2009 Producer on the move - Germany
by Bénédicte Prot
Janine Jackowski, a graduate of Munich’s Film and Television University, co-founded Komplizen Film in 2000 with director Maren Ade. Their award-winning debut, The Forest For the Trees (2003), was followed by Everyone Else [+see also:
interview: Maren Ade
film profile], which picked up two prizes at the latest Berlinale.
Komplizen also includes such promising names as Sonja Heiss and Vincent Pluss, whose latest films, respectively Hotel Very Welcome and Du bruit dans la tête [+see also:
interview: Céline Bolomey
film profile], have had great success at international festivals. Besides supporting young auteurs in developing their career, Jackowski has also collaborated (as co-producer) with expert producers such as Bernd Eichinger of Constantin (for Marc Rothemund's Pornorama [+see also:
film profile]) and Christian Becker of Rat Pack Filmproduktion. She is very much interested in networking in the international arena.
Cineuropa: What is the philosophy at Komplizen Film?
Janine Jackowski: The goal of Komplizen Film is to build long-term relationships with the directors and authors. We want a well-functioning and manageable company that regularly produces quality films, and I dream of being part of an international network that makes this possible. The success of a film, and also the fun of filmmaking, is to me, above all, a matter of cooperation between the director and the producer.
How challenging is it to be a producer in Germany?
It is a big challenge to make a living only by producing films, but that is the case everywhere and in Germany we have a lot of funding. Therefore, I cannot complain! I feel I can rely more and more on contacts and on the strength of the directors I work with, now that they have survived their second films.
Several of your recent productions (Hotel Very Welcome, Du bruit dans la tête, Everyone Else...) have become international festival successes. Has that widened your scope, created new opportunities and ambitions?
Besides the films, for me festivals are also meeting points. I feel privileged to get to travel with the films to these events. It has made it easier to exchange ideas, discuss films and production. Sometimes the socializing becomes tiring, but I like to have a personal approach to people and projects, and before starting an Internet exchange about a production, I need to actually meet the people.
Your filmography includes quite a few co-productions. What led you to enter co-production projects? Do you enjoy trans-national collaborations? Do you think of yourself as a European producer?
Yes, I definitely enjoy getting in touch with projects, ideas, filmmakers from other countries. With our last films it was a natural thing that came either out of the story, or out of our enthusiasm for a director. I would see myself as a German producer with an interest in world cinema, which of course includes European films.
What are you next projects?
At present, Komplizen Film is developing new film projects by Sonja Heiss (Hotel Very Welcome), Maja Classen (Osdorf), Christoph Hochhäusler (This Very Moment, Low Profile) and Valeska Grisebach (Longing [+see also:
Birte Meersmann’s debut feature, entitled Die Verzichtserklärung ("The Declaration of Renunciation"), is currently being developed and the new film from Ulrich Köhler (Bungalow, Windows on Monday), Die Schlafkrankheit ("Sleeping Sickness"), is shooting this year in co-production with Ö Film (Katrin Schlösser).
What do you expect from the Producers on the Move event?
I would like to make international contacts – with production companies, directors and distributors. I hope to meet partners for our future projects and would like to carry out more future international co-productions after our first experiences.
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