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Alise Gelze

Producer on the move 2008 - Latvia

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Alise Gelze

Cineuropa: What is your background and how did you become a producer?
Alise Gelze: I have worked in advertising for many years but always wished to work in film. So luckily in 2003 for a year I had a chance to go to Luxembourg and to be a part of a video project, which gave me my first practical experience with “moving” pictures.

After coming back to Riga (Latvia), I immediately involved myself in video and film production. My first experience was at film studio F.O.R.M.A with producer Gatis Upmalis. A few months later I was invited to work for Film Angels Studio (one of the biggest production companies in Latvia), where besides producing film Vogelfrei, I worked on many local and international commercial videos.

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Now I have a new challenge: I’ve created the film studio Tanka with Latvian directors Gatis Smits and Martins Grauds and we are already working on our next project.

What is your company’s production philosophy?
I once calculated the time that must be spent on a film’s production and realized that I have to spend at least two years of my life on one project. Life is too short to waste two years on something I dislike, so the main rule of the company is to work on projects that raise motivation during their creation process and satisfy audiences with their end result.

I strongly believe that the idea of the project has to come from the director, and if the project is good the producer has to create the best environment for the director to get the best creative input and concentration. The best results are obtained when the entire crew involved in the production are equally interested in reaching those best result. It is a pleasure to put together a group that creates mutually positive chemistry.

How do you choose projects? What qualities must a project have to catch your attention?
The main criteria are the quality of the story and substantiation of the project. It has to be diverse in its themes, with different edges, but clear, entertaining and understandable to the audience. And before involving myself in the project I have to be sure that I feel completely confident about the result.

Do you have international perspectives involving co-producing with other European countries?
Yes, I think there are perspectives, though it is still quite difficult to find co-producers in Europe if the company is from the Baltic states. The region still has to stronger on the project bases, so that the quality and the originality of the films rise. That could automatically bring more co-productions with other European countries.

With which countries do you co-produce the most?
At the moment I have produced only one film and it was a local production. But I feel co-production potential in the Baltic region – with Estonia, Lithuania, Scandinavia and other Eastern European countries (like the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia).

How do you feel about being selected as a Producer on the Move 2008?
I hope to meet young producers who have the same values in terms of film production as I do, so that it could be possible to co-produce projects in the future that somehow reflect those common values.

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