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Gilles Chanial

Producers on the Move 2013 - Luxembourg

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- Producer Gilles Chanial is part of the team of the production outfit Red Lion, where he’s co-produced features such as Le Goût des myrtilles with Michel Piccoli

Gilles Chanial

The Luxembourg Producer on the Move, Gilles Chanial, of French origin, is part of the team of the production outfit Red Lion, where he’s co-produced features such as Le Goût des myrtilles with Michel Piccoli.

Cineuropa: What’s your background?
Gilles Chanial:
 I’ve got a double diploma from Lyon University, in Theoretical Physics and Film. I worked as an engineer for five years before I got bored and went back to filmmaking. I took a sabbatical year to do a course in distribution and marketing with the idea of getting into international sales but things worked out differently: Pol Cruchten, a Luxembourg director, proposed I follow him to Luxembourg. I started at entry level, as a coordinator on Senteurs, a short by Laura Schroeder. And since, I’ve worked my way up to production management and producing as I got more and more into the development and financing aspects of filmmaking. The goal was to get closer to the creation and process of making films.

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What’s your place in the Luxembourg audiovisual landscape today?
Red Lion, where I work, was created by Pol Cruchten. I think we’re perceived as a young company that specializes in auteurs and the desire to further a certain type of independent cinema. We emphasise the development side and are currently facilitating the transition from short to feature for several young Luxembourg talents.

Luxembourg is quite a small country; do you feel this influences your work and possibilities as a producer?
What’s quite normal in Luxembourg — and not many other places — is that we almost always have to co-produce even the features that we develop ourselves in the script phase. But this limitation is also a source of strength and we’ve got one of the best Tax Shelter system in Europe and a Film Fund that pushes us to be as open as we can be and forget about language barriers. I’ve co-produced with our usual partners in France and Belgium but also with Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland. In that sense, we’re extremely European.

Have you already worked on something close to an ideal project or does such a thing not exist?
Every film is unique and I’m not sure if there’s an ideal experience in terms of filmmaking. Generally, it’s important for us that we don’t have to make artistic concession just because it’s a coproduction. I’ve been very happy to have been involved with the making of small, fragile films that involved a lot of risk-taking, also aesthetically, such as L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps, a “neo-giallo” from Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani and Le Goût des myrtilles from Thomas de Thier and with Michel Piccoli. I’ve also worked on Les Brigands by Cruchten and Frank Hoffman, an adaptation of the classic work by German writer Friedrich von Schiller into a contemporary film noir, which we’ve been developing for four long years.

What does the future hold?

We’ll continue to make our choices based on projects we fall in love with, though we might extend our range of vision further eastwards into Central Europe. At the end of the summer, we hope to coproduce, the new film by Sandrine Veysset (Y’aura t’il de la neige à Noël?), whom we consider to be one of the great French auteurs, as well as two arthouse documentaries, one shot in Ukraine and the other in Lagos, about Fela Kuti. We’re also developing the features of two young Luxembourg directors whose shorts we produced: Gutland will be shot by Govinda Van Maele and Barrage by Laura Schroeder and we have high hopes for both of these projects and filmmakers.

  

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