2009 Producer on the Move - Sweden
by Annika Pham
Erik Hemmendorff set up Plattform Produktion in 2002 with filmmaker Ruben Östlund. Their Göteborg-based company has been hailed at home and internationally for their innovative work in Swedish cinema and their feature film Involuntary [+see also:
interview: Erik Hemmendorff
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile] was selected last year in Cannes' Un Certain Regard. Östlund’s new project, Play, will start filming next autumn.
Cineuropa: Last year, you were in Cannes with Involuntary. You’re back this year as Swedish Producer on the Move. What does this mean to you?
Having a film in official selection for the first time was a great experience and it meant a lot for us as a production company and for the sales and distribution of the film. I’m very happy about being back this year, as a Producer on the Move. It means that I have an opportunity to meet motivated people with interesting ideas and don’t have to worry about the premiere screening!
Your company has been celebrated in Sweden and abroad for its groundbreaking work. Can you tell us how you got into filmmaking and of your philosophy at Plattform?
I have worked with Ruben since I finished Göteborg's Filmhögskolan in 2002. It was a great time. We knew that the old system with 35mm was going to end. Most producers at that time were afraid of video and they wanted to make old films that had already been made. We, on the other hand, wanted to make new films on new digital media. Our ambition at Plattform is to make interesting European quality films for thinking and reflective people all over the world, and to challenge what "cinema" is today.
Are you satisfied with the current support system in Sweden and the production environment?
I’m not too happy about the current support system that goes for fewer films with larger budgets, but they have been very patient and have supported our projects so far. We don't really work with scripts and financiers put too much trust in scripts and stories. I like good ideas and interesting directors. When it comes to production, we try to invent a unique production environment for each film so production has to follow the director and not the other way around.
You just tasted the waters of distribution with the documentary Greetings from the Woods, released simultaneously on the web and in Swedish cinemas. How did it go?
It was a small and very important success, I think. I like the idea of making all [domestic] films supported by the Swedish Film Institute, available to everybody. We want the best possible images of human existence to be accessible to general audiences.
Do you have any project that might be interesting for European partners?
I’m currently working on Ruben Östlund’s new feature Play, which we presented at Rotterdam’s Cinemart this year, to great interest. Shooting starts in late autumn. The Coproduction Office will be both co-producing and doing the sales. Axel Danielson’s amazing feature documentary Brothers is a co-production with Denmark and I hope to meet other European partners in Cannes for the project, and the very talented and cool Fijona Jonuzi is working on a great idea entitled Case Studies.
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