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"La pressione per ottenere un impatto misurabile può distorcere l'atto di fare cinema"

Rapporto industria: Documentario

Cristina Haneș • Produttrice, NoCut Film Collective e deFilm


La produttrice rumena parla del modo in cui i film plasmano le prospettive e di come cerca di mantenere un equilibrio produttivo e appagante tra lavoro e vita privata

Cristina Haneș  • Produttrice, NoCut Film Collective e deFilm

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

An interview with Cristina Haneș, producer for Romanian companies NoCut Film Collective and deFilm, now selected for the 2024 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?
Cristina Haneș:
In order to continue to produce documentaries, I have to ask myself this question over and over again. Besides the fact that it allows me to be part of more films than I could ever make as a director, it affects my filmmaking practice in many enriching ways. It allows me to listen to other filmmakers’ ethical and stylistic concerns, financial struggles and emotional tolls. The ongoing listening process teaches me how to keep track of my next steps, to be more grounded and connected to realities from across the world. It makes my own struggles feel less insular. Producing international documentaries, in particular, requires a gentleness and rigor that can be overwhelming, but it brings back personal and professional expansion. I choose to work only with international projects because it opens up unfamiliar dimensions of the world that I couldn’t access otherwise.

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Using documentary cinema as a tool for social and political change is a challenging ambition, often leading to disappointment. I think that understanding the measurement scale for impact is crucial. The pressure to achieve measurable impact can distort filmmaking, pushing for simplicity and adherence to established stylistic formulas. However, lacking a certain aspiration for impact makes the filmmaking process less meaningful.

I believe documentary cinema has an impact, whether consciously sought or not. This impact may occur on a small scale that often goes unnoticed. The divide between documentary filmmakers as "activists" or "artists" exists, but I prefer working with those in between, building bridges with their films. Films shape perspectives, and social and political change stems from the evolving mindset of generations.

How do you achieve and maintain work-life balance and foster overall well-being?
My well-being hinges on a professional and personal fulfillment. I try to maintain the sense of meaningfulness in making documentaries and prioritize my physical well-being. I need to nurture my close relationships within a small circle and be part of a larger, casual network of friendships.

Striking a form of balance is probably the measure of well-being. You either strive for balance to fuel the feeling of well-being or you have this feeling of well-being and it’s probably from achieving some balance, like a two-sided sword.

Starting from the idea that there is never a mathematical balance, in order to be productive and fulfilled we can presume that there must be a balance in the long-term, although an entangled one. Even though in every present moment it feels like there is an imbalance, taking forward the presumption that I need balance between work and personal life it must be true that I am able to strike some sort of balance given the fact that I have been doing documentary filmmaking for the last 8 years.

I am not always actively seeking to achieve it but I always know in the back of my mind that it’s important. Sometimes my passivity towards it backfires.

Where do you find audiences for your films?
For sure the largest audience for my films so far comes from the film festivals’ attendances and streaming. After being engaged intensively in the distribution of the first feature length creative documentary that I (co-)produced and (co-)directed called A Rifle and a Bag [+leggi anche:
scheda film
, I understood more deeply the challenges of distribution, audience building and marketing. To keep it short, without a marketing allocated budget (even if it comes from the production budgets), it’s too hard to find audiences and build our audiences in the noise of information that we live in. 

What projects do you have underway?
At the moment I am working on a sequel to A Rifle and a Bag as a (co-)producer and (co-)director within NoCut Film Collective, which I co-founded 7 years ago with Arya Rothe and Isabella Rinaldi. It is still untitled and supported in its early development stage by Chicken and Egg Pictures Development Grant and IDA’s Logan Elevate Grant. NoCut Film Collective co-produces 3 other projects.

With Radu Stancu from deFilm, my other collaborators from Romania, I work as a co-producer on 3 creative documentaries, all second feature-lengths directed by women directors Matryoshka by Maricarmen Merino Mora, Mailin by Maria Silvia Esteve and Playtopia by Bara Jichova Tyson. Matryoshka and Mailin are in the editing stage and will be released next year.


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 2025 edition is 31st March 2024.

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