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Anton Iffland Stettner

Producers on the Move 2013 – Belgium

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- The producer has developed Pierre Duculot’s new film for Need Productions and is managing a film based on the novel The Six Million Dollar Man

Anton Iffland Stettner

(Note: In 2012 and 2013, Anton Iffland Stettner rejoined the Need Productions team, with which he worked on a number of projects. In 2014, he decided to dedicate himself entirely to the company he set up in Brussels in 2009, Stenola Productions.)

Anton Iffland Stettner joined the Need Productions team (alongside its founder, Denis Delcampe, and Pierre-Yves Le Cunff) about a year ago. He is developing the latest film by Pierre Duculot (whose first movie, Miles From Anywhere, was very successful in Belgium and Germany) and is also managing a film based on the novel The Six Million Dollar Man, about a group of metal-workers who kidnap a steel tycoon.

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Cineuropa: Can you tell us about your career before you joined Need Productions?
Anton Iffland Stettner: I am originally from America, but I grew up in Paris. Ten years ago, I arrived in Belgium to follow a directors' course at the INSAS.  When I finished my studies, I worked for quite a while as an assistant director, as well as in production administration. The following year, I set up my company, Stenola Production. Last year, Denis Delcampe contacted me because he wanted to collaborate with other producers to reinforce Need. I therefore joined the team, while at the same time pursuing my work with Sténola. Evolving with Need enables me to benefit from the experience of its structure, and work on projects of wider scope.

What is Need’s trademark?
Since its creation in 1999, Need has been characterized by a strong and honest editorial line. The projects we produce seem necessary to us, as much for their links to current affairs as for their authors' vision. The company is not called Need by chance, we believe that our films answer a need. Our type of cinema requires space. We often film beyond our borders, in Central Asia, or recently in Corsica. In the past, we have produced films by directors such as Nadir Moknèche (Viva Laldjerie, 2004), Ursula Meier (Home, 2008), Christophe Blanc (Blanc comme Neige, 2010), Vanja d'Alcantara (Beyond the Steppes, 2010) and Pierre Duculot (Miles From Anywhere, 2012). We are currently developing new projects by Vanja d’Alcatanra (Kokoro, a film based on the novel Le Cœur Régulier by Olivier Adam) and Pierre Duculot (L’Ecole au milieu du village, a comedy for all audiences which is set in Wallonia). We are also coproducing Un monde truqué, the highly ambitious animated project by Jacques Tardi, and we have bought the rights to Nicolas Ancion’s novel, The Six Million Dollar Man, a social comedy about metal-workers from Liège who kidnap a steel tycoon.  

What are the challenges facing Need today?
The first challenge is that we can no longer content ourselves with working self-sufficiently, and it is probably better that way. International coproduction is a self-evidence for us, as well as an obligation. We are therefore looking for partners, but also for international projects. In this context, Producers on the Move is the perfect opportunity to situate ourselves as ideal partners in Belgium, especially as we have just produced several majority projects, and are thus looking for coproductions.

And in Belgium itself?
The Belgian market is extremely competitive for our own productions, which have to fight for a place on overloaded screens. With Miles From Anywhere, by Pierre Duculot, we could not find any distribution partners who shared our ambition for the film, so we took the leap and took on its distribution ourselves. We mobilized all our energy, and carried the film in our own arms so that it would survive in the jungle of releases, and find its public. We had to prove our desire to see this movie circulate, and show that we could be creative, but it finally proved successful, as the film was welcomed by 15,000 spectators in Brussels and Wallonia, which is a very honorable achievement.  

  

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