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Dominique Hoff • Delegada general, Fundación Gan para el Cine

"Si no nos arriesgamos, ¿quién lo hara?"

por 

- Habalmos con la delegada general de la fundación francesa sobre su longeva actividad, única en Francia, de apoyo a los primeros y segundos largometrajes

Dominique Hoff • Delegada general, Fundación Gan para el Cine
(© Pauline Maillet)

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

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, etc. These few recent examples, among many others, attest to the quality – validated by major international festivals – of the choices made by the Gan Foundation for Cinema, one of the main private partners of French cinema. For 35 years, the Foundation has been committed to creators and has also supported the distribution of many works, and has already supported more than 220 filmmakers. We met with Dominique Hoff, its general delegate, to find out more.

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Cineuropa: Is your 2022 selection (read the news) representative of the Gan Foundation for Cinema’s editorial line?
Dominique Hoff:
It is in line with our philosophy, which is to always preserve the diversity of works from the outset. In fact, this year, our creation grants distinguish five first feature film projects, while since 2014, we are also open to second features. What we like and what we have been doing for 35 years is to support the emergence of new talent. Regardless of language or of the filmmaker’s nationality, for us the most important thing is to be open to the world. This year, we have two French-Japanese filmmakers (Koya Kamura and Momoko Seto), one Indian (Payal Kapadia) and two French (Jonathan Millet and Sylvère Petit). And if we widen the scope to the two distribution prizes that we give out at the Cannes Critics’ Week and at the Annecy Animation Festival, our 2022 laureates also include Finnish filmmaker Mikko Myllylahti (for The Woodcutter Story [+lee también:
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entrevista: Mykko Myllylahti
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) and French director Alain Ughetto (for No Dogs or Italians Allowed [+lee también:
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entrevista: Alain Ughetto
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). This cultural diversity can perfectly be translated into shooting locations since two of the selected projects this year will be shot in Korea and in India, but the production of projects still needs to be predominantly French. We also make sure to mix up genres, but this year a common thread emerges: the theme of personal journeys (double culture, intimate questionings, freedom of choosing whom we love, reconstruction through the hunt for one’s torturer, ecological rapport to the living world, etc.). What also characterises all the selected projects is a very sensorial approach.

What kind of projects are you looking for?
This year, we received 106 projects, 70% of which were first features and 30% of which were second films. They are at the most accomplished state of the script, because since our aid is very selective, we advise producers to apply when they feel almost ready to shoot. In general, the projects already have a bit of financing, some regional support, perhaps some TV pre-sales or an advance on receipts from the CNC, but these are not decisive criteria for our selection. What is important for us is believing in the project. But we still examine its feasibility: we look at the production company at the commands and whether there is already a distributor involved. And since we meet the filmmakers and producers, together with the members of our jury, we can see how these duos work.

For a year or two, we’ve been feeling a sort of formatting of the projects that are submitted to us, including for first features, a lack of originality and maybe also some auto-censoring. As a private foundation, we are not expecting to receive any revenue, we are not connected to the economy of films, so if we don’t take risks, who will? We therefore continue to get involved with bold projects, which doesn’t mean that some of them can’t gather the general public together and record the maximum number of admissions in theatres. Others target big festivals, but these are such delicate and original approaches that we stay faithful to our principles: helping them in the hope that they will make a second feature, then a third, that they will build up an oeuvre. Because what is important is long-term support through a work of communication around projects. It’s not only about giving a financial envelop (50,000€ to the producer and 3000€ to the director as creation help, 20,000€ to the French distributor for distribution help), but creating strong links and making them live.

The involvement of the Gan Foundation for Cinema is totally original in French patronage. Why?
There are a few other initiatives in cinema, but more at the development level. What differentiates us is that we’ve had a clear line for 35 years and that we’re staying faithful to it: first features. Apart from perhaps Cartier with contemporary art, the other foundations often navigate from one intervention domain to another, from culture to sport, music to exhibitions. There is also a well anchored will at the Gan company, even if directors change, because cinema is a unifying force, humanist and that speaks to everyone. This helps the brand in terms of visibility and going towards first features, towards risk taking, is in the company’s DNA. Because the secret to success in patronage is sincerity and for the support to make sense in relation to its core business.

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(Traducción del francés)

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