Evelin Penttilä • Producer, Stellar Film

One of this year’s film producers, Pentella trusts the potential of her local film industry and shares the challenges and joys of her job

Cineuropa caught with Evelyn PentellaProducer at Stellar Film Studio in Tallinn. Chosen as one of the ‘Mobile Producers’ of the year (an initiative sponsored by European Film Promotion), Penttilä shared some insights into her career, Estonian film industry, and the range of future projects she is involved in.

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Cineuropa: What made you enter this industry?
Evelyn Pentella: I ended up in the film industry by accident, but the decision to stay after so many years was because I was able to get a feel for the amount of my first feature film I made, Scratch [+see also:
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presented to her audience. It is very important that films can reach their audience, otherwise making them does not make sense. It is important to me that my films find their way to viewers both locally and internationally. Over the years, I’ve also learned how to make an even greater impact on their journey.

What is the most difficult aspect of product functionality? What is the most rewarding?
The creative process is the most challenging and rewarding part. Yes, sometimes it also gets complicated to make sure the idea isn’t lost in the translations for production and to try to explain to the world what’s so special about the movie you’re currently working on. And sometimes it’s sad to understand how everyone did their best, but because of the wrong timing or something else and bigger, the movie won’t get the chances it deserves. But then, it’s important to turn that experience into a learning curve, get up and move on to making the next movies.

What are the main challenges and advantages of production in Estonia? How do you judge the current state of her film scene?
I think Estonia has a very active cinema scene. Our public finance systems are solid and operate in a smooth and straightforward manner. We also have a group of professionals who specialize in the film industry. Of course, EFI should get more money to invest in movies, but another obvious obstacle is the size of the market. However, it also means that in order to make successful films, you must also aim for international distribution. Another current obstacle is the lack of interest of local TV channels to invest in the development and production of high-quality TV dramas. Local TV channels are the cornerstone of any financial plan for this type of undertaking and they prevent many great ideas from getting off the ground.

How do you think being a mobile producer will benefit your career?
Our group already looks like a good bunch! Communication is always key and I’m sure the producers about to move 2022 will bring a lot of great friends and colleagues in the industry and hopefully get some future partnerships for production. I am also very grateful to meet some new sales agents and hear some interesting ideas within the safe space offered by the program.

How has production changed two years after the pandemic?
Well, to be honest, I don’t think the pandemic has changed the nature of our work. Producers must always be prepared to face unknown and uncalculated challenges – whether it is a pandemic, war, death or natural disasters. Anything unimaginable can happen. Always make sure you have proper insurance in place and be nice to the people around you, hopefully you will handle the challenges on the journey [smiles].

What will you do next?
our short light weightDirected by Anna HintsIt is currently being released, and there are very exciting things in development. One of them is drama at your serviceDirected by German Golub and coined it Andres Feldmanis And Livia Ullman, which I brought with me for Traveling Producers. We just finished sleeping monster With jack kelmy And as the film finds its niche in the international market, we already know that we’d also like to continue working together. In general, we look for modern stories, often with female heroines that have the potential to be great and important films. We’re also passionate about playing with genres – horror, music, sci-fi, thriller – and like to do them all in a way that makes the idea behind the movie. Besides, we also develop movies with Valo TumlaAnd Catherine Tigova And some other interesting local talent. Our short horror bad hair It was a good example of something we’re aiming for, and we’re working with the director Oscar for them Their story can be turned into an advantage. Apart from our own listing, we are also actively involved in production and service production. We are excited to be involved in some very cool projects coming from our region, including the ones he’s managing JP Valkipa And Joris Corsetes.

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