INTERVIEW – To win the prestigious award for best foreign film in Los Angeles February 28, 2016, producer CHARLES GILLIBERT launches into a real election campaign. He unveils his strategy
LE FIGARO. – What this film happens in Turkey with young Turkish actress and is shot entirely in Turkish, is it French
CHARLES GILLIBERT ? .- The director Deniz Gamze Ergüven arrived in France at the age of six months. Franco-Turkish, she’s just returned to live in Turkey between 9 and 12 years. It was there, at the age of its main character, she felt the experience of the history of Mustang . Revenue in France, she did all his schooling with, in the final, the prestigious film school, Fémis. There she met his writer Alice Winocour. They wrote Mustang scenario together and decided to do it in France with a team of Fémis. I found the 1.3 million euros required to make the movie with the CNC, the usual financial seventh French art whose TV channels. This is a film that promotes the fundamental values of France: the right to education, the right of women, freedom. Through Mustang , France exports its values of freedom beyond its borders.
LE FIGARO Unveiled at Cannes, is a beautiful critical success and public?
This is one of the gems of the year and I’m very proud. The box office in France is more than 450,000 entries and has been sold worldwide. For a film that cost only € 1.3 million, it is extraordinary.
You were in competition with four other films. How did you convince the jury of the CNC that your film was the most likely to go through with the Oscar race?
Since its first screening at Cannes we had a strategy on the United States. We multiplied small projections out there with opinion leaders. They have received very well the film. Then we quickly hired lobbyists who have already experienced the election campaign of the Oscars. Last year, my American distributor Cohen Media, made the campaign for Timbuktu of Abderrahmane Sissako. Mid-September, Mustang has successfully passed the test screenings at the Toronto festival. This festival serves foreign films to test the taste of the American public and industrial. Each time when the light kicking in the rooms, the team was entitled to standing ovations of more than ten minutes. Finally, personally, I supervised numerous film releases in the United States. My personal experience with Walter Salles for On the Road , with Olivier Assayas for Sils Maria , the author of the film that has best international market in 2014, much helped convince the jury. With these directors who make films with global reach, each output in a country is as important as in France.
What is your strategy to win the Oscar?
We will multiply the meetings with our US distributor and lobbyists hired to help. The film comes out over there on 20 November. We will develop a rétroplanning who will leave the Oscars on February 28 in Los Angeles today. It will spend two steps before reaching the finally selected five films. The first step will be spread over the next eight weeks. A first Oscar jury, composed of hundreds of voters of the Academy rather old and living in Los Angeles will receive a DVD or a link to see the film. As they have over 80 other films to watch, we will convince them to watch Mustang by relying on personalities capable of influencing this group of voters. Secondly, if Mustang is selected in December in the pre-list of nine films still in contention, we will attract another group of voters, those are younger. We must therefore find other personalities likely to convince them. This process is not at all glamorous. It is mathematical. We must make very accurate tables with the names of different people.
Are you confident?
Absolutely. So far, Mustang as many spectators enjoyed an older moviegoers as young people.