News  ·  31 | 10 | 2022

"Our Pardo d'oro at a unique Festival"

Tatiana Leite, producer of Rule 34, recounts her intense relationship with the Locarno Film Festival and the Locarno Pro universe - projects, stories and indescribable satisfactions

Julia Murat and Tatiana Leite, director e producer of Rule34, Pardo d'oro at Locarno75

In the last few years, she has become a proper citizen of Locarno. The roads of Locarno Pro allowed her to discover and experience projects, share stories and make her own track record available. And then, on August 13 this year, she was in Piazza Grande, with a Pardo d'oro in her hands. The producer of Rule 34, Tatiana Leite, recounts her long and fruitful rapport with a Festival she considers unique. «I guess the uniqueness comes from both the programming choices of the festival - that has been always selecting films that I appreciate as a cinephile and film programmer, but also the kind of films I want to make as a producer - and the fact the industry part of Locarno always looks ahead, for new talents from different parts of the world, dedicating several programs to training them, expanding their network and helping develop their contents. Indeed, the festival connects a lot with my own career, right at the beginning, when I crossed over from film programming to production. With the very first film I produced, Hopefuls, we won an award of the First Look project. The following year, I did the Match Me! program, and that allowed me to meet more than 45 new possible partners! Then, a few years later, I premiered my fist minority co-production, A Family Submerged, in the Concorso Cineasti del presente, and last year I started to collaborate with Open Doors, the most amazing program. I've also had the chance to get acquainted with the Alliance 4 Development projects.
The 2022 edition started with great spirits, since I had to meet the short list candidates for the new Locarno Residency (a dream for first-time filmmakers from all over the world!), passed by meeting amazing producers and projects at Open Doors, and finally presented my latest film, Rule 34, in the main competition. Having the film team there presenting it for the first time was really emotional. The cherry on top was of course winning the Pardo d'oro, still no words to describe it».

What can a young professional find in Locarno, and in particular at Locarno Pro? What is established among professionals during the Locarno Pro days?
«I dare say it is the most democratic film market, together with Rotterdam’s, for young professionals, it provides more chances to meet potential partners, from different countries and sectors, also because of its diversity of propositions. They can find good projects and also present their own in a less stressful environment».

In which direction is the film industry heading? And what about auteur cinema, does it have new spaces or is it closely linked to the survival of festivals?
«It's hard to say today where we are heading, especially after we were taken by the power of streamers in a pandemic context... Still, I believe people will start going to the theaters again - in Brazil this is happening little by little - and I strongly believe that auteur cinema will always exist. But the old film market is changing for sure; still, we don’t have all the answers yet».

Because in 2022, with the spread of platforms, do film festivals and theaters still make sense?
«More than ever, film festivals have a crucial role in educating audiences in different cities all over the word. The experience of the theater for a lot of people, like me, can't be replaced by watching a film at home».

Can you tell us the path of Rule 34? We perceived it as aa ensemble film, the result of a "group", of a family…
«The film was first conceived by Julia, but soon became part of a collective process of exchanges and discussions. It was not an easy film to make.  The team who did it invested a lot of energy into the process: the actors, all of us producers, the DOP, the costume designer, and so on and so forth... Rule 34 is being presented in several film festivals all over the world, in the bigger and more prestigious ones, but also in some more niche festivals, that we believe can raise more effective discussions. The film will be in theaters in Brazil next January. I'm very curious to see how it's going to be received.
It's not easy to be a producer, to be a producer from Brazil and even less to be an arthouse female producer from Brazil; still, there is something about it that makes me want to pursue this path at least for now. I feel like my generation is changing the old role that producers had in people's imagination, the "classic" producers who were only worried about financing and achievements. We are doing it because we love cinema, we delve into the creative exchanges with the directors and with the whole team, so that we can actually contribute to sharing something very special with the audience. That doesn’t bring a lot of recognition or money in most cases, but it reassures us that we do what we love and believe in».