King of the Airs

About the Film

Synopsis

Martin indulged in his excessive use of drugs. He recorded his frenzied life in his diaries while his friend Ivo passionately captured everything on film with his Super 8 camera.

Both sought for the absolute – average was not an option. Through the lens of this journal, Ivo Zen tells the story of his generation, a story about friendship and the desire to fly higher than anybody else.

Protagonists

Jean-Claude Campell,

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«I think that to a large extent my need to get high, to get stoned, was a way of repressing the fact that I shirked my responsibility towards my mother when she was dying. Unfortunately it took me 20 years to realize that.» Jean-Claude Campell, Ivo’s oldest friend

Ivan Beer

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«Every life that’s worthwhile comes with a risk. Martin took it. He took a big risk and paid the price.» Ivan Beer, school friend

Martin Felix

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«Pull yourself together! What a great expression! Life is a jewel.» Martin Felix

Ivo Zen

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«We both aimed high, we wanted to fly away where nobody would be able to follow us. Until the fear crept in of not being up to life’s demands.» Ivo Zen, director

Christine Felix

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«After Martin died, after he was buried, I would observe the young people in town and think: You’re all so alive, so alive! It sounds silly now, but those are the thoughts I had at the time.» Christine Felix, mother

Katarina V.

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«I liked the fact that Martin loved me. He was a sort of big brother to me, he protected me when I was mistreated and looked after me in the streets»

Martin Ghisletti

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«I could have taken Martin to our summerhouse, and kept him away from drugs for a few months. Why didn’t I do it? I don’t know.» Martin Ghisletti, Schulfreund

Director

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Ivo Zen was born and raised in Santa Maria, in the Val Müstair. He left the remote valley at the age of 15 to go to high school in Chur. After a somewhat turbulent gap year, he enrolled to study architecture at the ETH in Zurich, where he became acquainted with video and photography. He quit after two years and worked in a bookstore. During this time he started making experimental films. He began his Super 8 film journal in 1996. Ivo Zen graduated from the Geneva film school in 2003. The following year he co-founded the independent production house Alva Film. He gave several workshops in documentary filmmaking at the University of Art and Design (HEAD) in Geneva. In 2010 he became president of the group “Cineasts independents rumantschs”, promoting the interests of Romansh filmmakers. He has twice been the recipient of the Graubünden canton’s grant for artists. Ivo Zen is married and lives in Zurich with his wife and two children.


Awards

Best Film Music
Max Ophüls
Preis 2017
Official Selection
Solothurner
Filmtage 2017

Technical Details

Resolution
HD
Format
DCP
Duration
78min
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Color
Yes
Year
2016
Original Language
German, English
Subtitles
German, English, French
Country
Switzerland
ISAN
0000-0004-1676-0000-Y-0000-0000-9

Credits

Protagonists

Ivo Zen

Christine Felix

Ivan Beer

Martin Ghisletti

Katarina V.

Lorenz Felix

Jean-Claude Campell

Marry

Philipp


Director

Ivo Zen


Writer

Ivo Zen, Hercli Bundi


Editing

Tania Stöcklin


DOP

Ulrich Grossenbacher


Location Sound

Ivo Schläpfer, Mike Lawson


Music

Ilja Komarov, Trixa Arnold


Music Archives

Disco Doom, Fragment


Voice Martin German

Flurin Giger


Voice Ivo

Henrik Zimmermann


Voice Ivo English

Kaleo La Belle


Producer

Hercli Bundi


Production

Mira Film


Associate Producer

Vadim Jendreyko


Production Manager

Peter Zwierko


Marketing and Outreach

Susanne Guggenberger


Online/DCP

Andromeda Film 


Color Grading

Paul Avondet


Sound Mix

Daniel Hobi


Mastering

Christof Steinmann, Magnetix


Coproducer

Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRG SSR


Commissioner SRF

Urs Augstburger 


With financial support of

Zürcher Filmstiftung 

Kulturförderung Kanton Graubünden 

Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst BS/BL 

Kulturfonds Suissimage 

Bundesamt für Kultur

Succès Passage Antenne

Ernst Göhner Stiftung

UBS Kulturstiftung

Stiftung Bündner Suchthilfe

Stiftung Stavros S. Niarchos, Chur

Stadt Chur

Beitragsfonds der Graubündner Kantonalbank 

Developped within Sources 2