Pauline Gygax

1976

Film producer, Geneva

"I grew up in an egalitarian and feminist environment, instilling deep within me the idea that my gender should never get in the way of my ambition."

My career path

As a producer, it’s my job to turn a scriptwriter’s fantasy or desire – their idea for a film – into something real, and to be there throughout the whole process, right up to the cinema release.

My passion. I love helping people with the artistic development of a film, finding funding, dealing with obstacles and the adventure of it all. But I also like what I get from the ongoing dialogue with the artists and my colleagues – and constantly coming up with new challenges. In my own humble way, I’m also politically active : I question how films are created, what is represented, and I make sure I stay true to my intellectual and artistic ideas.

My career path. I got where I am today after 15 years of hard work. I started out in contemporary photography, and managed the Centre de la Photographie in Geneva from the ages of 23 to 25 – that was just the start. My studies also helped me become the person I am. Certain people I met along the way made all the difference. But if I had to name just one person, it would probably be Max Karli, who’s been there through thick and thin and with whom I had the crazy idea of starting a production company.

And above all, my parents ensured that I grew up in an egalitarian and feminist environment, instilling deep within me the idea that my gender should never get in the way of my ambition. There were also some very kind and very discreet people who supported me at key points in my career. They know who they are.

A downside or obstacle ? I’m lucky to have an amazing team, which means I can delegate a lot of the more administrative tasks – that’s a great relief to me. I find that kind of work very time consuming and very painstaking.

I also have to deal with small acts of misogyny on a daily basis. Men have a much easier ride, especially in the film industry. It’s an industry that conveys an image of seduction, parties, the power of celebrity and money, and that certainly doesn’t help things. But the fact that my business partner is a man has certainly shielded me from some of that. There’s also a lot of distrust because it’s an industry where a lot of money changes hands. But fortunately things are better in Switzerland than in other countries. I haven’t had it as bad as some female producers in other places, especially in Latin countries.

And that condescending, paternalistic attitude is unfortunately universal and cross-disciplinary !

I think I’m a good partner for scriptwriters and directors, and a good team player in general. My artistic sensitivity, my determination and my creativity make me a demanding yet loyal partner.

The Proust Questionnaire

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Au-delà de votre profession

Mes enfants, mon métier, l’art et la littérature.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Mes amies et amis.

Un livre

Je pense que jamais je ne pourrai répondre en deux mots à cette question. Mais les écrits de Susan Sontag, de Serge Daney ou d’Hannah Arendt notamment, sont importants pour moi.

Un modèle

Beaucoup. Principalement des femmes artistes. Et ma mère.

Un objet

Un masque

Une couleur

Le vert céladon

Un rêve

Le don d’ubiquité et un sommeil facile.