Interview with Ivan Ostrochovský
Meet Ivan Ostrochovský (1972), film author, director and producer. Before his fiction feature debut Koza (2015) premiered at the 64th Berlinale, Ostrochovský made several documentaries, eg. Lesser Evil (2004), Ilja (2010) and Velvet Terorists (2013) with Palo Pekarčík and Peter Kerekes, awarded with the Fedora Award at the 48th KVIFF and Tagesspiegel Readers Award at the 63th Berlinale. He produced Nina (2017) by Juraj Lehotský, 5 October (2016) by Martin Kollar and Sunrise Hotel (2016) by Mária Rumanová and coproduced documentary by Erika Hníková Matchmaking Mayor (2010), feature debut of Iveta Grófová Made in Ash (2012) and many more.
Two of the films you co-produced were selected for Official Selection – Competition at Karlovy Vary IFF – Domestique (d. Adam Sedlák) and Winter Flies (d. Olmo Omerzu). What was the collaboration with Czech colleagues like?
I have collaborated with Jirka Konečný and Olmo Omerzu already on their previous film, Family Film, and I enjoyed it. I think Olmo creates a very specific and very needed path in Czech cinema. I am his fan and I am glad I could be a part of it.
Domestique is my first collaboration with Jakub (Jíra - ed.) and Adam (Sedlák – ed.). I actually prefer not to work with people whose work I don't know, but Adam's clear creative and visual concepts made me change my mind. I believe this is not the last time we hear of him.
What does a film project have to have for you to decide to join it as its (co)producer?
The key for me is, that people who make the film and with whom I might enter into cooperation, are in some aspects smarter than I am.
You are also scriptwriter and film director. Yet, when acting as the film's producer, how much do you get artistically involved?
That depends. Yet with the majority of the projects I don't enter the creative process at all. As I have already mentioned, I believe that the people whose film I am producing are smarter than I am, and I fully trust them. I have developed this custom when I wait at least one year from the premiere to watch the film I coproduced. I still haven't seen Nina which premiered here, at Karlovy Vary IFF last year.
As a beginner producer I used to come to the editing room. However, I either left it disappointed when I got the feeling things were not going quite that well, yet when it all went well my author-ego was jealous. No matter what, I never left the room in a good mood. So I stopped visiting it. Honestly, it seems that my absence hasn't had any negative effect, and I can sleep better.
How do you see the evolution of the Slovak audiovisual environment and its conditions for film production and coproduction?
Frankly said, a growing number of films being made, a growing cinema admissions, a growing success at important international film festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin or Toronto speak for themselves.