Birgit “Bitz” Gernböck is a hands-on producer based in New York City. Prior to pursuing her MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University School of the Arts in New York City, she had produced over 35 TV movies and shows for all major German Television Broadcasters such as ZDF, ARD, Degeto, Sat.1, and ProSieben as executive producer and head of production for U5 Filmproduktion, operating out of Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany.
Gernböck sees herself working side by side with the director, producing partners, and writers in development, in the early stages of the production throughout completion with all creative departments involved getting the film made — and once completed, engaging in festivals, distribution and sales efforts, both internationally and in the United States.
With lengthy experience in producing numerous projects simultaneously in different countries in Europe, the UK, Tunisia, and South Africa, Gernböck is well-versed in working with European film funds and financing like MEDIA Desk Europe, CineTirol Austria, Hessen Film Fund, DFFF Germany, and the South African Tax Credit. She production-managed the feature film and box office hit PLAYING DOCTOR for Twentieth Century Fox in 2013.
Her decision to pursue an MFA was born out of a desire to broaden her network in the US and refine her skills in storytelling, screenwriting, and directing as a producer which Columbia University provides at its very best. While at Columbia, Gernböck received two Katharina Otto-Bernstein producing awards for her outstanding work.
Gernböck produced over ten short films while at Columbia University, such as Sonya Goddy’s award-winning short SUNDAE, which premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2015 and was screened at numerous film festivals in the US and Europe.
In 2016, Gernböck produced Francisca Alegria’s AND THE WHOLE SKY FIT IN A DEAD COW’S EYE shot on location in Chile, which received the National Board of Review Award 2016. The film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Telluride, Valdivia International Film Festival, Internationales Filmfest Oldenburg, SFIFF, and Warsaw International Film Festival 2016, to name a few. The film won the International Jury Award at Sundance in 2017.
In association with A24, Gernböck was an Associate Producer on Terence Nance’s critically acclaimed TV Show RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS which aired on HBO in August 2018. A second season was ordered by the studio.
In addition to Gernböck’s producing efforts, she also worked on the following projects as production manager and supervisor within the fast-paced production environment for commercials and corporate films such as Heineken (Production Company: Picture Movers Anonymous LLC in Santa Monica) and in October 2018, the fifth sequence for Mohammed Gorjestani’s hybrid corporate dance documentary (Production Company: Even/Odd LLC in San Francisco, Studio/Client: Square).
As creative producer, Gernböck has traveled the festival circuit with Darya Zhuk’s award winning feature film debut CRYSTAL SWAN, shot on location in Minsk, Belarus in collaboration with Vice Media, Unfound Content and Fusion Features, supported by the German Regional Film Fund – Hessen Film GmbH based out of Frankfurt.
The drama is the first Academy Award submission from the former Soviet Republic nation since 1996, and follows a young female Belarusian hip-hop DJ in the mid-1990s who dreams of emigrating to join the American music scene. The film celebrated its US premiere at Slamdance 2019. Gernböck has worked closely with the assigned sales agent Loco Films in Paris on expanding the film festival run in 2019 and pushing sales to more territories.
Her international feature film project in development is KEEP IT TOGETHER (Writer, Director Bane Fakih) which won at TriBeCa Film Institute’s All Access Program in 2019 as well as Chanel’s “Through Her Lens” Program 2019 in collaboration with TriBeCa Film Institute,
Feature film PARIS IS IN HARLEM based on Harlem’s legendary Jazz Club “Paris Blues Bar” and his owner Sam is a hopeful festival submission at TriBeCa 2021 to kick off a festival tour including Jazz performances and shows. Gernböck line produced the micro-budget arthouse Jazz film in 2018 and with her keen eye on the numbers give the team the opportunity to celebrate with Jazz shows and guests, especially after a long year of no in person performances and screenings in 2020.
THE CRYING STEPPE was the official Golden Globe and Academy Award submission from Kazakhstan in 2021. Gernbõck worked with the team as a creative producer and festival consultant since 2018 on this high-profile period piece based on historic true events. After years in making is set to premiere in 2021.
The full-length feature film NORTH OF ALBANY is a Canadian Co-Production scheduled for a premiere in 2022 after its completion in 2021 and a challenging shoot during the pandemic on location in Montreal, Canada. Gernböck is collaborating with Benoit Beaulieu (Producer, Cinematographer) and Marianne Farley (Writer, Director).
Mersiha Husagic’s debut feature length drama CHERRY JUICE as auteur filmmaker is currently in post-production after having shot on location in New York, Germany and Bosnia in 2019. Gernböck is proud to have joined the small team as the US creative and financing producer on this arthouse gem that is set to celebrate its premiere in 2023 internationally and domestically.
As New York based writer & producer Gernböck is in development on a feature length documentary film as consulting creative producer. Gernböck is currently producing a proof of concept with support of the Minnesota Film Commission for a documentary series about women in the Demolition Derby circuit. Kayla Marie Arend to direct.