FNE at Jihlava IDFF Emerging Producers 2013: Madara Melberga

    Madara Melberga Madara Melberga

    FNE interviews Latvian documentary producer Madara Melberga, selected to participate in the 2013 Emerging Producers workshop at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival.

    1. What are your hopes and expectations from Emerging Producers?

    I have had good experiences with similar programs. It's very beneficial to have yourself and your project in the spotlight: it points out the drawbacks but also shows the integrity. It also makes you work much harder once you see a chance to make it real.

    I expect a serious and busy workshop, developing personal contacts and a better understanding of how to deal with TV. It might sound very basic but it's my chance to take advantage of the precious time of the mentors who participate in EP.

    At the moment we're developing the documentary film project Men Only about the changing role of masculine identity in contemporary society. For me it will be important to bring up the project for discussion not only with the mentors but also with other producers participating in EP, as well as to be introduced to their projects.

    2. What are YOU bringing to Emerging Producers?

    A critical and analytical view of the things I'm involved with.

    I believe in collaboration not only because I'm from a small country but also because films are personal interpretations of real-life situations, whether people's problems or just stories to be told. These personal interpretations must have the potential for sharing, otherwise they do not work. Sometimes local experience and stories have a potential for revealing something that has a common value for all of us.

    3. What is the position of documentary film in your country?

    Latvian audiovisual output is not high but at the same time, every year Latvian documentaries are selected by well-known festivals. The problem is regular work flow for upcoming directors and a passive domestic TV attitude toward coproducing even documentaries. The good thing is that audiences are open to seeing and talking about documentaries once you get them out on the screen. Financing them is not easy and takes time but on the other hand producers can go step by step and can (or are forced to) make the films slowly, which sometimes helps to make them better.

    4. What are the coproduction possibilities for documentary producers in your country?

    Even with such a small annual budget for documentaries and without TV participation we have great possibilities to coproduce if director comes from Latvia or the producer can argue that the film is important to our culture.

    We are not yet used to think globally in terms of filmmaking. The problem might be rooted in our shaky financing system which changes every year. For Latvian producers it's sometimes hard to offer a stable financing scheme in the development stage but our producers can coproduce when the film is in production or post.

    5. What are your thoughts on the system of funding of documentary films today?

    First, it's good that we have a funding system at all. Sometimes the way we communicate with funding officials in terms of applications, the point system, etc., are more about how good we are at collecting points and less about what kind of films we are making.

    Quite often I have the feeling that the director's input and the artistic side of the project becomes recognized only after the premiere even if the director's or producer's previous films have been successful. Every time we have to start from a clean slate. I would expect more trust in directors and more risk-taking from funding bodies.

    From the financing side, it lately has become more realistic to work closer with private businesses to finance films, which also creates possibilities for marketing.

    6. Which producer is your inspiration and ideal?

    Christine Vachon


    Contact information:

    FA Filma

    Bruninieku 22 -7, Riga, Latvia

    LV 1001


    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    +371 26995300