Matte Projects opens up with an Amazing Interview with short film "A King", Ivan Olita

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Ivan Olita is a filmmaker and creative director based in Los Angeles who studied under Werner Herzog.

Ivan Olita is a filmmaker and creative director based in Los Angeles who studied under Werner Herzog. One of the greatest lessons that Ivan attributes to his time being mentored by Herzog is understanding the necessity to apply for a poetic license when creating films about real people and their experiences. In an interview with Director’s Library regarding his latest project, Ivan is quoted saying, “It is not only our right to shape the stories we decide to tell; it’s our duty. We’re not journalists. We’re filmmakers.”

Matte projects

As part of the Culture Study series produced by MATTE, Olita sat down to chat about his creative process, his inspirations, and his latest short film - “A King”.

At a glance, it is evident that Ivan’s body of work greatly features the stories of the marginalized and those that exist on the fringe of society. In filming these subjects Olita is driven by both the need to understand them and himself. This approach to storytelling invites the viewer to empathize with the heroes in his films. We are all of a sudden exposed to the humanness that we all share and not the apparent strangeness which lies on the surface.

After spending some time with Ivan Olita MATTE quickly deduced the highly collaborative nature of his work. Olita has maintained long-standing creative relationships with many of his collaborators, especially his composer. Jean has collaborated with Olita in creating scores for many of his films, and most recently also did so on A King. Ivan is not shy to give credit when talking about his work, which further highlights his collaborative nature. Ivan even goes on to say in the interview that his director of photography gave the inspiration for the final scene in A King, stating that the idea to shoot in the desert was Andrea Gavazzi’s from the very beginning.

A King is not only a documentary about an Elvis impersonator but also a commentary on the search for identity and acceptance. Jesse Garon is known as the original Elvis impersonator and Ivan has stated previously, “He immediately stood out to me because he’s the OG Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas and you could tell there was more to him than meets the eye.” This film sheds light on the life of a Las Vegas icon and will expose you to a side of Sin City that not many have seen. Read the full interview with MATTE here.

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Matt Rowean
Matte Projects
1 (646) 854-2652
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