REWIND: From The Aus­tralian, Septem­ber 28, 2009

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Lifelines -

THERE is al­ways plenty of hand-wring­ing and vi­tu­per­a­tion about the weak per­for­mance of most Aus­tralian films at the do­mes­tic box of­fice and the state of the in­dus­try, which is why Hans Robert Eisen­hauer is worth lis­ten­ing to. Eisen­hauer, one of Europe’s lead­ing pub­lic broad­cast­ers and doc­u­men­tary co-pro­duc­ers, is not only en­thu­si­as­tic about the Aus­tralian in­dus­try and the strength of our non­fic­tion pro­duc­ers and di­rec­tors but he is al­ways on the look­out for joint pro­duc­tion deals.

He says there are very in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing ideas com­ing from Aus­tralian film­mak­ers and he is re­ally happy to work with them. Eisen­hauer, whose of­fi­cial ti­tle is com­mis­sion­ing ed­i­tor for the Ger­man-French joint ven­ture ZDF-ARTE, says Aus­tralian film­mak­ers work­ing in TV doc­u­men­tary ‘‘ are re­ally, re­ally, re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced, and tech­ni­cal skills are fan­tas­ti­cally de­vel­oped, so it’s ab­so­lutely pos­si­ble to work eas­ily to­gether and to find a con­sen­sus in sto­ry­telling’’.

He was in Sydney this month for an an­nual meet­ing of in­ter­na­tional pub­lic broad­cast­ers to show and dis­cuss the best of their re­cent work.

While in Sydney, Eisen­hauer had ex­ten­sive meet­ings with Aus­tralian doc­u­men­tary pro­duc­ers to dis­cuss their pro­pos­als for in­ter­na­tional co-pro­duc­tions. He was ‘‘ amazed’’ to find Aus­tralia and his na­tive Ger­many have so much in com­mon in their ap­proach to sto­ry­telling, some­thing he at­tributes to the strength of pub­lic broad­cast­ing in both coun­tries.

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