Martin Kollar’s film to be premiered at the prestigious Rotterdam IFF

The internationally awarded Slovak photographer and cinematographer Martin Kollar decided to shoot a film about his brother, waiting for a fatal surgery. The result, Martin’s mid-length directorial debut 5 October, was selected to be a part of the programme of the prestigious 45th Rotterdam IFF. The film will be premiered on February 1st, in the Bright Future: Mid-Length section.

“It is a story of my 52-year old brother. Each one of us probably thought about how he or she would spend the last days of their life. Ján decided to spend his waiting on a bicycle, traveling across the world as a nomad, or an “Easy Rider”, if I may. No thought about the mortgage, taxes, everyday routines to distract him. Ján’s Memento Mori begins,” says Martin Kollar.

From the notes in his diary and his daily search for a place to spend the night, we discover what he is running away from: fear, discomfort, testing weather conditions, and his deteriorating health. Reality, however, keeps reminding him of what lies ahead – a surgery with possibly fatal consequences.

“As filmmakers, we look for good stories all our lives. The best ones are often right in front of us. We don’t like to shoot them, because they concern us personally and we are afraid of loosing distance. The moment I decided I dare to shoot this film, was when I realized I’m more afraid of loosing my brother than I am of loosing distance,” explains the director and cinematographer of the film. In his 50-minute film there are no dialogues, and this type of storytelling, according to Kollar, is an homage to film as a medium talking through pictures.

Martin Kollar is probably the most internationally acknowledged photographer – documentarist, almost every year he is receiving prestigious awards or scholarships for his work – lately it was the Prix Elysée of the Swiss Musée de l’Elysée in Laussane. As a cinematographer he co-operated on a number of successful film, notably Koza by Ivan Ostrochovský, which has its world premiere last year at Berlinale and received more than 20 awards throughout the year.

Among further Slovak titles this year at Rotterdam IFF are Gardeners by Mira Fornay, who also won the Hivos Tiger Award with My Dog Killer at the festival in 2013. Fine, Thanks by Mátyás Prikler was also premiered at the festival in the last years.

The 45th edition of Rotterdam IFF runs January 27 – February 7, 2016. The development and production of 5 October was supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech State Cinematography Fund.