Capsule #3 : Meeting with Rouge International

Friday, March 30, ParisDOC offered the 3rd and last Capsule of this 5th edition. This was the occasion of a meeting between the professionals and the two leaders of Rouge International, Julie Gayet and Nadia Turincev.

After a quick introduction from Anaïs Desrieux, head of ParisDOC, moderator Pamela Pianezza, journalist and photographer, briefly summarized the background and personality of each of the two women and the line-up of Red International which includes movies such as Raw, Mimosas, Faces Places, The Insult, The Ride or Of Rolls and Men. Pamela Pianezza also recalled the motto of the company which is “The universal begins when one pushes their kitchen’s walls”.

To the question « what is a film Rouge International ? », Julie Gayet and Nadia Turincev have demonstrated this claimed universality, their eclecticism while explaining that there were no specific types of film they want to do, that what they want above all is to be surprised: “We want to make films that we do not have the sensation of having already seen and our choice mainly depends on the uniqueness of the filmmaker’s gaze. We do not put films in boxes, no matter whether they are documentary or fiction, they just have to touch us with their themes and their approaches », they explained. If the choice of projects is based on the unanimity of the tandem, a bonus to the firm favorite is also one of their main way of picking a project.

Julie Gayet and Nadia Turincev have known each other since 1993. The first one is an actress, particularly interested in production. The second works in the production field but also as an artistic director especially for the Moscow Festival or in the selection committee at the Directors’ Fortnight. The desire to create Rouge International in 2007 was born from this wish to produce, to see the birth of authors and to accompany them: “One year after our launch, it was the financial crisis of 2008. So we had to review all our financing plans which were divided by three “explained Julie Gayet. By following a principle of honesty about the real price of films, the two women also quickly turned to the international market, particularly using the notion of equity to finance their film with foreign private funds.

If the idea of ​​making some big movies to help financing the little ones crossed their mind, it’s not what they eventually opted for. Recently, they had the proof that their choice was the right one when they co-produced Serge Hazanavicius’s Tout là haut, a big budget film. They then realized that this type of economic model did not really suit them: “We tried to apply producing methods for arthouse movies on a film with a 10 millions budget but it turned out not to be a very good idea.” The important thing for the duo is above all to be “coherent” in their approach to financing: “We are still looking for balance but we know that it is through the coherence that we will manage to win on all fronts. That’s also why we launched our distribution branch, “says Nadia Turincev.

Indeed, since last year, with the addition of Emilie Djiane to their team, Rouge International has created Rouge Distribution. After Off Rolls and Men last October, the company is currently distributing The Ride by Stephanie Gillard and is preparing the releases of Liu Jian’s Have a Nice Day, Olmo Omerzu’s Family Film and Philipp Jedicke’s Shut Up and Play the Piano. If the goal is not to only distribute films produced by Rouge, it is certain that this distribution organ is also an asset for them and their in-house productions: “We followed the film since its beginnings, which allows a long-term work and the development of a stronger strategy, and it also gives us the opportunity to have new funding, and ultimately save time.” This strategy is also established with the festivals that are central in the course and the notoriety of a film: “It is important to know which festival is made for which film. But also at which period of the festival it must be shown. It happened to us with Fix Me at Sundance, our first festival with one of our feature films. The movie was shown after the first weekend, when there was no one left! We learned the lesson well, we will not have it any more! If the festivals are important, for the release, it is also necessary to think broader and to be interested in the context of the release (exhibitions, theater’s plays…) which could suit us or with which we could associate. We must think globally.

Production, distribution, a willingness to go to international sales too? ” Maybe said Nadia Turincev with a mysterious attitude.

Finally, in terms of staff members, the number of them is very changing but the company can not go beyond eight employees, for the moment, for budgetary reasons. In the same way, the premises have changed, from Julie Gayet’s living room to their own offices including editing tables. Which is handy, especially for smaller films. In addition, the tandem is particularly interested in post-production: “In most foreign films that we produce, we participate a lot in the development of the scenario but we do not attend the shooting, which is often followed by the local production team. We often take over the film at the time of editing.

With award-winning films in multiple festivals and nominations in many awards ceremonies, what can we wish for Julie Gayet and Nadia Turincev: “A selection in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, it would be really good”. Let’s find out on April 12th.