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"Non credo che i documentaristi debbano andare in giro a cercare di salvare il mondo"

Rapporto industria: Documentario

Liis Nimik • Produttrice, Klara Films


La produttrice estone spiega perché è importante per la creazione di documentari partire da casa e osservare ciò che ci circonda

Liis Nimik  • Produttrice, Klara Films

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

An interview with Liis Nimik, producer for Estonian company Klara Films, 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?
Liis Nimik: I think I produce them because of the necessity to protect some sort of form of expression which otherwise would start disappearing – a form which is creatively free, motivated by personal, deep love towards the subject and is at the same time trying to bring a deeper understanding to the world around us, which is turning more and more black and white. Documentaries can radically change our world views on complicated topics, about which the media gives us a very one-sided look. And that is why they become more and more important as time goes by. I don't think documentary filmmakers should be going around trying to save the world, on the contrary, I think it’s important to start from home, to see what is around us, and mediate our own unique worlds. As long as we accept the truth that each one of us is a secret, I think the world would be a much more peaceful place.

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How do you achieve and maintain work-life balance and foster overall well-being?
I used to be quite an over-worker until COVID-19 hit, going with full power from one film to the other. When the world shut down, it was a sort of a revelation to me – that anything I do, won't change this situation. So I changed my daily rhythm, 4 hours of work and 4 hours of walking, cooking, talking. It was amazing. A year later I gave birth to a baby girl and from there on, the work-life balance is in a way much more in balance. I just cannot overwork, I have someone to care for. And the moments when I'm working, I'm much more focused, to get everything done in the hours that I have in a day for work. Amazingly, I don't know, if it comes from the fact that I already have some experience, but this shorter time I spend working is much more productive compared to when I had all the time in the world. So these things are very relative. And – I teach. This is what gives me the much needed stability and allows me to be a documentary producer.

Where do you find audiences for your films?
This varies with each film, as each film is different and has a different target audience. My films have never been big sales successes, but we've always been well-received by festivals. I think there is a certain reluctancy in me to make films for sales – it seems to me if something sells very well, it has to have a certain trending political component, a “product” component and yes, of course authenticity. But I've always been attracted to and focused on directors who come with those impossible ideas, which obviously won't sell but seem so irresistibly beautiful to make.

What projects do you have underway (including fiction films and other projects)?
The next film I'm producing is called The Story of a Wild Rose and it is going to be a true time travel from the society which newly reclaimed its independence – 1993 of Estonia – to the present-day Estonia. We are going to look at the impact of the first Mexican soap opera, shown on the national TV in Estonia, called Rosa Salvaje, which broke all time TV record – almost everyone in the country was watching it daily. Planes didn't fly, factories didn't work, when Rosa was aired. It means there was a beautiful moment, where we were all equal, lost and looking for hope – and finding it from a Mexican soap opera. What a contrast to nowadays world! In a way I'm maybe eating my own words from the previous question – I know that the Estonian audience is very much looking forward to this film. We hope to make a film which will speak both to the international and local audiences, a journey from innocence to a contemporary, confusing and much more cruel world.


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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