REWIND: From The Australian, September 28, 2009
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.