Jun 20 2009

Samsa on the red carpet

Published by at 11:12 under Industry,Screening Room

source: http://www.paperjam.lu – Duncan Roberts


For a European film producer, being invited to screen your film in the official programme at the Cannes festival is about as good as it gets in terms of prestige.

“It will be a busy Cannes,” says samsa film co-founder and producer Jani Thiltges with a smile. Not only has samsa’s film Ne te retourne pas been scheduled for an official, out of competition, screening at this year’s festival, but sister company Artémis Productions in Belgium also has a film, The Time that Remains, in competition. So, Thiltges and his partners and crew will share a prestigious walk up the famous red carpet with the film’s stars, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci. “For the son of a working man, it’s a dream,” says Thiltges, who set up samsa some 22 years ago.
Ne te retourne pas is a co-production with Agat Films/ Ex Nihilo from France, Studio Urania from Italy, and Belgian company Entre Chien et Loup. It is the sixth collaboration between samsa and Entre Chien et Loup. Thiltges says that it took some time to find co-production companies that shared the same philosophy and work ethic and mutual trust. “We tried out different co-production companies, and we even set up our own companies in France (Liaison Cinématographique) and Belgium (Artemis) so we could co-produce with ourselves. Entre Chien et Loup are friends rather than only business partners, they have the same taste and we get on well together. Once you have found a partner like that you stick together.”
Dream slot
Co-production is the only way to finance this sort of film – what Thiltges describes as “a very expensive art-house film”. Because even with Bellucci and Marceau on board, the producers could not get a French TV station to co-finance the film. But the breakthrough came when, as well as the three co-producing companies, samsa also managed to get distribution company Wild Bunch on board. “Right now they are the best sales agent in the world for this sort of film,” Thiltges enthuses. “If you see their line-up from the last two or three years, it’s really amazing.” Thiltges had previously worked with Wild Bunch on Comme t’y es Belle and clearly admires their professional approach. “We all know how much a film costs, and the only way to make it happen is when everyone comes to the table and says what they want to put up.” At one point Wild Bunch even put up more money than was initially foreseen when the production faced a gap in financing. “Of course, when they put in more money they get more back, but they are really good partners.”
Thiltges says that the Midnight Screening on the opening Saturday of the festival was the dream slot for him and his co-production partners. “From the start, we knew we had to be in Cannes to get the film launched,” Thiltges explains. With a total budget of 11 million euros – including around 1million for some ground-breaking post-production special effects – the film needs extensive promotion to make money. “Wild Bunch really wanted the Saturday midnight screening, because they saw what a buzz was created a few years ago around Irreversible (also starring Bellucci), which they also distributed. Cannes can make the difference between making money or losing money, that is for sure. It is absolutely crucial for international sales, which is a big part of the cake,” Thiltges says. “It is free publicity, although of course Cannes is not exactly free…”
The producer admits that the French-speaking European countries are samsa’s natural market. “That is where we find our directors, probably because I prefer to speak French to German. And the Anglo-Saxon market, well there is only one which is the United States and that is too far away. I have tried to investigate it once or twice, but it is a world I would not like to be in. And it’s probably even tougher in the independent market in the States – it makes the jungle look like Disneyland.”
So, with more than 20 years experience in the business, where does Thiltges see the film industry in 20 years’ time?  “I don’t know how exactly, but downloading will have a tremendous effect on the industry. It’s not yet as bad as the music industry, but who knows. And of course anybody can make a film nowadays – you just need a 10,000 euro camera. And at a certain point producers will no longer be necessary because the only thing you need from them is the access to the market. And they won’t just have an effect on technical film making but also on story-telling.” But he remains optimistic about his own future. “ In 20 years I would love to be this old producer who does one film every two years. Still growing a little, because if you don’t grow you die – but still remaining independent and doing better and better films. And if not, I will open a wine bar somewhere.”

“It will be a busy Cannes,” says samsa film co-founder and producer Jani Thiltges with a smile. Not only has samsa’s film Ne te retourne pas been scheduled for an official, out of competition, screening at this year’s festival, but sister company Artémis Productions in Belgium also has a film, The Time that Remains, in competition. So, Thiltges and his partners and crew will share a prestigious walk up the famous red carpet with the film’s stars, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci. “For the son of a working man, it’s a dream,” says Thiltges, who set up samsa some 22 years ago.

Ne te retourne pas is a co-production with Agat Films/ Ex Nihilo from France, Studio Urania from Italy, and Belgian company Entre Chien et Loup. It is the sixth collaboration between samsa and Entre Chien et Loup. Thiltges says that it took some time to find co-production companies that shared the same philosophy and work ethic and mutual trust. “We tried out different co-production companies, and we even set up our own companies in France (Liaison Cinématographique) and Belgium (Artemis) so we could co-produce with ourselves. Entre Chien et Loup are friends rather than only business partners, they have the same taste and we get on well together. Once you have found a partner like that you stick together.”

