EDN Member of the Month - Ivan Rubio
In this monthly interview series EDN focuses on one of its many members to show both members in the spotlight and the diversity of the EDN membership group.
Our EDN member of the month for September 2014 is Ivan Rubio, Producer, Redpinata, Hamburg, Germany.
Redpinata was founded in Hamburg in 2010 with the mission to make ideas into reality. The focus of the production house has so far been on the production of TV commercials and cinema advertising, viral and web videos, event and corporate videos, as well as 3D animations. Currently the company is also moving into documentary production, among other things launched through a visible presence at this June’s Sunny Side of the Doc, where Redpinata sponsored one of the prices for best interactive factual project.
Among his roles at Redpinata producer Ivan Rubio will also be a driving force in the company’s coming documentary projects.
EDN: Can you start by introducing us to yourself and your background?
IR: I am originally from Mexico City, where I was raised with contradictory unconventional conservative values, which lead to my first University degree in Civil Engineering. But after I worked in this field for three years came the conclusion of my short unforgettable engineering experience. Consequently, I moved to Montreal, Canada where following my passion I studied cinema graduating with a specialization in Film Production from Concordia University.
As a filmmaker I started directing and producing dance films and experimental shorts, with the fascination for documenting and capturing the physicality of live performance in art and spectacle. Getting deeply involved with the world of contemporary and classical dance. That brought me to Paris, Berlin, New York and finally Hamburg. Here I connected with Redpinata - a creative force and an exceptional talented team, with an extensive knowledge in brand strategy and filmmaking, the perfect merge between art and business.
EDN: Where does your interest and passion for documentaries stem from?
IR: Films have always been a catalyst of my imagination, a refuge for my creative self, and a presence within my aesthetics. As a producer, my interest spans both experimental and documentary genres. My background entrenched my belief in the power of cinema as an influence on politics, art, and society. In a personal sense, my documentary work is culturally and socially informed. I want to inform people about global social mobilization and artistic driven projects in the most thorough and objective way.
EDN: How long have you been at Redpinata and what is your role there?
IR: After shooting on different locations from January to March with DOP Maxime Billon, one of the founders of Redpinata, I officially joined the team in May this year. Since then, we have been intensely working on the documentary unit initiative. My main role in the company is assisting the in-house production as well as the development of the documentary division, and researching for projects.
EDN: It is the plan for Redpinata to also move more into production of documentaries. Can you tell more about the vision for the company’s role in this? Will it be on a creative site – also developing own projects from an early stage or more of a co-production focus stepping in with production and post-production facilities?
IR: The core idea of the doc division is actually both. The vision is ambitious, yet realistic since the company counts with the work force and creative department that is paramount for the realization of such ideals. Having worked with demanding broadcasters like RTL, ZDF and CCTV, has brought experience and confidence to the company to take on new mayor projects.
The company has the ability to step in at any stage of production, from pre-production to post-production, going through to the realization. Especially Redpinata’s post-production facility offers the opportunity not only to be creative in the production but also to improve the vision of the project and match any demand that the project requires.
Our main objective is to create and produce documentaries focusing on branded content, including social and culture subjects. With branded documentaries, brands and companies are becoming alternative commissioning editors – partnering with directors and producers, forging new business models for funding, distribution, outreach and participation. For many companies there is a new rising perspective on social responsibility as well as of course a marketing one, where documentaries can help to build meaningful connections with their target audiences.
There are different ways of working with branded content – a brand can for example come on board a finished film as a distribution partner, it can be the producer with full editorial and creative control, or the brand can put money into an independent production without demanding complete editorial control.
At present Redpinata is developing three docs on branded content on three different subjects; the first is an interesting research in a new movement in the world of sports, the second on international technology and the last on local heritage culture.
EDN: At the moment you are actively looking for collaboration partners. Which types of projects, genres, partnerships are you interested in?
IR: We are looking into projects that are in need for post-production, which as mentioned, is one of the strengths of the company. These projects should already have financing in place.
However, we are also very much interested in co-productions, both local and international, but absolutely it needs to be a project that would be the right fit- such as being relevant to German audiences – and being large enough in scope to merit a co-production.
Our main focus for now is branded documentaries, but we are also happy to consider proposals on social and cultural content.
EDN: This June Redpinata was for the first time attending the Sunny Side of the Doc market in La Rochelle represented by you and CEO Kim Dormann. What made you decide to go to Sunny Side and also sponsor an award there? What was the experience and outcome of attending?
IR: After launching the documentary initiative in May, the main objective for Redpinata was to immerse in the documentary market. My good friend Giulia Frati from the Cuban Hat Project/Makila, which is a non-profit organization helping to connect film projects with potential partners, encouraged me and suggested that Sunny Side was the best place to create this visibility. In exchange of that and to make our presence more meaningful, we agreed to make a contribution to ‘The Cuban Hat’ Interactive Doc awards sponsoring what is now the “Sweet Spot” award to the project Share Your Grandma by Jonas Parienté, Narrative/Chaï Chaï Films, France.
Sunny Side of the Doc was a great experience, the weather created the best atmosphere to get in touch with people, the connection felt human, natural and genuine. From there we build important relationships that now turned into good friends, as Chloe Sosa-Sims from Hot Docs, Inti Cordera from DocsDF, The South African Delegation, which we spent a really good time with, and nonetheless the crucial relation with EDN.
EDN: If a producer / director has a project they would like to present to you, how is the best way to contact you? In which stage should the project preferably be?
IR: We are open to both local and international productions. The stage could be any from development to post-production.
The best way to get in touch with us, is through email at or directly call the agency
We are very interested in receiving new proposals, expanding our network; we can grab a drink and talk about it.
EDN: What lays next for you and Redpinata?
IR: We look forward to a great future with the documentary unit. The growth is imminent and I anticipate with pleasure to the release of our first branded documentary project on the fascinating world of sports, in the coming months.
For more information visit redpinata.com
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