Heading to Cannes as the British Council's nominee for European Film Promotion's Producers on The Move programme, Tristan Goligher is one of the UK's most promising new talents.
UK Producer, Tristan Goligher
What’s your connection to the British Council?
I've been lucky that the British Council supported some early short films I made, and then become really important champions for Weekend. The enthusiasm that went into pushing that project led to screenings in parts of the world that the film may never otherwise have reached. I really appreciated that support, and I do believe it contributed to the film's success.
What are you currently working on?
I've just wrapped on a film called 45 Years, directed by Andrew Haigh and starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. The story follows Kate and Geoff Mercer in the five days leading up to their 45th wedding anniversary, during which they receive news of a women he was previously in love with, some fifty years ago - her body now found frozen, and preserved, in the Swiss Alps.
What/who originally turned you onto film?
There were two things that really allowed me to see that film was something that was created, rather than just existed. As a kid I saw a mock up of Hitchcock's shower scene, and how that was filmed, with removable walls, and so much consideration of the construction of shots. Then in my late teens it was really the TV show Moviedrome, presented by Alex Cox and then Mark Cousins, which gave me an understanding of the author behind so many cult movies I'd never even heard of. I grew up on a farm in Ireland. Without that show I'd never even have thought about working in film. I think it's a tragedy it no longer runs. The British Council should bring it back...
What has been your career high so far?
The success of Weekend was a remarkable experience. I had produced, and co-produced other films before, but that was the first project where I was the sole producer, working with the filmmaker from the very conception. Winning the Audience Award at SXSW was so unexpected, and really did kickstart the life of that film. We owe that festival, and its Head of Film, Janet Pierson, a lot. But probably the most remarkable thing was how intimately that film connected with people. We received a lot of emails from people thanking us for making the film, and also just sharing their experiences. The most special of which was from a man in his 70's who'd seen the film. It had brought back a flood of memories of a weekend he'd spend with someone decades ago. I can only hope I make a film again that connects with people in that way.
What was your first job in the film industry?
I was a production assistant, and then floor runner on a film called One For The Road, by Chris Cooke. It was a really low budget film, and I was in absolute awe of it. I'd made my own shorts but never been part of a professional crew before. The director, crew, and cast on that film had all collaborated together before, and the set had a really exciting atmosphere. I was the keenest runner in the history of runners!
If I knew then what I know now…
I was so, spectacularly, naive when I started out that I would have done anything. I also believed anything was possible if it had hard work and quality behind it. That's better than knowing anything. Stay stupid.
What is your favourite British film?
No hesitation whatsoever - Lawrence of Arabia. That film is a genuine masterpiece. Personal, political, and deeply moving. Saturday Night Sunday Morning also had a really big affect on me when I saw it. I think it sits within a tradition of social realism in British cinema, and that exists completely on it's own terms. We actually ended up shooting Weekend on some of the old locations from that movie, which was a nice piece of serendipity.
If you could have directed/been involved with any film ever made, which one would it be?
Once Upon A Time in America for all the reasons I love Lawrence of Arabia.
What’s the first film you remember seeing?
The Land Before Time. I went to the cinema with my friend Allen and cried when the dinosaur kids got separated from their parents.
Find out more about Tristan here