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Michaux Bernard

Producer on the Move 2008 - Luxemborg

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Michaux Bernard

Cineuropa: What is your background and how did you become a producer?
Michaux Bernard: I’m quite a film bug, as far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker. After a few hands-on experiences I knew that I would not want to be a director – because I prefer to be more in control of projects. So I decided to apply for a course in film production at the Munich Film Academy. After an amazing four years at film school I pursued my long-term aspiration to become independent and therefore established my own production company, Lucil Film, in 2006.

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What is your company’s production philosophy?
I think I became a producer at such a young age because there are people who believe in me and my work. In return, I would like to offer this same trust to young European directors. Together with emerging talents who have a fresh, creative drive, we are able to produce films that reach their audience.

How do you choose projects? What qualities must a project have to catch your attention?
At the moment I have three selection criteria. The first and the most important one is the creative package. Do I like the story and the work of the director? I’m not focused on a specific genre but I have to feel affection for the story. The second decisive factor is the budget. My company is still underway and it would thus be unreasonable to consider projects over €5m. Last but not least I would like to know if it is a project that can be produced in Luxembourg.

The National Support System is quite open to a European view. There are nonetheless a few guidelines that have to be followed when producing in or co-producing with a Luxembourgish company. As a producer I base myself on these rules in order to finance the project.

Do you have international perspectives involving co-producing with other European countries?
Coming from one of the smallest countries in Europe, you don’t really have a choice! Either you co-produce or you don’t produce at all. If you want to shoot a film with an average European budget you simply have to look for co-producers. That is why nearly all of my projects in development are co-productions. But I also plan on making some films in the near future as a minority co-producer.

With which countries do you co-produce the most?
During my film studies I already co-produced with Poland and Germany. In addition, Luxembourg has a co-production treaty with Austria, Germany, France, Canada and Québec. Of course, it seems easier to set up productions with these countries. Still, I cultivate a lot of contacts to Germany. Generally speaking, I’m interested in co-productions with producers from any country. In the end there should be reciprocity in the work as majority and minority producer.

How do you feel about being selected as a Producer on the Move 2008?
I’m both honoured and excited that the Luxembourg Filmfund has chosen me for this program. I’m aware that I’m really young and so I see the Producer on the Move initiative as a great opportunity to exchange experiences and to extend my international network. Looking at the selection of producers I feel very privileged to have this great chance to meet them in Cannes.

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