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"Il pubblico del documentario ha più consapevolezza politica e cerca di espandere la propria mente"

Rapporto industria: Documentario

Beata Saboova • Produttrice, Naoko Films


L'Emerging Producer dal Belgio affronta il tema del rapporto tra documentario, sperimentazione, basso budget e interesse del pubblico

Beata Saboova  • Produttrice, Naoko Films

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

An interview with Beata Saboova, producer for Belgian company Naoko Films and selected for the 2023 Emerging Producers programme. Read her EP profile here.

Why do you produce documentaries? Do you see documentary cinema as an instrument of social and political change?
Beata Saboova:
Documentaries, hybrid films and fiction films shot in documentary-like conditions provide more creative freedom. Art house documentary cinema is a vast field for experimentation. The budgets are lower than in fiction but so is the industrial pressure related to the profitability so it is possible to find creative solutions to transform less into more and also to take the time to find the right form for each film. It is a less industrial way of producing films, one that encourages more craftsmanship.

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Most of the films will neither change the world nor aim to do so but they do bring new angles and perspectives. The documentary audience has more political awareness and seeks to expand their minds. When producing films I focus primarily on the artistic vision of the director and the form of the film, but I try to be very mindful of the political implications of each choice.

Where do you find audiences for your films?
The first audience of our films is the one we find at festivals – our first documentary feature premiered in Cannes 2022 ACID selection and will screen in Thessaloniki. We will be soon announcing other festival premieres but we also consider theatrical releases crucial. In France, Belgium and Switzerland there is theatrical audience for art house documentary, so it is more about finding the right distribution partner who believes in the potential of the film to meet this audience. This is not always possible in the fragile post-Covid theatrical market so it is also about rolling up our sleeves and self-distributing.

What films have you seen recently and would recommend watching?
I am a new mom so I have a lot of recent films to catch up. Just before giving birth I saw Licorice Pizza by Paul Thomas Anderson which is my recent favorite. I also have films that I watch and rewatch more often than I dare to admit: The Big Lebowski by the Coen brothers and This Is 40 by Judd Apatow. I love summer films filled with lightness such as The August Virgin [+leggi anche:
intervista: Jonás Trueba
scheda film
by Jonas Trueba and The Tsugua Diaries [+leggi anche:
intervista: João Nunes Monteiro
intervista: Maureen Fazendeiro e Migue…
scheda film
by Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes. I adore the playfulness of films like My Winnipeg by Guy Maddin and 66 Seasons by Peter Kerekes

What projects do you have underway (including fiction films and other projects)?
We are currently finalizing the editing of the first feature of a young talented photographer Salomé Hevin who filmed boys in an orphanage in the Russian Ural for more than 5 years. 

We are producing a documentary about the legendary jazzman Sun Ra and his home town Birmingham in Alabama, to be directed by Pablo Guarise, the scriptwriter of the Joachim Lafosse’s latest films, and Guillaume Maupin, musician, cinema programmer and one of the biggest specialists on Sun Ra in Europe.

We are also developing the next documentary feature of the Portuguese-Belgian director Miguel Moraes Cabral. We produced his last short film Adrian’s Tears made with found footage from the 1930s to 1970s and which will have its festival premiere this spring.

We are currently shooting a fiction film shot in documentary conditions The Most Beautiful Village in the World by Noelle Bastin and Baptiste Bogaert about Noelle’s hometown which is a small village in Wallonia.

We are developing several fiction films, among which is a film about sexual health in 2020s written and to be directed by Arnaud Dufeys, a young Belgian director, and Charlotte Devillers, who works as nurse at a sexual health center. We are also working with Hugo Jeffrault whose short we produced last summer and who is writing a film inspired by Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.


EMERGING PRODUCERS is a leading promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the EMERGING PRODUCERS 2024 edition is 31 March 2023.

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