Martin Kollár brings his highly personal project 5 October to Rotterdam
by Martin Kudláč
- The Slovakian photographer and cinematographer’s medium-length debut is to be unveiled in the As Long As It Takes section at the IFFR
Well-established and award-winning Slovakian photographer and cinematographer Martin Kollár, who lensed such highly awarded films as Ivan Ostrochovský’s Koza [+see also:
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile], the feature-length documentary triptych Velvet Terrorists [+see also:
film profile] and Peter Kerekes’ Cooking History, has recently finished his latest project (where he is credited as director, scriptwriter and co-producer), entitled 5 October (formerly known as Sphere). It is set to screen at the International Film Festival Rotterdam this year. Kollár decided to focus on an unnerving subject – what could well have been his older brother’s last few months on Earth before undergoing complicated surgery. 5 October deals with the question of how you would spend your last days, adding in his directorial statement that “his mortgage, tax declarations and everyday routines” kept his brother from thinking straight.
“We started shooting with my brother in the summer of 2013 at various locations across the globe, such as France, Belgium, Italy, the Balkans, Laos and Thailand,” Kollár explained to Cineuropa. “We had been limited by the wait for his impending surgery, which would, logically, have terminated the shoot as well as the film’s story.” The filmmaker got the first cut ready with the help of Saša Gojdičová and showed a reel at Docu Talents from the East at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. “We caught our breath again, and with Marek Šulík, the second editor, we were working on the final cut for several months,” he added. HBO Europe got on board as a co-producer after seeing the presentation at KVIFF. After the Rotterdam premiere, 5 October is scheduled to be screened at the International Film Festival Febiofest, in a focus on Slovakian cinema.
In the movie, the director’s 52-year-old brother awaits the surgery, and his odds of surviving it are 50/50. His diary becomes the storyteller in the film, as he embarks on an “Easy Rider” trip that he had always dreamt of. 5 October is also described as “a detailed examination of fear and of the attempts to come to peace with one’s inner self”, with the storytelling being “an homage to film as a medium talking through pictures”. Ivan Ostrochovský produced it for Punkchart Films, and it was co-produced by Tereza Poláchová (for HBO Europe), Jiří Konečný (endorfilm) and the director himself (71km). The film does not yet have a sales agent, but festival screenings are handled by the associate producer, Katarína Tomková, for kaleidoscope.