LJUBLJANA: Miha Černčec is one of the new generation of enthusiastic Slovenian film producers. After producing some short movies he received worldwide recognition in Venice with Matteo Oleotto’s comedy drama Zoran, my Nephew the Idiot in 2013 and with Ivan Gergolet’s documentary Dancing with Maria last year.
He began his academic career dedicated to literature and was one of the co-founders and writers of the Balcanis arts journal following graduation in Slavic languages at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Later he discovered a passion for films and became a producer and a general manager at Staragara. He works with well known Slovenian directors, such as Janez Burger and Jan Cvitkovic, as well as with other young talents and is also involved in foreign coproductions.
Černčec is now preparing to shoot Janez Burger's Ivan as a coproduction with Croatia and Serbia this September and will attend this year's Cannes film festival as part of Producers on the Move.
Černčec told FNE how he made the move into producing film: “It happened accidentally. While studying Slavic languages and literature I was regularly watching movies at Kinoteka, impressed by the magic of moving pictures. Later on my brother, who studied film photography in Zagreb, invited me to a shooting where I helped as a prop master, set decoration assistant and unit manager. Doing all these sort of things helped me to understand the complexity of film production and since 2010 being a film producer has been my only occupation.”
He said his EAVE tutor Diane Elbaum has taught him the most about producing. “I respect many of them, but there’s no perfect producer. Film production is a very complex process and sooner or later we have to admit that there are areas we are not good at. The most important is to complete an ideal production team instead of trying to be an ideal producer,” he said.
Černčec said he finds satisfaction in the films he’s producing now. “It’s hard to explain what a great feeling it is developing all these projects, especially when they require a lot of research – that’s the best part of a film production for me. That inspires me in a way that I can hardly wait to wake up in the morning and continue my work. I am proud to work with such talented film directors.”
He works across all genres, but feels documentaries are underrated, adding, “I was very excited when a documentary won the first prize in Venice. It makes me believe that the only criteria is how good the film is, and not which genre it is.”
As for his own contribution, he feels it’s greater in the fields of documentary and short films. “Last year I was totally documentary orientated because we promoted two feature documentaries; one in Venice, and for the second one I won the Slovenian national award for best film.” He has an ongoing collaboration with an Italian producer and has worked toward recognition of short films. “My intention is to encourage young artists on their way of making feature films through the form of short film,” he said.
As for the future, Černčec told FNE,“I am happy that I’ve found something in my life to which I am willing to dedicate all my time. I see myself as a producer at the beginning of his career. I have a lot of energy for further projects but I am aware that I will have to step out one day to give the opportunity to the young ones.”