David Epiney • Alina Film
Producers on the Move 2012 – Switzerland
by Emmanuel Cuénod
- Since it was set up in 2008, production company Alina Film has produced Back to Stay, winner of the Golden Leopard in Locarno last year
Previously a member of the director-producer association Bordu films, David Epiney worked in graphic design and animation films before setting up Alina Film in 2008 with his partner Eugenia Mumenthaler. Their first great critical success was with Back to Stay [+see also:
interview: Milagros Mumenthaler
film profile] (Abrir puertas y ventanas) by the latter’s sister, Milagros Mumenthaler. After a Golden Leopard in Locarno last year and several other awards in international film festivals, the film is now taking David Epinay to Cannes, where he will represent Switzerland at Producers on the Move 2012.
Cineuropa: What have been the main stages in your path as a producer?
David Epiney: I first started producing my own short animation films as part of an association that we founded called Bordu films. Then, slowly, I started to produce Milagros Mumenthaler’s short films, and those of others. This led me to set up Alina Film in 2008 with Eugenia Mumenthaler.
What motivated you to make this choice?
It's only very recently that I started producing more. In the beginning, production was something I did alongside animation, and then, even if I didn’t dislike it, one thing led to another, slightly without me choosing it. But today, defending and helping to support the existence of auteur films, that are both demanding and affect me as a spectator, has become a real leitmotiv.
Back to Stay was a critical success, crowned by a Golden Leopard in Locarno in 2011. How did you react to the film’s increasing success?
Simply, without it going to our heads too much... This award and the film’s recognition are of course extremely important and gratifying for us. But one also has to be able to take a step back. We are especially trying to use this success for our future projects.
Why did you decide to produce this project in particular?
We had already produced Milagros’ short films, and it made sense to us all to move on to a feature film together. We also share family ties, so working together seemed obvious and it all happened very naturally, in the spirit of continuity.
Generally, how do you choose your projects?
It’s quite different for each film, but it always stems from a strong formal proposal, and cinematic language in which we believe. We don’t have purely commercial considerations, but we do have to be able to feel that a project has international potential.
How do you imagine that your company, Alina Film, will now develop?
We will continue to accompany and produce films close to our hearts, without forgetting my personal animation projects. It will also be about finding the right volume of projects that we can develop simultaneously through our company. At the moment, we are in the post-production phase of a feature-length documentary for cinema, and we have two new fiction features in development, as well as a few minority co-productions with foreign countries.
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