Jun 05 2010

Happy Birthday, Tarantula.

Published by at 01:12 under Industry

SOURCE: http://www.paperjam.lu/archives/2010/06/2805_Entreprise_Tarantula/index.html – Duncan Roberts
A courageous new era

AFTER A ROLLERCOASTER 15 YEARS, TARANTULA IS NOW AN ESTABLISHED NICHE PLAYER IN THE EUROPEAN FILM INDUSTRY.

When Donato Rotunno set up Tarantula with Eddy Géradon-Luyckx in 1995 there was no real master plan. “Tarantula was driven by a quite political, philosophical, idea. We had nothing and we were nothing, but we thought we could use the energy we had to put forward a name and a logo and create a network.” Dismissing cynics who said such an idea was unworkable without the capital and assets usually required of a production company, Rotunno and Géradon-Luyckx forged relationships with fellow producers such as Jo Rouschop in Belgium and Marco Giusti in London and others in Switzerland and Paris. “Some of those experiences ended and some still work very well. And 15 years later we are still here,” he says.
A graduate of the Institut des Arts de Diffusion in Louvain-la-Neuve, Rotunno went on to direct short films and acclaimed documentaries and finally, in 2005, his first feature film, In a Dark Place. But he has been focusing more on the production side of the company since the departure of Géradon-Luyckx. Having already gained some training and experience – he took the EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, Ed.) course in 1999 and was invited to take part in the European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move event in Cannes – Rotunno discovered he quite enjoyed being a producer. “It has helped that we have chosen the right projects over the last few years.” Those projects have included films such as Nue Propriété, Une Part du Ciel and Calvaire, which have won awards and been selected for official screenings at some of the world’s major film festivals.

As a member of ULPA, the Luxembourg producers’ association, Rotunno is also a keen activist who wants to share his thoughts on the local film industry, which he wants to be recognised as such and not just as some sort of art department. “We have to open our mind to the idea that the cultural and industrial approaches to film making can work in tandem,” he says. He would like to see more work done on a European level – although Film Fund Luxembourg has signed co-production deals with several European countries – but thinks that finding and developing local talent is equally important. This will only work if Luxembourg has a strong asset with a system that works well. “That is the challenge we face, to be seen as a mature country in this industry. And it is a challenge that we as producers cannot tackle alone. It requires political will and for all of us to work together.”

As for Tarantula’s future, Rotunno is quite happy to continue choosing movies he believes in, with budgets that are manageable. “So really I can say that we are already in the future.”

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SOURCE: http://www.paperjam.lu/archives/2010/06/2805_Entreprise_Tarantula/index.html – Duncan Roberts
A courageous new era

AFTER A ROLLERCOASTER 15 YEARS, TARANTULA IS NOW AN ESTABLISHED NICHE PLAYER IN THE EUROPEAN FILM INDUSTRY.

When Donato Rotunno set up Tarantula with Eddy Géradon-Luyckx in 1995 there was no real master plan. “Tarantula was driven by a quite political, philosophical, idea. We had nothing and we were nothing, but we thought we could use the energy we had to put forward a name and a logo and create a network.” Dismissing cynics who said such an idea was unworkable without the capital and assets usually required of a production company, Rotunno and Géradon-Luyckx forged relationships with fellow producers such as Jo Rouschop in Belgium and Marco Giusti in London and others in Switzerland and Paris. “Some of those experiences ended and some still work very well. And 15 years later we are still here,” he says.
A graduate of the Institut des Arts de Diffusion in Louvain-la-Neuve, Rotunno went on to direct short films and acclaimed documentaries and finally, in 2005, his first feature film, In a Dark Place. But he has been focusing more on the production side of the company since the departure of Géradon-Luyckx. Having already gained some training and experience – he took the EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, Ed.) course in 1999 and was invited to take part in the European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move event in Cannes – Rotunno discovered he quite enjoyed being a producer. “It has helped that we have chosen the right projects over the last few years.” Those projects have included films such as Nue Propriété, Une Part du Ciel and Calvaire, which have won awards and been selected for official screenings at some of the world’s major film festivals.

As a member of ULPA, the Luxembourg producers’ association, Rotunno is also a keen activist who wants to share his thoughts on the local film industry, which he wants to be recognised as such and not just as some sort of art department. “We have to open our mind to the idea that the cultural and industrial approaches to film making can work in tandem,” he says. He would like to see more work done on a European level – although Film Fund Luxembourg has signed co-production deals with several European countries – but thinks that finding and developing local talent is equally important. This will only work if Luxembourg has a strong asset with a system that works well. “That is the challenge we face, to be seen as a mature country in this industry. And it is a challenge that we as producers cannot tackle alone. It requires political will and for all of us to work together.”

As for Tarantula’s future, Rotunno is quite happy to continue choosing movies he believes in, with budgets that are manageable. “So really I can say that we are already in the future.”

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