News from the Locarno Festival

Interview with Jeremy Thomas

"Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait?" – Khyentse Norbu



What did make you decide to produce a movie like Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait?

For Hema Hema, the production and most of the team are from Bhutan. I have been executive producer on Khyentse Norbu films to support his filmmaking. I have been working with Rinpoche (as he is called) since Little Buddha in 1993, when he was Bertolucci's technical advisor. I supported him when he became a writer/director, starting with Phörpa (The Cup). For me, Hema Hema is compelling cinema, both sophisticated and primitive. Khyentse Norbu gives us a unique invitation to a secret world.


How is important keep trying to realize all over the world independent and courageous movies like this?

First and foremost, I love cinema. It's a challenge and adventure to make movies. It's the inspiration that I get from supporting filmmakers. It's all about the inspiration from the world and life through cinema.


You realized so many great movies. Which is your personal Top5 among all your productions?

All of my films are like my children. I can’t choose any favorites. How to choose among Skolimowski's The Shout, all the Nic Roeg films, Ôshima and Miike, Cronenberg, that very rich period of my relationship with Bertolucci. And recently High-Rise and Il racconto dei racconti – Tale of Tales. There's no way I can choose favorites. I am very much looking forward to more highs.


How did change your job as a producer from ‘80s to today?

Distribution has changed so we have had to change the horizons of how people see our films.
The making of the films is the same. It's how our films are shown that is always changing. Keeping up with distribution changes is the most challenging. Since 2000 it has been much more difficult for a producer to recoup. But the enjoyment of filmmaking is still the same for me.

Adriano Ercolani
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