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“Nous commençons à sentir que les techniciens et personnels compétents dans la production se font rares”

Dossier industrie: Produire - Coproduire...

David Bohun • Producteur, Panama Film

par 

Le producteur autrichien nous confie ses attentes pour le rendez-vous du Festival de Cannes

David Bohun • Producteur, Panama Film

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

David Bohun of Panama Film is one of the twenty producers selected for the European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move programme at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. We talked to the Austrian producer about his company, his ongoing film projects, and innovations in the Austrian film funding system.  

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Cineuropa: Why did you decide to found your own production company?
David Bohun
: During my studies at the Film Academy, I had the freedom to choose which authors I wanted to produce with. The next step was to work in an existing production company. But there, you can no longer decide for yourself what material you want to work with. Most of the time, it's also a tight corporate structure that offers little room for advancement to higher positions with more decision-making power. With your own company, you can freely choose the people you want to work with.

How do you choose your projects?
We are a relatively young company and have grown together with filmmakers. We make films by first time directors as well as established ones. It's important that the films fit together in terms of content and form. The formal aspect is really essential for us. We are looking for a cinematic signature that fits the profile we have developed.

You have produced several documentaries and some feature films. Are you also interested in the series format?
We have already made a documentary series with SWR and Arte, but we are also interested in fictional series. In the coming years, we would like to develop various projects in this direction.  

What projects are you currently working on?
At the Berlinale we just showed the documentary Stams [+lire aussi :
critique
bande-annonce
interview : Bernhard Braunstein
fiche film
]
in the Panorama section. The feature film The Theory of Everything [+lire aussi :
critique
bande-annonce
interview : Timm Kröger
fiche film
]
by Timm Kröger is completed and will have its world premiere later this year. Work in Progress by Lilith Kraxner and Milena Czernovsky, which was shot on 16 mm, is in post-production. Two more feature films will begin filming this summer. One is The Green Parrot by Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter, set in Belarus, the other is In Current Traffic by Stebastian Brameshuber, a mix of documentary and fiction. Sandra Wollner’s new feature film Everytime, a co-production between Austria and Germany, is currently at the financing stage.

At the beginning of the year, Austria reformed its film funding system. How do you assess this from your point of view?
I see this reform as something very positive. It is very producer-friendly, because it allows more funds to be drawn from the pot of automatic funding. This offers new opportunities for the entire cinema production landscape as well as for minority co-productions. The reform also makes it attractive for foreign productions to bring their productions to Austria because this comes with tax benefits. Another new development is that you can acquire more money from the automatic funding for sustainable productions – the so-called “Green Filming”.

How do you see the growing concern about skills shortages in the European film industry?
We are starting to feel that technicians and professional staff in production have become scarce. In Austria, they want to counter this by establishing an extra fund for newcomer’s film projects with smaller budgets. This allows young people to gain more experience on feature films and be ready for bigger productions. 

You have been selected as one of the participants in the Producer on the Move programme in Cannes. What do you expect from it?
As I have already experienced on other similar producers’ programmes and workshops, the core of it is to expand your international network, to get to know producers from other countries and their funding systems. For a producer’s work, these networks are essential if you are looking into co-productions.

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