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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Slovakia

Ivan Ostrochovský readies a film about the most acclaimed Slovak cinematographer

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- Igor Luther worked on the fragmentary essay titled Self-Portrait where he looks back on his own fruitful professional career and turbulent private life

Ivan Ostrochovský readies a film about the most acclaimed Slovak cinematographer
Ivan Ostrochovský (left, © Berlinale Film Festival) and Igor Luther (right, © TASR Jakub Kotian)

Slovak producer and director Ivan Ostrochovský, who revealed his latest fiction feature Servants [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
at this year's Berlinale, is continuing in his producing efforts. After co-producing the experimental docu-pic FREM and Petr Zelenka’s dramedy Droneman (read the news), one of the projects he is currently working on as a producer is a documentary with the working title Self-Portrait, centred on the most acclaimed Slovak cinematographer, Igor Luther, who passed away at the beginning of June 2020.

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Luther commands a glowing filmography, having lensed Juraj Jakubisko’s The Years of Christ and Birdies, Orphans and Fools, Alain Robbe-Grillet’s The Man Who Lies and Eden and Afterwards and serving as DoP on films by Michael Haneke, Wolfgang Staudte, Andrzej Wajda, Aleksandar Petrović and a fruitful collaboration with Volker Schlöndorff with whom he made five films including the 1979 Palme d´Or and Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film The Tin Drum.

Ostrochovský has a track record of biographical/memoir films, having produced Martin Kollár’s portrait of his brother in a quasi-travelogue and visual essayistic form, 5 October [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(read the news), while Ostrochovský himself directed black and white documentary portrait Ilja, about one of the most interesting personality of Slovak music of the 20th century, Ilja Zeljenka released two years after his death in 2009. As the title Self-Portrait suggests, the documentary has been conceived as a fragmentary docu-essay where the cinematographer looks back on his professional career and turbulent private life as he is facing a serious illness.

Luther was filming “video diaries” for the project, in addition to sitting down for interviews. However, as the film’s producer and co-writer, Ostrochovský noted that 5 October, which he also produced, “brought a new, radical form of narration” in the context of Slovak cinema and he expects “the same from Igor’s film. The film is narrated by images. Radically. In the same way that Igor is radically asking questions to himself…”. The producer plans to shoot several scenes from Luther’s unrealised scripts and to digitalise his private archive, including photographs and letters for the project.

Self-Portrait is produced by Ivan Ostrochovský via his production company Punkchart Films. Radio and Television Slovakia boarded the project at the development stage.

Tribute to Igor Luther by Association of Slovak Cinematographers for lifetime achievement award Kamera 2017

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