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Mathias Rubin

Producer on the Move 2014 – France

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- In Paris, Cineuropa met up with Mathias Rubin, a producer at Récifilms and European Film Promotion’s Producer on the Move 2014

Mathias Rubin

Shifting up a gear with Möbius [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 and Les gazelles [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, the co-founder and co-director of Paris-based Récifilms will have produced two new feature films by the end of 2014.

Cineuropa: What have the main steps in your career been?
I started off working for a year in the acquisitions and co-productions department at Miramax, in New York. After that, I returned to France and spent four years as a chargé d'affaires at Coficiné, where I was in charge of producer accounts, before founding Récifilms in 2004 with my partner, Eric Juherian. We kicked off with L'école pour tous [+see also:
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film profile
]
 by Eric Rochant, and then we produced five other feature films: Girlfriends by Sylvie Ayme, Le café du pont [+see also:
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film profile
]
 by Manuel Poirier, De l'huile sur le feu [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Nicolas Benamou, Möbius by Eric Rochant again and Les gazelles by Mona Achache.

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What is Récifilms’ editorial policy?
What attracts us is meeting directors, creators and talented people. We don’t really claim to have a very coherent line-up: it’s actually pretty varied and eclectic. We operate as producers in the same way as we operate as viewers who are able to watch Ida [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
The Wolf of Wall Street or a pure comedy, for example. But what we’re unable to resist as producers is passion, belief, conviction and the hope that a film will reach the audience. The public’s perception of the film is created straight away, so if you don’t know how you’re going to reach the audience, right from that first meeting or the first read-through, it’s very difficult to tell yourself that you’re going to turn a certain project into a reality, into a film that will be able to fight off the 10 or 12 other films that will be coming onto the market at the same time. The public’s perception then obviously has to be in keeping with your rationale for how you make and fund the film. And if your aim is for your film to reach the audience, you have to think about the ingredients that will enable it to stand out, such as with the cast or through a novel element in the artistic standpoint that you adopt. For example, in the case of Les gazelles, we had really liked a show by Camille Chamoux, and we thought that perhaps it contained a subject matter for a somewhat out-of-the-ordinary comedy about the sociological reality and emotional instability of today’s young, single, 30-year-old women. But we had to work together with her in order to find an original approach that would mean thinking out of the box compared to more traditional comedies. We then suggested the film to Mona Achache.

Did the production of Möbius, with its €15 million budget, change how you work?
With that project, we took our first steps into European co-production, working with Belgium and Luxembourg. In terms of securing the funding, it was lucky that the project was very coherent and boasted a first-rate cast, bearing in mind that Jean Dujardin had only just won his Best Actor Award at Cannes when we found the funds for the film, and his Oscar when we shot it. So there were many enabling factors that could be used to convince free television channels to get on board, but despite all that, it still wasn’t easy, as the film was firmly on the market’s side thanks to its thriller and love-story aspects – but because of that, it wasn’t very "arthouse". It was a bit of a crossover, and it wasn’t an easy decision for the TV channels. We had to fight for it.

What other projects do you have coming up?
On 2 June, shooting will kick off for the feature debut by Rudi Rosenberg: Le nouveau. We’ve wanted to produce Rudi for years, as his short films have been showered with awards. Then, we will have French Doctor by Olivier Megaton, with a much more substantial budget and a shoot in South Africa at the end of the year. It’s a project that we’ve developed in house with several writers and tells the tale of how the humanitarian movement was born through the story of the first mission to Biafra. We are also joining, among others, Teddy Lussi-Modeste (Jimmy Rivière [+see also:
trailer
interview: Teddy Lussi-Modeste
film profile
]
) for his next feature because we really love the world he’s created.

What are you expecting at the Cannes meeting with the other European Film Promotion Producers on the Move?
By definition, the job of an independent producer is plagued by a particular form of isolation. Meeting other producers is interesting first of all in terms of the projects, in order to talk about them and see what could be possible and potentially be co-developed, but also to increase our knowledge of how to optimise future co-productions.

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