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Reinier Selen

Producer on the Move 2008 - Netherlands


- Reinier Selen Producer on the Move

Cineuropa: What is your background and how did you become a producer?
Reinier Selen: I entered the audiovisual industry in 1986, volunteering at Europe’s oldest local broadcaster RTV Roerdalen in the Southern part of the Netherlands, close to the German boarder. There I learned the basic skills in filmmaking. This resulted in attending the Academy of Fine Arts St. Joost in Breda and graduating as a documentary filmmaker in 1996.

During and after my studies, I discovered that producing films appealed to me more than directing. So in 1996 I founded Rinkel Film Productions BV and produced the children’s film The Bicycle. This film, selected at over 40 film festivals worldwide and sold to several territories, confirmed my discovery to be right. Subsequently, I researched, developed and produced the feature Godforsaken [+see also:
film profile
in 2002, which received six Dutch Golden Calf nominations and won three.

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In 2003 I founded Rinkel Film & TV Productions BV with producer Edwin van Meurs and since then we have produced the features Blood Brothers and Off Screen, as well as various TV films and series.

Being a producer is a very dynamic challenge with a wide variety of skills, knowledge and experience. To continue developing, I attended the Script Development Programme at the Binger Film Lab in 2005 and EAVE in 2006.

What is the philosophy of your production company?
We aim to produce feature films and TV-series with specific genres and clear ideas about target groups and marketing strategies. Novel adaptations, original ideas and [projects] “based on true stories” are our focus.

Rinkel Film & TV’s development slate includes both high-concept mainstream feature films as well as arthouse projects. In every feature film project, the triad of writer, director and producer is of key importance. I see it as a continuing challenge to find these people, match them up and thus form unique “talent pools” that exceed each individual strengths.

How do you choose projects? What qualities must a project have to catch your attention?
Reading a synopsis or script that I like can be the first step in selection. Reading and choosing a novel that lends itself to be told on the big screen is another way to select a project. In any case, choosing or building the creative team of writer and director is an essential step in the process.

Scripts that challenge standard film genre conventions; true events that shocked our nation and beyond; personal stories, told with a strong vision of specific audience appeal. These are all important reasons for me to take on a project. Business considerations are: the viability of the project on the (inter)national market: both on financing levels, as on marketing and distribution levels.

Do you have international perspectives involving co-producing with other European countries?
We already have co-produced with foreign partners: our last feature film Off Screen, starring Jeroen Krabbé and Jan Decleir, was co-produced with Belgium. A Recipe for Hendrik Hadders, in the last stage of development, was awarded two international script prizes and succeeded in getting onboard an A-list world sales company, a highly respected German co-producer and Swiss distribution commitment.

We aim to build long-term relationships with European producers and set up European co-productions. One of our current ambitions is setting up a slate of five English-language feature films, based on highly successful novels from several European countries. It is a collaboration with five countries between five production and five publishing companies and five respected and proven directors. Domestic financing with a private equity partner is under negotiation.

With which countries do you co-produce the most?
As mentioned, we co-produced with Belgium and are co-producing with Germany and Belgium. We wish to explore working with producers in France, UK, as well as former Eastern European countries.

How do you feel about being selected as a Producer on the Move 2008?
I see it as a big compliment to have been chosen to represent the Netherlands at Cannes and the MIF. Where EAVE has already extended my European network, I see the Producers on the Move selection as a great opportunity for me to meet more partners, exchange experiences and thus extend my international network.

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