Emerging Producers Present Their Documentaries at Ji.hlava Film Festival

Emerging Producers Present Documentaries at Ji.hlava Film Festival
Courtesy of Radek Cech

The Emerging Producers section at the Ji.hlava Intl. Documentary Film Festival has a growing reputation for its ability to spot the producing talent of the future.

Producers to have passed through its ranks include Bianca Oana, the Romanian producer of 2018 Berlinale Golden Bear winner “Touch Me Not,” as well as its Czech co-producer Radovan Sibrt.

Danish producer Katja Adomeit, the co-producer of 2017 Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Square,” is another of the 129 alumni to have passed through Ji.hlava’s Emerging Producers program.

Now in its eighth edition, the project selects 18 talented producers each year, providing them with educational, networking and promotional support during the festival. The producers also meet up again for four days during the Berlinale, and are promoted at other film events during the year.

A key part of the program is a public presentation by the producers, introducing themselves and their work to the Ji.hlava audience – which took place on Friday night.

Some of the participants have already achieved recognition. Hungarian producer Patricia D’Intino, for example, produced the short film “A Siege,” which was awarded a student Oscar by the Academy in 2018. D’Intino is currently working on a human rights project, “Your Life Without Me.”

The U.K.’s Fawzia Mahmood, meanwhile, produced “Acta Non Verba,” an investigation into the suicide of a Swiss banker, which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2017 and won the Grierson Award 2017 for Best Student Documentary. Mahmood said she always tries to bring different perspectives into her work. “I’m really drawn to narratives that don’t originate from the dominant discourses of our time,” she said.

Georgian producer Tekla Machavariani also comes to Ji.hlava having recently produced drama “Comets,” which premiered at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival earlier this year. She also showed work from her 2018 film “Before Father Gets Back,” which premiered at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2018.

Elsewhere, Greek producer Angelos Stavros Rallis, showed a taster for an impressive looking project he is developing, “Mighty Afrin,” about an abandoned Bangladeshi girl living next to a flooding river who strikes out to find her father. Rallis said the film touches on themes such as climate justice and female empowerment.

Rea Rajcic is a former head of the cinema exhibition department at the Croatian Audiovisual Center, who has turned to producing with her most recent film, the award-winning “Srbenka,” about the challenges of Serbian children growing up in Croatia. Producing the film taught her all about the patience required to make feature documentaries, she said.

From Poland, Lukasz Dlugolecki also showed work from his IDFA Special Jury Award winner “In Touch,” a Polish-Icelandic co-production about the challenges facing Polish workers abroad.

The Emerging Producers program also presented work from Spain’s Irene M. Borrego, Sweden’s Angela Bravo, Lithuania’s Giedre Burokaite, Italy’s Roberto Cavallini, Denmark’s Puk Eisenhardt, France’s Jean-Baptiste Fribourg, Taiwan’s Yin-Yu Huang, the Czech Republic’s Jitka Kotrlova, Slovakia’s Tomas Krupa, Romania’s Marcian Lazar, Belgium’s Vincent Metzinger, and Ukraine’s Yulia Serdyukova.

This year, Ji.hlava is also launching an online portal, emergingproducers.com, which will be a regularly updated information resource about all the alumni who have passed through its ranks.