Tatiana Detlofson promotes Europe in US
by Liza Foreman
03/05/2012 - It is not the easiest of jobs to promote films from European countries that some Americans may never have heard of, especially to the Hollywood industry. But that hasn’t deterred the Czech-born publicist, Tatiana Detlofson (pictured), from giving it all she’s got. And the results show.
Born in the Czech Republic to a Czech father and a Korean mother, Detlofoson has lived in the US since 1995, apart from the years 2000-2005 when she made one of a number of European pit stops and lived in London. Her other European sojourns, after leaving the Czech Republic at the age of 24, was Sweden, and she now speaks five languages - Czech, German, Swedish, English and Russian.
“This can impress people in the US, but not in Europe,” she said. “Most people in Europe speak three.”
Getting off to a good start, the first campaign that she worked on as a publicist was the Czech film, Kolya, which won both the Golden Globe and an Oscar in 1997.
“The Czech Consulate General in L.A. asked me to help with their campaign. Miramax had their own awards publicist, but the Consulate General was supporting the campaign,” she recalls.
Since then, she has worked as the director of publicity for the Czech Consulate General, as the publicist and marketing strategist for the Prague Studios as well as some film production companies from the Czech Republic.
She then started her own company in 2004, MEDIAPLANpr, where she works as an independent publicist and on awards campaigns.
Her first project in the role of an independent publicist was working as an awards publicist for the Russian film The Return. “It’s still in my top ten films of all time,” she said. “I think it's a masterpiece and the director is super talented. He has made two other very good films since then. But the first one remains my favorite.”
She recalled: “We got a Golden Globe nomination but I didn't enjoy the Globes at all, as I was very nervous that I might have to go on stage and translate the acceptance speech of the director who didn't speak English. I was thinking about the millions of people around the world watching me. Since then, I have become more used to public appearances, but now I only represent directors who speak perfect English!”
Detlofson has worked closely with the European Film Promotion and its 33 members for the past four years. Between them, they have around ten-12 European Oscar entries each year, which she promotes during the American Film Market in Santa Monica in November. She works on four to eight awards campaigns each year.
As for current projects, she just wrapped a successful Oscar campaign for the Belgium Oscar nomination Bullhead [trailer, film focus]. “Both the director and the lead actor later signed with major US agencies and they have already lined up projects in the US, she said.
For the past 12 years, she has also been the publicist and international representative for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. “This is my biggest post award project every year starting in March and going through July,” she said.
As for government organizations, she works closely with the Czech government and has even helped prepare visits for the Czech Prime minister, the minister of foreign affairs and the Czech President. She has also worked with the A-Z of European consulates in Los Angeles, including the Czech Republic, the Slovak consulate, the Norwegian, Swedish,Finish, Polish, Belgian, Icelandic, Russian, Hungarian, Swiss, Bulgarian, and Dutch consulates.
Her latest project is the Czech Annual Film Festival in Los Angeles, which is a new initiative from the Czech Consul General and Cinefamily Group. “It will hopefully run very year and present most new Czech films and also some classics of Czech cinema,” she said. “It runs from May 16-24, so we will see if US audiences in Los Angeles will appreciate it.”
Her favorite European directors include Krzysztof Kieślowski and Jacques Audiard. “They are amazing. To watch them is like a religious experience. They penetrate your soul on a different level,” she said. From the younger generation of European directors her favorites include Czech director Bohdan Slama, Swedish director Lukas Moodysson, the Russian Andrei Zvyagintsev, Danish director Thomas Vinterberg and Belgium’s Michael Roskam.