This year, twenty promising film producers from different European countries have been brought together by the Producers on the Move initiative once again. The challenging programme will take place in a hybrid form, as a combination of online sessions prior to the festival and live events at the Festival de Cannes from 19 to 23 of May. In the prestigious selection, Slovakia is being represented by Jakub Viktorín who produced successful films such as By a Sharp Knife (dir. Teodor Kuhn, 2019).
by Veronika Krejčová
Do you have any specific expectations regarding your participation in the Producer on the Move programme?
I see it as an opportunity to learn something new about the working methods and the international film industry. Personally, I would like to gain some new experience in the field of international co-production, film project development, education, and fundraising. And last but not least, it’s an opportunity to meet new potential partners for international co-productions.
Aside from the drama Victim you are making with Michal Blaško, you also work on Guilt and Cowgirl. As of now, where do these projects stand?
Both are currently in development. Cowgirl was brought by the scriptwriter Jakub Medvecký, who is now working on a version of the script for the purpose of securing finances. Guilt is Michal’s project, he is now writing the first version of the script for the purpose of finding international partners for finishing development and setting up co-production. I would like to introduce both at the Producer on the Move.
You really are an all-round filmmaker. There are several other projects of yours in production right now – the feature kids’ film Tony, Shelly and The Spirit, the biographic creative documentary I'm Not Everything I Want To Be, and the drama Mr. and Mrs. Stodola. Which one of them do you consider to be the most appealing to foreign audiences?
Each of these projects is an international co-production, but also represents a different genre and offers something else to audiences in other countries, so I cannot provide a definite answer to that. Personally, I hope that the kids’ film Tony, Shelly and The Spirit, which employs classic puppet animation in a modern context, will be able to withstand the competition of today’s CGI and 3D animation.
You also have the creative documentary Velvet Generation in development.
It’s directed by Ivana Hucíková and takes a closer look at the lives of today’s young queer Eastern Europeans against the background of the local Czech-Slovak ballroom scene. The film is in its late stages of development; the protagonists are booked already and we are awaiting the decision of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund regarding providing financial support for the production, among other things.
What were some of the biggest challenges you had to face as a producer lately?
I am very happy to work on the projects with our great team of colleagues that can always make even the biggest problems manageable. Thanks to coordination and cooperation, we were able to overcome the pandemic-related challenges without any major setbacks.
The Producers on the Move initiative was established in 2000, and almost 450 producers from all over Europe have since participated in the programme which aims to publicise producers, expand their professional network, and present their projects. Slovakia was represented by Marko Škop, Silvia Panáková, Michal Kollár, Katarína Krnáčová, Marek Urban, Peter Badač, and Katarína Tomková, for instance. The programme, sponsored by the international organisation European Film Promotion, is connected with the Festival de Cannes as well as the film market Marché du Film.