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Titus Kreyenberg: A Producer with Unimaginable Foresight

It all happened in 2004 when Titus Kreyenberg, an experienced executive producer founded his own production company named Unafilm. The company is now one of the top notch names in German Entertainment sector, and Titus is the think tank behind many impeccable ventures which shook the International Film Festival circuit. He has proved his Midas touch in all areas of filmmaking which includes features and documentaries, both in National and International levels. In an exclusive interview with All Lights Film Magazine, Titus shared his experiences of his lifetime for our esteemed readers. 

Question 01: It was a journey which started a decade back, and now, you are one among the unquestionable names in the International Film Festival Circuit. How do you feel now? 

It was only last year that I realized what I have achieved with unafilm.  It was very early in the morning after the premiere of HELI in Cannes.  I hadn’t slept much and I was late for a meeting, rushing down the Croisette.I said to myself, slow down, you just had a film in competition in Cannes!  It is alright to be two minutes late for once!  So I walked a bit slower and went through all the films that I have produced. It was a nice moment. 

Question 02:Your production Company, unafilm has produced many movies which have competed in internationally acknowledged festivals. Are you making movies which are tailor made for festivals, or do you see commercial viability for these movies in the Box office? 

When I started I wasn’t really aware of this divide. I was producing the films that I liked, that I felt passionate about and that were important to me.  I still do, to this day.  But it has become increasingly difficult to reach an audience with so called Arthouse movies, films that are shown in Cannes or at the Berlinale for example.  In Germany it is mostly people over 60 who go and see them, because they were brought up with them.  Younger generations haven’t really learned to appreciate these films and they access films differently today.  I don’t want to sound like my own grandfather, but this is what we have to accept these days.  Some of our films will make it at the box office, but only very, very few.  This is what has changed. And as a result it has become increasingly difficult for directors and producers to actually make a living out of what they can do best.  They have to ask themselves seriously if it still make sense to work for what they believe in, or if they should go and work for some soap opera to earn a living. You cannot make living producing films for festivals.  They make a living out of you.

Question 03: In your career, you have attended umpteen numbers of reputed International Film Festivals, and have met with some of the eminent personalities in the industry. Would you mind sharing some of the most memorable experiences which you got from the festival circuit to the readers of All Lights Film Magazine? 

A very memorable experience was an evening in quiet corner with Shirley MacLaine.  I was shy and she was bored, I guess, and we ended up talking all night. 

Question 04: You produced ‘Colors in the Dark’ in 2010, and it was a huge success in German Box Office. How crucial was the role of this movie in shaping your career? 

It certainly established the company in the German market.  Other than that I don’t think it shaped my career.  It don’t really think like that.  The film picked up a relevant social issue in Europe way before it became part of the public discussion and helped to shape it a bit, I guess.  I was able to work with Bruno Ganz and Senta Berger and we all had a very nice and memorable premiere in San Sebastian.  That’s all, really. 

Question 05: “Our Grand Despair” was premiered in competition at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. Tell us some of the noted experiences while co producing this movie. 

This film is very dear to me, because I was able to work with Seyfi Teoman, the director of this film.  Sadly he died two years ago, just as we were beginning to produce his next film.  To this day Seyfi is the most accomplished director that Ive met.  Young, full of energy and wisdom.  He was special in the sense that he knew exactly what he wanted and yet, at the same time he was the most giving person.  I learned a lot from him.  Through his eyes I got to know Turkey, where I coproduce a lot of films since.  

Question 06: Do you have any predictions regarding the 87th Academy Awards? 

No. To be honest, I don’t really know what to do with the Oscars.  They are too far away from what I am working for. 

Question 07: Would you mind unveiling the details about your current and future projects to the readers of All Lights Film Magazine? 

Currently I am preparing two German films. One to be shot in Berlin and London and to be directed by Florian Hoffmeister.The other one will be directed by Jessica Krummacher and we will shoot the entire movie in Turkey.  Apart from that I am involved in the next movies of Fernando Guzzoni , Niles Attala and DomingaSotomayor – all from Chile.  Why from Chile?  I was curious.



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