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"Queremos normalizar la presencia de las madres en el trabajo"

Informe de industria: Producir - Coproducir...

Kristýna Michálek Květová • Productora, Cinémotif Films

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La Producer on the Move checa habla sobre la evolución de sus estrategias de producción, después de pasar de las óperas primas a las coproducciones internacionales más complejas y a formatos híbridos

Kristýna Michálek Květová • Productora, Cinémotif Films

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Kristýna Michálek Květová, an independent Czech producer and the founder of Cinémotif Films, focuses on producing arthouse films, including hybrid works and unorthodox narratives. Her production company is responsible for projects such as the biopic-thriller Arvéd, the documentary The Visitors [+lee también:
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and the hybrid flick Photophobia [+lee también:
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, as well as the upcoming Year of the Widow (see the news). Cineuropa sat down with the producer on the occasion of her selection for the 2024 Producers on the Move initiative and discussed the evolution of her film production strategies, having moved from debut features to more complex international co-productions and hybrid formats. She also talks about the challenges and innovations involved in working with emerging talent and adapting to new trends in documentary filmmaking.

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Cineuropa: Cinémotif Films has continued to carve out a niche in the international film scene. What have been the most significant developments within your company, and how have these impacted your approach to film production?
Kristýna Michálek Květová:
We have progressed from producing debut films to developing second and third feature-length projects with directors we've previously collaborated with. Furthermore, we have solidified our presence in international co-production forums, both as a majority and a minority producer. Recently, our focus has expanded to include innovative formats, such as hybrid films and television miniseries.

Given the dynamic nature of international co-productions, what new challenges and opportunities have you encountered recently?
I believe financial changes, such as the stabilisation of our national film fund and evolving regional funds, among others, not only benefit us, but also pave the way for the next generation of film professionals. Collaborating with them has become essential, especially in the Czech Republic, known for its international production work. This move towards having more involvement in international co-productions allows our local talent to take on roles they're well suited for, beyond just providing services, thereby enhancing both their experiences and the production quality. The current ease of communication without language barriers makes this an ideal time for international partnerships. We hope for ongoing support from various bodies to improve collaboration with broadcasters and to strengthen the industry with support from both state and regional funds.

How has working with emerging talents come about?
It's been a journey that naturally began with my days at FAMU. The inception of projects with classmates, particularly Johana Ožvold and Fiona Ziegler, laid the groundwork for my venture into film production. This early collaboration felt instinctive, working alongside peers and quickly realising the immense challenges that debut filmmakers face, especially on international co-productions. Embarking on a debut project within the Czech landscape is one thing; opting for an international context, as we did with a co-production with France or Switzerland, introduces a whole new level of complexity. Despite these challenges, the rewards were manifold. The involvement of a French crew, for instance, brought invaluable contributions to the project, enhancing its quality and enabling its participation in prestigious competitions like Visions du Réel. The first-ever Czech-Swiss co-production and the third debut we made, Arvéd, won Best Film at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards and earned itself 12 nominations for the Czech Lions.

The documentary genre is evolving very dynamically; how has your strategy for producing and distributing documentaries adapted to the new trends?
Working on documentary filmmaking introduces its own set of dynamics and challenges, especially when considering the pace and nature of production. Unlike time-lapse projects that might demand long-term commitments, documentaries we engage with typically evolve over a shorter timeline. This distinction significantly impacts our approach to project management and financing. Our venture into hybrid formats – those blending documentary and narrative elements – presents an intriguing pathway. It often allows us to tap into a broader range of funding opportunities. Many international funds offer resources that do not strictly categorise projects as either documentary or fiction. This flexibility can lead to securing higher financial support for these hybrid efforts, which is a strategic advantage in our funding strategy. In planning our portfolio, we notice a clear difference between narrative films and documentaries. Narrative films require a large budget upfront, whereas documentaries allow us to start small, showing early results without needing a lot of money at the beginning. This flexibility shapes our strategy, letting us work on documentaries or hybrid projects while narrative films are stuck in financing. This keeps our company active and adaptable, making the most of what documentaries and hybrid projects offer in the varied world of film production.

Recently, a discussion has arisen in the Czech audiovisual industry regarding mothers working in the industry. What is your experience?
Working while having two small children has been both a challenge and a blessing for me. Our company’s team and most of our film crews are mainly composed of women and mothers. As someone who advocates for inclusivity in our industry, influenced by personal experiences and insights from leaders like Helena Bezděk Fraňková, we as a collective aim to normalise the presence of mothers in the workforce. Although my direct involvement in broader initiatives has been limited owing to my expanding family, our company remains dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of our team. Balancing this commitment across projects is challenging. We are committed to creating a mother- and baby-friendly environment in our productions, which is facilitated by practices such as occasionally having my own children with me on set or in the office. We actively support this approach whenever feasible. Additionally, we aim to provide support to the mothers in our crews through babysitting benefits or on-set childcare services. However, implementing these forms of support consistently is often contingent on our budget, particularly for projects that are not fully financed.

What projects are you bringing to the Producers on the Move 2024?
We're collaborating once again with Veronika Lišková, and it's exciting to maintain continuity with the same creative minds we've enjoyed long-term relationships with. I am bringing her latest project, her fiction feature debut, Year of the Widow, now in post-production, and her next project, a hybrid film called My Second Perfect Me. The third project is Ivan Ostrochovský’s historical drama Lata, the largest project we're working on, about Lata Brandisová, the first and last woman to win the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase.

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