FNE at KVIFF East of the West: 9:06

By Matevz Rudolf

    Slovenian director Igor Šterk's forth film 9:06 (www.film-906.com) had its world premiere in competition in Montreal World Film Festival 2009 (www.ffm-montreal.org) and in October 2009, won nine awards on 12th Festival of Slovenian film (www.fsf.si) including award for best film, director, screenplay and best performance by an actor in a leading role, and became most successful Slovenian festival film.

    Šterk's film was shown on many international film festivals, including 32th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival (www.cinemed.tm.fr), CineMart of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com), 11th European Film Festival in Lecce (http://festivaldelcinemaeuropeo.it) where it won Special Jury Award and Prize as Best Cinematography, 23rd Singapore International Film Festival (www.filmfest.org.sg), South-East European Film Festival of Los Angeles (www.seefilmla.org), and Brussels Film Festival 2010 (www.fffb.be).

    {mosimage}Set within the framework of a mystery drama, 9:06 is a psychological study about a police officer named Dušan, who is investigating an unusual suicidal case of a bisexual piano teacher who jumps off of a majestic bridge over the Soča River. The investigation gradually turns into Dušan's obsession, and he surreptitiously moves into the apartment of the deceased, delving deeper into the man's life and slowly begins to assume the identity of the dead man. During the events the narrative tells Dušan's personal story which involves the death of his young daughter, for which he may have been responsible. Some parallels of the narrative can be found in Cruising (1980) by William Friedkin and The Tenant (1976) by Roman Polanski.

    Šterk stated that he wanted to shoot a crime story, "but at the same time, between the lines, the film focuses on and discusses a phenomenon that is a pressing problem of our nation - the question of suicide. Slovenia is among five countries with the highest suicide rate in the world!" The complex film theme is probably the reason that the film did not attract a great number of viewers in Slovenian cinemas - there were only 3800 admission sold and so the film became the fourth most popular Slovenian film in last year. The minimalistic narrative techniques and impressive cinematography by director of photography Simon Tanšek, makes film more appropriate for art house audiences.

    What makes 9:06 unique among Slovenian films are co-production partner involved in the production process from beginning. Co-producer German-French co-producer ZDF Arte (www.zdf-enterprises.de) was one of the most important partners of this 1.4 million EUR production by A.A.C. Productions, one of the first independent film production companies in Slovenia, founded by Igor Šterk. The international film crew was composed of members coming from a wide range of countries, including almost every region of former Yugoslavia. The film was shot in Ljubljana and along the Croatian coast.

    Igor Šterk prepared the film for more than three years and knew from the beginning that Igor Samobor would play main role. Other members of the film team were already familiar with Šterk's approach to film - this was the third time that director of photography Simon Tanšek and also screenwriter Siniša Dragin cooperated with Šterk. 9:06 is dedicated to the director's father, who disappeared with his sailing boat in the Indian Ocean during the postproduction of the film. This might be the reason that in 9:06 can be described as a very personal film with some minor but strong autobiographical elements.

    Production Credits:

    9:06 (www.film-906.com)

    Production Company: A.A.C. Productions (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

    Co-production Company: Gustav Film (www.gustavfilm.si), Mogador Film (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), TV Slovenia (www.rtvslo.si), ZDF/ARTE (www.zdf-enterprises.de)

    Co-funding: Slovenian Film Fund (www.film-sklad.si), ZDF/ARTE (www.zdf-enterprises.de), MEDIA development (www.mediadevelopment.com)

    Distribution: Cinemania group (www.cinemania-group.si)

    World Sales: Insomnia (www.insomnia-sales.com)

    Director: Igor Šterk

    Screenwriter: Igor Šterk, Siniša Dragin

    Co-producer: Igor Šterk, Frenk Celarc, Christoph Thoke, Alexander Bohr

    Production Manager: Petra Vidmar

    Director of Photography: Simon Tanšek

    Film Editor: Petar Marković

    Set Designer: Nataša Rogelj

    Costume Designer: Katja Rosa

    Sound Re-recording Mixer: Julij Zornik

    Sound Recordist: Peter Žerovnik

    Makeup Artist: Gabrijela Fleischman


    Igor Samobor

    Labina Mitevska

    Silva Čušin

    Pavle Ravnohrib

    Gregor Baković

    Jana Zupančič