Dream slot

Co-production is the only way to finance this sort of film – what Thiltges describes as “a very expensive art-house film”. Because even with Bellucci and Marceau on board, the producers could not get a French TV station to co-finance the film. But the breakthrough came when, as well as the three co-producing companies, samsa also managed to get distribution company Wild Bunch on board. “Right now they are the best sales agent in the world for this sort of film,” Thiltges enthuses. “If you see their line-up from the last two or three years, it’s really amazing.” Thiltges had previously worked with Wild Bunch on Comme t’y es Belle and clearly admires their professional approach. “We all know how much a film costs, and the only way to make it happen is when everyone comes to the table and says what they want to put up.” At one point Wild Bunch even put up more money than was initially foreseen when the production faced a gap in financing. “Of course, when they put in more money they get more back, but they are really good partners.”

 

Thiltges says that the Midnight Screening on the opening Saturday of the festival was the dream slot for him and his co-production partners. “From the start, we knew we had to be in Cannes to get the film launched,” Thiltges explains. With a total budget of 11 million euros – including around 1million for some ground-breaking post-production special effects – the film needs extensive promotion to make money. “Wild Bunch really wanted the Saturday midnight screening, because they saw what a buzz was created a few years ago around Irreversible (also starring Bellucci), which they also distributed. Cannes can make the difference between making money or losing money, that is for sure. It is absolutely crucial for international sales, which is a big part of the cake,” Thiltges says. “It is free publicity, although of course Cannes is not exactly free…”

 

The producer admits that the French-speaking European countries are samsa’s natural market. “That is where we find our directors, probably because I prefer to speak French to German. And the Anglo-Saxon market, well there is only one which is the United States and that is too far away. I have tried to investigate it once or twice, but it is a world I would not like to be in. And it’s probably even tougher in the independent market in the States – it makes the jungle look like Disneyland.”

 

So, with more than 20 years experience in the business, where does Thiltges see the film industry in 20 years’ time?  “I don’t know how exactly, but downloading will have a tremendous effect on the industry. It’s not yet as bad as the music industry, but who knows. And of course anybody can make a film nowadays – you just need a 10,000 euro camera. And at a certain point producers will no longer be necessary because the only thing you need from them is the access to the market. And they won’t just have an effect on technical film making but also on story-telling.” But he remains optimistic about his own future. “ In 20 years I would love to be this old producer who does one film every two years. Still growing a little, because if you don’t grow you die – but still remaining independent and doing better and better films. And if not, I will open a wine bar somewhere.”

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source: http://www.paperjam.lu – Duncan Roberts


For a European film producer, being invited to screen your film in the official programme at the Cannes festival is about as good as it gets in terms of prestige.

“It will be a busy Cannes,” says samsa film co-founder and producer Jani Thiltges with a smile. Not only has samsa’s film Ne te retourne pas been scheduled for an official, out of competition, screening at this year’s festival, but sister company Artémis Productions in Belgium also has a film, The Time that Remains, in competition. So, Thiltges and his partners and crew will share a prestigious walk up the famous red carpet with the film’s stars, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci. “For the son of a working man, it’s a dream,” says Thiltges, who set up samsa some 22 years ago.
Ne te retourne pas is a co-production with Agat Films/ Ex Nihilo from France, Studio Urania from Italy, and Belgian company Entre Chien et Loup. It is the sixth collaboration between samsa and Entre Chien et Loup. Thiltges says that it took some time to find co-production companies that shared the same philosophy and work ethic and mutual trust. “We tried out different co-production companies, and we even set up our own companies in France (Liaison Cinématographique) and Belgium (Artemis) so we could co-produce with ourselves. Entre Chien et Loup are friends rather than only business partners, they have the same taste and we get on well together. Once you have found a partner like that you stick together.”
Dream slot
Co-production is the only way to finance this sort of film – what Thiltges describes as “a very expensive art-house film”. Because even with Bellucci and Marceau on board, the producers could not get a French TV station to co-finance the film. But the breakthrough came when, as well as the three co-producing companies, samsa also managed to get distribution company Wild Bunch on board. “Right now they are the best sales agent in the world for this sort of film,” Thiltges enthuses. “If you see their line-up from the last two or three years, it’s really amazing.” Thiltges had previously worked with Wild Bunch on Comme t’y es Belle and clearly admires their professional approach. “We all know how much a film costs, and the only way to make it happen is when everyone comes to the table and says what they want to put up.” At one point Wild Bunch even put up more money than was initially foreseen when the production faced a gap in financing. “Of course, when they put in more money they get more back, but they are really good partners.”
Thiltges says that the Midnight Screening on the opening Saturday of the festival was the dream slot for him and his co-production partners. “From the start, we knew we had to be in Cannes to get the film launched,” Thiltges explains. With a total budget of 11 million euros – including around 1million for some ground-breaking post-production special effects – the film needs extensive promotion to make money. “Wild Bunch really wanted the Saturday midnight screening, because they saw what a buzz was created a few years ago around Irreversible (also starring Bellucci), which they also distributed. Cannes can make the difference between making money or losing money, that is for sure. It is absolutely crucial for international sales, which is a big part of the cake,” Thiltges says. “It is free publicity, although of course Cannes is not exactly free…”
The producer admits that the French-speaking European countries are samsa’s natural market. “That is where we find our directors, probably because I prefer to speak French to German. And the Anglo-Saxon market, well there is only one which is the United States and that is too far away. I have tried to investigate it once or twice, but it is a world I would not like to be in. And it’s probably even tougher in the independent market in the States – it makes the jungle look like Disneyland.”
So, with more than 20 years experience in the business, where does Thiltges see the film industry in 20 years’ time?  “I don’t know how exactly, but downloading will have a tremendous effect on the industry. It’s not yet as bad as the music industry, but who knows. And of course anybody can make a film nowadays – you just need a 10,000 euro camera. And at a certain point producers will no longer be necessary because the only thing you need from them is the access to the market. And they won’t just have an effect on technical film making but also on story-telling.” But he remains optimistic about his own future. “ In 20 years I would love to be this old producer who does one film every two years. Still growing a little, because if you don’t grow you die – but still remaining independent and doing better and better films. And if not, I will open a wine bar somewhere.”

