BEHIND THE SCENES

The story of how lux­ury watch com­pa­nies are im­mers­ing them­selves in the cin­e­matic world by spon­sor­ing fi lm fes­ti­vals and hon­our­ing emerg­ing ta­lents.

The Peak Selections: Timepieces - - Off The Cuff - TEXT AARON DE SILVA

If not for Pi­aget, the crit­i­cally ac­claimed 2008 Amer­i­can fi lm Wendy and Lucy might not have been made. The fi lm star­ring Michelle Wil­liams landed on many movie crit­ics’ top 10 lists in the year it was re­leased, and bagged Best Pic­ture at the 12th Toronto Film Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion Awards.

Granted, Neil Kopp – one of the film’s pro­duc­ers – might have found an al­ter­na­tive source of funding even if he had not been awarded a US$25,000 (S$34,000) grant as the win­ner of the Pi­aget Pro­duc­ers Award in 2008. That was the fi rst year the brand be­came a pa­tron of the Film In­de­pen­dent Spirit Awards, a cer­e­mony ded­i­cated to in­die fi lm­mak­ers. But as Kopp read­ily shares via e-mail, the Pi­aget­spon­sored award “could not have come at a bet­ter time”.

Says the Amer­i­can pro­ducer: “It al­lowed me and my pro­duc­ing part­ner Anish Sav­jani to de­velop Wendy and Lucy, which at the time was go­ing to be our next film with (screen­writer/ di­rec­tor) Kelly Re­ichardt. It also helped us to form our com­pany, Film­science, at a time when we were tempted to step out for well-pay­ing com­mer­cial work. This fi­nan­cial free­dom gave us a huge boost to­wards es­tab­lish­ing a busi­ness.” Kopp’s ca­reer has since gone from strength to strength: He co-pro­duced Re­ichardt’s lat­est en­deav­our, Certain Women, a fi lm star­ring Wil­liams, Kris­ten Ste­wart and Laura Dern, which pre­miered at the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val in Jan­uary 2016.

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