BRATISLAVA: Barbara Janišová Feglová represents Slovakia at the Emerging Producers 2018 programme taking place at the Jihlava IDFF.
Barbara graduated with a Master's degree in Film Theory and Criticism from the Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava Slovakia. In the following years she focused on film journalism and screenwriting and PR. She is a co-founder of CHARACTER–Film Development Association, co-organising international training projects aimed at the issues of film industry. In 2012 she founded HITCHHIKER Cinema, where she develops and produces creative films with focus on female filmmakers and topics.
FNE: What was the deciding factor in your choice to become a doumentary film producer?
Barbara Janišová Feglová: It wasn't one single factor, but rather a combination of several impulses. I started producing about ten years ago, when Slovak film was recovering from a deep crisis it went through in the 90’s. By that time, things started to look a little more promising. The National Film Awards were established, new standards in the audiovisual environment were being created, but the making of films was still very difficult. My personal mission at that time was to become a part of the revitalisation process. I decided to contribute with a documentary series on the most significant phenomena in Slovak film history. Step by step, I realised that documentaries are an effective way to deal with important topics.
FNE: What has been your most rewarding moment as a documentary film producer?
Barbara Janišová Feglová: Again, there were definitely more than one. Completing the first film encouraged me to keep following my instincts. Another moment was the first cinema screening after a five years effort of producing a feature-length documentary. In that moment I knew it was worth the struggle and all my worries finally disappeared. Honestly speaking, a highly rewarding moment for me was when I found the courage to quit working on a project with a director who was a constant pain in the neck. Being able to cope with the fact that a project you’d been developing has led to nowhere is also crucial. It might not be rewarding, but it’s an essential experience for every producer.
FNE: What one mistake would you advise beginning documentary film producers to avoid?
Barbara Janišová Feglová: No matter how many films I’ve produced, I can’t stop seeing myself as a beginner, so I don't feel like giving advice to anybody. All I can do is share my experience and offer what works for me. I'd say it’s important to simply start producing films and not be afraid of making mistakes. But it’s necessary to be careful about picking the right subject of your film. If it's not personally significant for you, it will make the film not as impactful as it could be.
A Hole in the Head directed by Robert Kirchhoff, documentary, 2016Female First, 10-episode documentary series directed by Zuzana Liová, Peter Kerekes, Daniela Meressa Rusnoková, Lenka Moravčíková, Marek Šulík, Tereza Križková, Robert Šveda, documentary, 2013 – 2016, 40 minutes/episodeFighting Corruption (Unsung Heroes, series pilot) directed by Robert Šveda, documentary, 2016, 52 min.A3UM 23 episode TV documentary series, directed by Samuel Jaško, Ivan Trebula, 2011 – 2013, 26 minutes/1 episodeOther Women, 3-episode TV documentary series, directed by Tereza Križková, Vladislava Plančíková, and Katarína Hlinčíková, 2012, 26 minutes/episodeTo the Teacher directed by Jaro Vojtek, documentary, 2012, 40 minutesSlovak Cinema,12 author documentaries directed by Lenka Moravčíková,Diana Fabiánová, Peter Kerekes, Robert Kirchhoff, Dušan Bustín, Samuel Jaško, Ivan Ostrochovský, Zuzana Liová, Miro Remo, Jaro Vojtek, Marek Šulík, 2010 – 2013, 52 minutes/1 episode
Unsung Heroes, TV documentary series, 2018Commune directed by Jakub Julény, feature documentary, 2019
The Lines directed by Barbora Sliepková, feature documentary, urban essay, 2019The Way It Went Back Then, TV feature mini series, 2020Made in Czechoslovakia directed by Jana Nemčeková, fiction feature debut, 2020Waiting directed by Zuzana Liová, fiction feature, drama