Producer on the Move 2009 - Ungheria
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Catapulted to the forefront of the Hungarian film industry in 2007, thanks to Árpád Bogdán’s Happy New Life [+leggi anche:
scheda film] (Special Mention in the Berlinale’s Panorama section and Best Debut Film at Hungarian Film Week), Gábor Sipos won the title of Best Hungarian Producer the same year.
This marked a successful start in features for Laokoon Filmgroup, who confirmed their promise in 2008 with Attila Till’s Panic and this year with their co-production of Pater Sparrow’s 1 and Roland Vranik’s Transmission.
Cineuropa: When did you set up Laokoon Filmgroup and how did you develop your production activities?
Gábor Sipos: I created Laokoon in 2001, along with Gabor Rajna. We had both worked for several years at Focus Film - Hungary and it was our dream to launch our own company. We have a real passion for both literature and film and we knew a lot of directors and screenwriters who were looking for a production company with a creative and family-like ethos.
We started to work with them and pre-finance their projects with the profits generated from our production of advertisements. We then set out in search of public funding and other backing. And we were successful!
How do you choose your projects?
As much as possible, we back original films. For talent alone is what matters…
What do you think about the current funding system for film production in Hungary? Is it difficult for young producers?
The economic crisis is making life difficult for filmmakers too. But I think that if you prepare a project well and have a clear understanding of the financing situation, you can still succeed. My own case proves this.
What is your opinion on the young generation of Hungarian filmmakers? Which directors would you like to work with?
I have a lot of hope in debut features. And I have great faith in the talent of our regular filmmakers, including Arpad Bogdan, Arpad Schilling, Laszlo Csaki and Martin Szecsanov. We’re also about to work for the first time with Kornel Mundruczo, as we’re co-producing The Frankenstein Project, which is currently shooting. This gives us enormous satisfaction.
What other projects do you have underway?
We have several narrative feature projects in development: Arpad Bogdan’s The Necromancer; Szabolcs Tolnai’s Anna's Book (working title); A Journey by Moonlight, based on a novel by Antal Szerb and adapted by the UK’s Jacob Weinstein (a project in co-production with Focus Film); and Don't Look Down, written by Peter Meikle. And we’re shooting two documentaries (Laszlo Csaki’s Tin-city and Kristof Kovacs’ M, as Métro), as well as producing some shorts.
What do you expect to gain from the Cannes EFP initiative?
I hope to meet European colleagues and share our production experiences, build up a network and find partners for future projects.
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