Check our exclusive interview with female producing duo that FORBES says is “paving the way for more women at the top in entertainment” – Christa Campbell & Lati Grobman (of Campbell Grobman Films). The pair received their first Oscar nomination this year for ‘Best Documentary Feature’ with WINTER ON FIRE, and their next project (out now) CRIMINAL starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds & Gal Gadot.
Their films have been showcased in several renowned film festivals across the world, including Toronto, Venice, Montreal, and Cannes. Utilizing their combined experiences both behind and in front of the camera, Christa & Lati ultimately aspire to create movies that can change the world for the better. Past films include Texas Chainsaw 3D, Experimenter (Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Kellan Lutz & Taryn Manning), The Iceman (Michael Shannon & Winona Ryder), Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess & Michael Caine), She’s Funny That Way (Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson) & Brave Miss World (2014 Emmy-nominated documentary). See below list of their current and upcoming projects!
Now after the Oscar’s nomination for WINTER ON FIRE we think they will be nominated for an EMMY, so stay tune. WINTER ON FIRE was direted by Evgeny Afineevsky, who risked his life to make the film.
Hi Christa and Lati please tell us a little about you?
CC. Lati and I started our company, Campbell Grobman Films, in 2011 and we have been working hard ever since. When we believe in something we go full force. I think I learned that from Lati; she was a soldier in the Israeli army and there is a certain discipline that you inherit by growing up that way. So I have learned a lot by watching her. Also, I recently realized that I enjoy suffering a bit, therefore I chose the movie business. It takes a certain type of person to want to do this job.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
CC. Passionate, Obsessive, Disciplined.
Lati: I can’t describe myself in three words; I am way too complicated for that.
What is your background?
CC. I started out as an actress, like most people in Hollywood. I loved the challenge as I wasn’t a natural. I had to work very hard to be decent. It was an incredible experience. Unfortunately, you spend most of your time trying to get a job rather than actually working, but once I found my niche the market crashed, so the straight to DVD movies I was starring in became obsolete. Then, I found myself auditioning for big films but just for 1 scene. It wasn’t worth it creatively. I was used to shooting 5 scenes a day and now begging for 1 scene. Forget it. I saw other actresses who were big names who couldn’t get parts. I thought what am I doing? Seriously.. Now I have found my new addiction. Producing movies. Actually doing the deal — that gets me excited. This is what I love. I thrive off of it.
Lati: I was born in Russia and grew up in Israel. I came to America speaking no English and with no plan. The one thing I knew I liked was movies, so I went to study the craft and then worked on many productions till I got to produce my own movies. When I met Christa I understood that shooting for the stars is not completely impossible, but she needs to remind me of that every other day.
Tell us about your experience as producers?
CC. Our experience varies with each film. Each movie is its own beast.
Now tell us about “CRIMINAL”?
CC. Criminal is an amazing film. It’s unique. I don’t think you can put it in a box. I’ve never seen Kevin Costner play a character like this. He’s incredible. He worked very closely with the Director Ariel Vromen to created this character Jerico and the world he lives in. Also in the film is Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Ryan Reynolds.
Ariel directed a movie we produced called The Iceman with Michael Shannon, and he is really good with actors and he did a fantastic job with Criminal. I think the world will love this film. It’s really great.
Lati: I agree. The treat is for everyone. There is the love story; it’s totally action packed and the unique idea that apparently not light years far from reality which is transferring information from one brain to another.
What was the feeling to be nominated for a “Best Documentary Feature” Oscar?
CC. It was amazing but it would have been more amazing to win. I was on a high for a long time. Then when our movie wasn’t called I think I cried. It was a strange feeling.
Lati: You think you cried? You cried! And were sad for a week. To me, the experience was incredible and I wasn’t crushed when it didn’t win because I was just grateful to be in a position that any filmmaker on Earth thrives to be in. We will forever have a movie that was nominated for an Oscar, and nobody can take it away from us.
What other projects you are currently working on?
CC. We have Hitman’s Bodyguard next. It stars Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jackson. It’s a huge action film.
What have you learned from your other actors and producers?
CC. Everyday I learn something new. I’m always learning. I’m like a sponge. I’m obsessed with smart, intelligent people who have done amazing things. I like collecting information.
Lati: From actors…not sure. From other producers I learn that if you believe in something, it can happen. I still don’t live by that moto and not sure I agree with it, but it helps with other aspects in my life.
Where do you see yourself and also your company in a few years?
CC. Hmmm…. this question, I was asked this many times throughout my career and the truth is who knows…
We are busy building our empire but you never know where the path takes you.
What do you think of Social Media in the Entertainment business?
CC. I think it’s a great outlet to get your brand out there. It’s good for business, definitely not good for your personal life.
Lati: It’s the future. Nothing more powerful than social media. You can buy it to some extent, but at the end of the day, the people will choose the best content out there and not be fed like in the old days.
Best advice ever given?
CC. If you don’t ask for it…it’s a No. But if you ask it could be a Yes…
Lati: Haha, didn’t I tell you that last week? Best advice? Listen to your mother.
What’s your favorite music?
CC. I like everything, depends on my mood. Right now I’m into The Weeknd…
Lati: Arik Einstein (Israeli singer), Bowie, used to be Roger Waters till he lost his mind.
What’s a normal day in your life?
CC. After 3 cups of coffee, work work work. And repeat.
Lati: Wake up early, take care of the million kids I have. Work work work, till kids come home from school. Take care of kids, back to work. fun ha… but I love my kids and my work.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
CC. My future plans are tonight is the world premiere of Criminal in Israel, then we travel to Paris, London, Rome and New York. That’s as far into the future as I can predict.
Lati: Finish my taxes??
Where we can follow you?
Lati: I refuse to be on instagram. Twitter is my thing. I follow all the news outlets. News junky.
CC: Enough said.
Lati: Deal with it.
CC: Don’t judge … but I read all 50 shades series in 4 days.
Lati: Little history of the world/ gombrich.
Lati: Cinema Paradiso
CC: All the things I cannot eat.
Lati: Bread, white sugar, veggies, hummus.
CC: Any island anywhere. It’s not where you travel, it’s who you travel with.
CC: House of Cards. I’m obsessed with Francis Underwood.
Lati: Sky news