Producer extraordinaire Diego Kolankowsky is finishing up one of his stints in Buenos Aires and true to his Superman nature, he’s managed to produce a mega-hit on Corrientes and start production on two major films (Casi Leyendas and You Only Live Once) during his time in the city. The 42 year-old got his start as one of the youngest television executives to have ever graced the hallways of both América TV and Telefé. He’s amassed no less than 6 Martín Fierro awards, an Emmy International, and 3 tony nominations alongside the team of the latest groundbreaking Broadway production of Spring Awakening. As if that weren’t enough, he just finished producing a run of Peter Pan on Corrientes that sold out before it opened, and he’s headed to Hollywood to produce Merrily We Roll Along (with friggin’ Wayne Brady as Charley Kringas).
We were lucky enough to sit down with Kolankowsy to pick his brain about everything from what drives him, to the vital nature of Dulce de Leche. Here’s what we found out:
How did you get involved in the media and communications industry? Did you always know you it was something you wanted to do?
I always knew that I wanted to tell stories. I saw myself as a story teller ever since I was a little kid, and I found a way to get into media through journalism.
Have you noted any differences between the way that theater is produced in the United States versus here in Argentina?
It’s quite different to work there and here in Buenos Aires in terms of money. Here in Buenos Aires, we [also] don’t have the time we have in the United States. The passion is the same, the talent is almost the same, but time and money are quite different.
Do you think that forces creativity (the fact that you’re limited financially)? Do you think it makes for more creative decisions and more creative ways of putting on these huge productions?
Yeah, I totally agree with that because you have to be clever to build these. We put together (this year) Peter Pan: a new version. When I showed this material to my partners and colleagues, and broadway performers in Manhattan (I showed them the video of Peter Pan), they all fell in love with the show and asked me, “How much did you invest in this? How long did it take you to do this? Four years and ten million dollars?” I almost laughed at them because because it’s a quarter of that.
Do you have any advice to impart on anyone who’s working towards a career in the media/communications/entertainment industry?
Yeah, advice is a tough, big, and heavy word, but I can say what works for me: I used to sit in a theater and watch the animation before movies start: I saw a guy, sitting on a moon, fishing, and I saw, “DreamWorks.” It’s not just a production company. It means that dreams work. It’s not a brand, it’s a statement.
Final question, when you’re abroad, what do you miss most about Buenos Aires?
I can easily say Dulce de Leche. Easily.
So folks, what did we learn? Not only is the powerhouse media mogul killing it in every aspect of the field, he also loves Dulce de Leche just as much as we do. Hopefully next time you see the little man fishing on the edge of a moon before your feature film, you’ll think of Diego, and be a little bit more inspired to follow your own dreams.