Mark Olexa • Producer
“A documentary should surprise and inspire”
- One of the 2018 Emerging Producers, Dok Mobile's Mark Olexa, talks to us about documentaries and what he thinks about their future
Why do you produce documentaries? Do you believe that they have the power to change the world?
Mark Olexa: I produce documentaries because I believe that they are the most effective way to express myself, giving a shape to my feelings and to the messages that I have at heart.
Documentaries have the power to raise awareness on different issues and allow spectators to make new experiences, but the real power of documentaries lies in the fact that this is a field where it is still possible to experiment and make artistic creations. A documentary should not only inform, but also surprise and inspire.
What do you think is the future of distribution of documentary films?
This is a difficult question. Things are changing fast. I think that VOD platforms will become more and more important for documentary distribution. I am talking about VOD platforms dedicated to documentaries, both platforms aimed at a large public and niche VOD platforms. However, no matter how common VOD distribution may become, theatre distribution and festivals will remain crucial because of the quality of picture and sound that is achievable only at such venues.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for TV distribution. Right now, the situation in Switzerland is very critical. In March, Swiss people will go to the polls to decide about the abolition of the public broadcasting company. If public broadcasting came to an end, the TV environment would become dominated by private players driven only by profit, and I fear that this would have a negative impact on the quality of TV programming.
What projects do you have under way?
We are currently working on a few projects. The first one is a short fiction called Hedgehogs, which portrays the delicate relationship between a father and his teenage daughter.
Moreover, we are in the editing phase of our latest feature-length documentary, Digital Karma, which deals with women empowerment in Bangladesh.
Also, we will soon release a medium-length documentary, La petite mort, which is an intimate and multifaceted analysis of the female orgasm.
Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.
Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2019 edition is 31 March, 2018. Click here.
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