FESTIVAL FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT: OLMO OMERZU
Director: Olmo Omerzu
Festival Entry: A Night Too Young – Czech Republic
On New Years Day, two innocent 12-year-old boys score vodka for three strangers and get invited to an adult party they’ll never forget. This darkly comic tale by gifted 26-year-old Czech director Olmo Omerzu upends the conventions of the coming of age movie. ★ North American Premiere
Directed By: Olmo Omerzu
Executive Producer: Lukas Svitil
Producer: Jiří Konečný
Screenwriters: Bruno Hájek, Jakub Felcman, Olmo Omerzu
Cinematographer: Lukáš Milota
Editor: Janka Vlčková
Cast: Martin Pechlát, Jirí Cerny, Natálie Rehorová, Vojtech Machuta, Jan Vasi, Milan Mikulcík
We asked Czech director Olmo Omerzu about everything from his inspirations to challenges. Turns out, working with child actors is hard (he’s not the first Festival filmmaker to cite this particular challenge!). Here’s what else he had to say:
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Olmo Omerzu. Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Studied in Prague, where I graduated from the film academy FAMU with my first full-length film A Night Too Young (Přiliš Mláda Noc). Currently, I’m preparing my next full-length feature with the title A Family Film. Before FAMU I was drawing comics for a Slovenian magazine called Stripburger.
Who were your early mentors in filmmaking?
My mentors at FAMU were Vera Chytilova and Jan Nemec, great directors of the Czech New Wave.
Who/what influenced your perspective and creative decisions for your Festival film?
I wasn’t influenced by any particular film or author while I was making A Night Too Young. Otherwise the most influential directors in regards to my work are Maurice Pialat, Jean Eustache, and John Cassavetes.
What challenges did you face while making your film?
It was a challenge for me to work with child actors. The character of a child in a film always seems to me slightly problematic and hazardous. I looked for children who would be similar on the surface to the two adult male characters in the film.
We held auditions, looking for children in schools, choirs, and theatre groups. When we found Vojtěch Machuta, who plays Baluška in the film, I finally decided what the atmosphere of the film would be. With his incredible facial expression, which occasionally aligns emotionally with the events and at other times doesn’t, Vojtěch Machuta here and there creates in himself an alienating effect.
What’s been the coolest experience with your film?
I was really happy with the fact that my graduate film could have its world premiere at Berlinale and has been invited to several international festivals including the LA Film Festival, where A Night Too Young will have its American premiere.
What are you most excited to do/see at the LA Film Fest?
I’m excited to see how the public at the LA Film Festival will react to the film. I think that in each festival in each country there is a slight difference in the viewing and understanding of it.
Check out A Night Too Young at the LA Film Fest at lafilmfest.com
June 18th, 2012 • No Comments