Locarno Film Festival | 2019
"It is a film about a man who is alive still only in the actions and stories of other people."


Dir. Matjaž Ivanišin

Concorso Cineasti del presente


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When Oroslan dies, the news cause grief and emotion. By sharing memories about him, the villagers recreate his image.

Hi Matjaž, thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?

Fine, thank you.

What does it mean to you to be at the Locarno Film Festival with Oroslan?

The whole crew was really happy to be invited. We highly respect the Locarno Film Festival. 

Does being in the Concorse Cineasti Del Presente add any additional pressure on you?

I don’t feel any additional pressure. Excitement rather. 

Do you ever get nervous sharing your films with festival audiences?

Of course. And always before the first public screening. 

You are a graduate from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana what was this experience like for you?

It’s a small film school and as such it has its advantages and disadvantages. My experience was very positive, but I know people who think otherwise. I also made some really good friends in that period. And I believe I managed to make a few good films at the time. 

How much did your time at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television prepare you for entering the film industry?

During the four years of studying we learned quite a lot about the actual making of the film – apart from the endless exercise and rehearsals we had to make a short documentary and two short feature films in professional conditions. At the time I was studying, it was only possible to study direction and we had to hire professionals to do other jobs. 

Can you tell me a little bit about Oroslan, what can we expect?

Oroslan is the main protagonist we never see in the film. His image is reflected through the stories of people who knew him and also through the environment in which he lived. It is a film about a man who is alive still only in the actions and stories of other people. 

What was the inspiration behind this film?

The inspiration for the film was a short story written by Zdravko Duša. Reading it I had a feeling that it is also about someone from my family. That really touched me. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced bringing Oroslan to the screen?

The biggest challenge was to find a suitable mode of narration – how to tell a particular story using film images.   

How important is the creative collaboration when making a film like this?

Very important. We are a small team. We all fit into a van. Each of us is responsible for several tasks. Depending on the situation. That enables a certain flexibility which is crucial because of the way I decided to make this film. None of the actors are professionals and most of them have never even stood in front of a camera. This must be because of the documentary form I have been working on until now.    

What was the process like working together on this film?

The same as with most of films. You get up, work, in the evening you think about what did or didn’t work the way you wanted and then you go to bed. The next morning you keep going. The only difference for us was a slightly different filming schedule. Sometimes we were out there in the field all day but did an hour or maybe two hours of filming. Due to the nature of the film we tried to ensure the conditions that would suit such a working process.  

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

Since high school, yes, before that my life revolved around sport. 

What was the first film you worked on?

As far as I remember, it was a film I made together with my schoolmates and friends in the grammar school. The title was Prvi fajn film (The First Cool Film).

Has your approach to your films changed much since your debut?

Not much.

Do you have any advice or tips for any emerging filmmakers?


And finally, what do you want your audiences to take away from Oroslan?

The film definitely becomes a whole after the viewers see it and have an experience. It is hard to predict what the viewers will take away from the film. But I am interested. I hope there are not too many of those who leave the screening indifferent.

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