Producer on the Move 2014 – Germany
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Henning Kamm (Detailfilm) focuses on original, gripping stories that can be fictional or documental
Together with the up-and-coming German production outfit Detailfilm, Henning Kamm focuses on original, gripping stories that can be fictional or documental. What counts is also the chemistry with the filmmakers.
Cineuropa: What is your approach as a producer?
Henning Kamm: I believe that film is teamwork. My production partner Fabian Gasmia and I are the kinds of producers who are doing much more than just raising the funding. From the word go, we are involved in the story development, the packaging and also the editing process. I think that the quality of films increases if the right people are working together.
How do you choose the projects?
This is a mix of our gut instincts and a certain consideration of whether the project might have an emotional appeal and also the potential to reach a wide audience – at least in theory. It is also a big issue for us whether the chemistry with the writer and director is right because we are going to be spending a lot of very intense time together.
Are you looking for specific styles or genres?
We are pretty much open to any good story. What we really love are comedies that reflect the human condition, with the right balance between drama and humour. Our first feature film, Father, Son & Holy Cow by Radek Wegrzyn, was a dramedy like that, as was the documentary The Special Need [+see also:
film profile] by Carlo Zoratti, which was presented at various festivals and most recently won an audience award at the SXSW Festival. As independent producers, our actions are not dictated by outside sources in any way.
Do your films get theatrical distribution?
Several of our films, such as Father, Son & Holy Cow and The Special Need, as well as our Berlinale competition entry Praia do Futuro [+see also:
film profile] by Karim Aïnouz, are on release or have been released theatrically in several European countries. Nowadays, it is not so difficult to distribute movies, but it is a real challenge to get them to stay in the cinema because there are not enough screens. Due to the flood of films that open every week, there is an enormous pressure.
What is the main benefit of becoming a Producer on the Move?
It is great to meet colleagues of my own age who have been carefully selected to come to Cannes. In general, we have the same vision of European cinema. I prefer to work with people of my generation with whom we are on an equal footing. Each additional contact counts as capital. To become a Producer on the Move is a big step.
Which kinds of projects are you bringing to Cannes?
We are developing the drama thriller Mahan by Mohammad Rasoulof. This is not an easy task, because this Iranian filmmaker got stuck in his home country. But we are in close touch with him and he is doing well. Since he is well known in Cannes, it makes sense to look for potential production partners for his film there. The other Producers on the Move have a certain credibility in their country so that they can finance a film. Furthermore, we have two or three smaller projects that we can also produce internationally, such as the children’s movie The Tiny Lady by Erik Schmitt, which could be co-produced by a partner from Denmark or the Netherlands.
Do you develop long-term relationships with filmmakers?
Erik Schmitt is part of our talent pool. We produced his short film Telecommander, which won him the Short Tiger Award 2014 and will be presented in the short-film programme Next Generation Short Tiger 2014 in Cannes. His children’s movie Rhino Full Throttle was shown at over 150 festivals and won more than 30 prizes. Other filmmakers with whom we are developing new projects include Carlo Zoratti, Karim Aïnouz and Kutluǧ Ataman, who showed Kuzu in the Berlinale Panorama this year. These filmmakers are family for us, and we wish to share our next adventure with them.
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