EFP Producer on the Move: Estonia's Katrin Kissa

By Martin Aadamsoo

    Katrin Kissa (33) represents Estonia as one of European Film Promotion's newest Producers on the Move with her producing debut Autumn Ball, the Venice Horizons award-winning film directed by Veiko Õunpuu.

    Born in 1976 in the dreamy provincial town of Viljandi, Kissa worked her way through the tight ranks of Estonia's small movie industry to become one of the successful female producers who dominate the local production scene. Katrin studied TV production at the then Tallinn Pedagogical University from 1996-2000, now transformed into the international Baltic Film and Media School. She later developed her skills at the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs EAVE workshops.

    According to Kissa, becoming a film producer was a wild accident that could as well have not happened. She took her very first job in film in 2001, but her real test came in 2004 as a development producer for Revolution of Pigs by Jaak Kilmi and Rene Reinumägi, the Special Jury Prize winner at Moscow International Film Festival.

    Kissa co-founded her company Homeless Bob Productions in 2005 and hit gold with the very first feature Autumn Ball which won the Horizons programme at Venice in 2007 and entered the domestic Top 10 at the box office.

    Her second production The Temptation of St.Tony is co-produced with ATMO of Sweden (Kristina Aberg) and Bronson Club of Finland (Tero Kaukomaa, Jesse Fryckman). It won the MEDIA award in Cannes in 2008 as the most promising new project. Budgeted at a modest 1 million EUR, it runs 120 minutes and is currently in postproduction. The film tells the story of Tõnu, an affluent middle-aged yuppie who embarks on a quest for moral values, causing misunderstanding by peers and subsequent loss of nerves and fortunes. A fall 2009 premiere is planned, while festival plans are still to be determined. Kissa's next project is with Rainer Sarnet, a film based on Fyodor Dostojevski's novel The Idiot planned for completion in 2011.

    Kissa embodies the qualities that make a difference between the average and the exceptional producer, including underlying respect for the creative team. She also possesses eyecatching personal style, and is capable of highly effective charm offensives in negotiations. She admits, though, to a profound dislike for the fundraising side of film production, hoping one day to be able to offload it to someone else. She cheerfully believes that the current economic squeeze may help better stories to emerge, thus compensating for the financial cuts. And that she will swim through the tough times with it.

    Homeless Bob Productions

    Kentmanni 20a-26

    Tallinn 10116


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    Phone: +372 56 677 855