian company Kino Alfa and selected for the 2023 Emerging Producers programme. Read her EP profile here.

Why do you produce documentaries? Do you see documentary cinema as an instrument of social and political change?
Genovéva Petrovits: I started the production of my first documentary, because the subject we wanted to make a film about needed this format. I say ‘subject’ rather than a ‘story’, because the process of finding the final story was an exceptional experience and I want to emphasize that. This is how I learnt that a documentary is a form, a genre, a way to approach a subject, and that a documentary is also the final shape of a story, told through images. When we started that first project, my main intention was to maximally support the author’s vision about the character he wanted to tell a story about. I want to believe that society and politics are able to change for good and every small step count for these changes.

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Where do you find audiences for your films?
The question is how I engage strong collaborators who are the voices of audience groups we want to target. Audience design is key and it’s not about reaching those who are cinemagoers but reaching those who have free time. So a really complex job, which I find very very exciting and a real challenge and I consider that totally part of my job as a producer.

What films have you seen recently and would recommend watching?
I watched exciting Hungarian diploma films recently. All I recommend is to stay curious, to dedicate time for books, films and time for self-development.

What projects do you have underway (including fiction films and other projects)?
Several projects are around me, these are exciting times. Last year, the films I have in development together with Szabolcs Hajdu received development funding from Creative Europe. The first feature film of Olivér Rudolf (Fonica, selected at the Cinéfondation in 2021), My Mother, The Monster is part of that package, plus the production funding is on the way too, because it is a part of the Incubator Programme of the Hungarian Film Institute dedicated for debut filmmakers. I have a fiction project in production with Mihály Schwechtje, and we are also in the middle of the financing process with his next feature film, Democracy Work In Progress, which is going to be an exciting satire about the times we are living in. The documentary I work on now is a sweet piece about elderly people, living in Transylvania, working on their better themselves. Documentary in development by Ibolya Simó.


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 2024 edition is 31 March 2023.

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