FNE at Cannes: EFP Producer on the Move 2015: Marek Urban


    BRATISLAVA: This year Slovakia will be represented in Producers on the Move by producer Marek Urban. Urban began working in his father Marian Urban´s production company (ALEF Film & media group) when he was 18 years old, and studied documentary directing at Bratislava's Academy of Performing Arts. In 2004 he has established his own production company togather with fellow director and producer Ivan Ostrochovský, sentimental film.

    Urban has produced or coproduced succesful documentaries (Erika Hniková's Matchmaking Mayor and Pavol Pekarcík, Ivan Ostrochovský and Peter Kerekes' collective work Velvet Terrorists) and fiction films (Juraj Nvota's The Hostage). His last film Koza, directed by Ostrochovský, premiered in the Berlinale FORUM programme 2015 and his new project in development, the feature debut Out (Vychladnutie) by FAMU graduate director György Kristóf, has been selected for the 11th Cinéfondation L’Atelier, taking place as part of the Cannes IFF.

    Urban spoke to FNE about his future plans and strategies, saying, "Slovakia is a small country with an audience that can hardly cover the cost of the movie, so we decided to develop more projects that are suitable for international coproductions, in order to raise enough funding for production and to increase the possible audience impact as well. So the ideal producer for me is an ideal coproducer."

    As a producer, he steers clear of animated films, as there are more skilled professionals in Slovakia in this field. His company began by producing documentaries, but now there are more feature films in the sentimental film line-up.

    He would like to bring more interesting coproduction to his country. "There is a good tradition of mutual Slovak/Czech coproductions, and we usually work with Czech partners, but we are trying to explore what almost nobody does here:on the one hand to take our projects even farther abroad, and to try to get finnancing there; andon the other hand to look for projects which we can coproduce. It's a bit complicated but not impossible,” he added.

    Urban is very curious about where not only him but the whole production situation in Slovakia might be in five years. Urban said, "I hope we will be producing films. If not, it might be really interestingthough. Anyway we would like to explore the possibilities of producing a movie with a fair amount of artistic value and commercial success, not only in local territories. It’s almost a mission impossible, but worth a try." 

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