Katrin Renz • Producer
"The biggest challenge in Switzerland is probably the language"
- We have chatted with Katrin Renz, producer for Swiss outfit tellfilm, about her career and her selection for the EFP's 2018 Producers on the Move
Katrin Renz has been working as a producer for tellfilm since 2007 and founded its German branch with Stefan Jäger and Oliver Schütte in Berlin in 2013. A year later, she became a shareholder at tellfilm in Zurich and has successfully produced several films for the cinema. These include Jäger's Big & Little, Greg Zglinski's Berlinale Forum title Animals [+see also:
interview: Greg Zglinski
film profile], and Lisa Brühlmann's Swiss Film Award winner Blue My Mind [+see also:
interview: Lisa Brühlmann
interview: Luna Wedler
film profile] which had its world premiere in San Sebastian's New Directors sidebar in 2017. We have chatted with her about her career and her selection for the European Film Promotion's 2018 Producers on the Move at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
Cineuropa: Which is the film you are most proud of and why?
Katrin Renz: Animals by Greg Zglinski, which was premiered in the Berlinale's Forum in 2017 was my first co-production as major producer. My co-producers were Bruno Wagner from Coop 99 Filmproduktion in Austria and Lukasz Dzieciol from Opus Film in Poland. Both are very experienced, but we had a very good co-production, based on trust and equality. In the end it was my first feature film at an A-Festival.
What are the challenges and merits of producing in Switzerland?
Switzerland is a very small country. On the one hand this is a challenge, on the other hand it’s also quite an advantage. It’s a challenge because there are only two large film funding bodies and one public television station, which means that larger productions are only possible in co-productions. It’s an advantage because the film industry is not so big and people know each other well and can support each other. The biggest challenge is probably the language. No other European country of this magnitude has three or four national languages. Especially in German-speaking Switzerland, you stand alone with your films, as Swiss German is not really understood in Germany or Austria.
What are your expectations in Cannes as one of the "Producers on the Move"?
I look forward to receiving more input from other professionals, to meet new potential co-producers and international financiers. With my participation as a Producer on the Move I hope to exchange experiences with other producers, to learn about their difficulties in the business, to get inspired and search for new ways. I also hope to get support by the experts regarding my submitted project, to find potential co-producers and to create new ties and networks for future projects.
What are your next projects?
After the huge success with Lisa Brühlmann’s debut film Blue My Mind, our next feature film will also be a debut: Karma Houdini by Remy Blaser - a hard-science-fiction feature, co-produced by tellfilm, Amour Fou Luxembourg and Amour Fou Vienna. Then we are going to produce the historical drama Monte Libertà, directed by Stefan Jäger, written by Kornelija Naraks, co-produced by KGP Filmproduktion Austria. The story is settled at the Monte Verità in Switzerland.
We have different projects in development, two of them with writer-director Lisa Brühlmann (Blue My Mind). At this year’s Producers on the Move we are looking for co-producers in Germany and Austria for Lisa’s feature The Masterthief.
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