“It will be a busy Cannes,” says samsa film co-founder and producer Jani Thiltges with a smile. Not only has samsa’s film Ne te retourne pas been scheduled for an official, out of competition, screening at this year’s festival, but sister company Artémis Productions in Belgium also has a film, The Time that Remains, in competition. So, Thiltges and his partners and crew will share a prestigious walk up the famous red carpet with the film’s stars, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci. “For the son of a working man, it’s a dream,” says Thiltges, who set up samsa some 22 years ago.

Ne te retourne pas is a co-production with Agat Films/ Ex Nihilo from France, Studio Urania from Italy, and Belgian company Entre Chien et Loup. It is the sixth collaboration between samsa and Entre Chien et Loup. Thiltges says that it took some time to find co-production companies that shared the same philosophy and work ethic and mutual trust. “We tried out different co-production companies, and we even set up our own companies in France (Liaison Cinématographique) and Belgium (Artemis) so we could co-produce with ourselves. Entre Chien et Loup are friends rather than only business partners, they have the same taste and we get on well together. Once you have found a partner like that you stick together.”

Dream slot

Co-production is the only way to finance this sort of film – what Thiltges describes as “a very expensive art-house film”. Because even with Bellucci and Marceau on board, the producers could not get a French TV station to co-finance the film. But the breakthrough came when, as well as the three co-producing companies, samsa also managed to get distribution company Wild Bunch on board. “Right now they are the best sales agent in the world for this sort of film,” Thiltges enthuses. “If you see their line-up from the last two or three years, it’s really amazing.” Thiltges had previously worked with Wild Bunch on Comme t’y es Belle and clearly admires their professional approach. “We all know how much a film costs, and the only way to make it happen is when everyone comes to the table and says what they want to put up.” At one point Wild Bunch even put up more money than was initially foreseen when the production faced a gap in financing. “Of course, when they put in more money they get more back, but they are really good partners.”

 

Thiltges says that the Midnight Screening on the opening Saturday of the festival was the dream slot for him and his co-production partners. “From the start, we knew we had to be in Cannes to get the film launched,” Thiltges explains. With a total budget of 11 million euros – including around 1million for some ground-breaking post-production special effects – the film needs extensive promotion to make money. “Wild Bunch really wanted the Saturday midnight screening, because they saw what a buzz was created a few years ago around Irreversible (also starring Bellucci), which they also distributed. Cannes can make the difference between making money or losing money, that is for sure. It is absolutely crucial for international sales, which is a big part of the cake,” Thiltges says. “It is free publicity, although of course Cannes is not exactly free…”

 

The producer admits that the French-speaking European countries are samsa’s natural market. “That is where we find our directors, probably because I prefer to speak French to German. And the Anglo-Saxon market, well there is only one which is the United States and that is too far away. I have tried to investigate it once or twice, but it is a world I would not like to be in. And it’s probably even tougher in the independent market in the States – it makes the jungle look like Disneyland.”

 

So, with more than 20 years experience in the business, where does Thiltges see the film industry in 20 years’ time?  “I don’t know how exactly, but downloading will have a tremendous effect on the industry. It’s not yet as bad as the music industry, but who knows. And of course anybody can make a film nowadays – you just need a 10,000 euro camera. And at a certain point producers will no longer be necessary because the only thing you need from them is the access to the market. And they won’t just have an effect on technical film making but also on story-telling.” But he remains optimistic about his own future. “ In 20 years I would love to be this old producer who does one film every two years. Still growing a little, because if you don’t grow you die – but still remaining independent and doing better and better films. And if not, I will open a wine bar somewhere.”

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