“Documentaries invite you to discover”
Industry Report: Documentary
Rūta Adelė Jekentaitė • Producer, Baltic Productions
The Emerging Producer from Lithuania discusses her approach to her favourite story-telling medium
An interview with Rūta Adelė Jekentaitė, producer for Lithuanian company Baltic Productions 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?
Rūta Adelė Jekentaitė: Documentaries for me are like travel – you get the idea about what topic matters, you search for the best way to talk about it, you find so much in the process, and you grow up in every step of making it/traveling through it. At same time you are never sure how you will end up, and mostly get surprised in one way or another. I produce docs because they are very open to creativity and they invite you to discover, the documentary production process is very adventurous. I think all kinds of cinema are an instrument of social and political change, as you can model situations, and look back and forward, as well as to observe. But for me, docs are a chance to know the world and humanity in first the place.
Where do you find audiences for your films?
There is no particular model, especially now after Covid-19, we use to search for new ways to find audience. I try to be very honest to the films I produce – where I watch films? How do films finds me? Everything starts from your community; you observe natural habits of people around you and you try to use this knowledge for distribution. I like special screenings with special events when films come to the audience. Distribution is a very hard job, and I admire everyone who puts heart and effort into those processes.
What films have you seen recently and would recommend watching?
Taming the Garden [+see also:
interview: Salomé Jashi
film profile] by Salome Jashi, Fire of Love by Sara Dosa, Roberta [+see also:
interview: Elena Kairytė
film profile] by Elena Kairytė – those three are my top list in the past years. Salome’s film is a masterpiece in so many ways, I read all interviews and talks about the process and the project, it is a visual fairy tale about humanity told through a very original story approach. Fire of love is a totally different film – it is made of archive footage. I have never been a fan of that genre, but those characters and their life catch you so quickly! The debut film Roberta by Elena Kairyte is a project I spent my last years with, it portrays the current generation in our region: youngsters born in mid-1990’s. The film shows what it entails to build your personality in our times, the director was named the “new voice in documentary”, and we are very excited about finally getting ready for the premieres!
What projects do you have underway (including fiction films and other projects)?
With the start of the Emerging Producers programme I started shooting the fiction project Border Wall – directed by Ignas Jonynas. We are still in production, locking our last partners for post-production and carefully making strategies for distribution and sales. The project is very visual; we are shooting the film in a very unique location close to the real border. We are planning to release it in 2024.
Another project in production is documentary Abandoned directed by Vytautas Puidokas. Its story takes us to a desolate rehab, where a group of recovering addicts try parenting a 14-year old boy. We just locked our editor, and continue with observing our protagonists. I am more than happy to have the opportunity to work with our co-producer Estelle Robin You from France on this project, as there is a great chance to learn so many things from her.
We are continuing our long observation project Dolce Far Niente (documentary) directed by Elena Kairytė. We have been observing the issues and protagonists for almost 8 years now, and the director has chosen time-lapse as the method of building the story.
And we have three projects in development all of which are created with new talents.
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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