Morten Traavik is a Norwegian director and artist working across a wide spectrum of artistic genres and international borders. Trained as theater director in Russia and Sweden, the notion of the world as a stage and identity as role play is never far away in his works, as well as a characteristically blurred distinction between art, activism and social issues. His beauty pageants for landmine survivors, Miss Landmine Angola (2008) and Miss Landmine Cambodia (2009) made headlines and fueled discussions across the world. He is also renow- ned for a series of controversial collaborations with North Korean artists and cultural authorities, as well as being an authorized cultural a airs liaison for that country.
Ug?is Olte is a Latvian director and editor who enjoys staying playful when dealing with serious subjects. Equipped with senses of a musician and a belief that dreams, myths and fairytales can be useful tools for telling any contemporary story, he has created numerous original TV formats, music videos, ads and also 3 shortfiction films - The Red Spot, KK2678 and King Of The Wild Things. His efforts in documentary genre have resulted in two films - Stuck in Stikine (2007) and Double Aliens (2015), premiered at last year’s IDFA mid-length competition.
Morten Traavik - The enigmatic figurehead, the hidden strategist behind the throne, the elegant first lady, the loyal footsoldiers, the secret and merciless power struggles backstage, the symbols, the uniformity, the screaming millions of followers : Dictatorship or rock band? Nürnberg rally or Band Aid? Having built trust, through years of border-expanding collaborative art performances with both Laibach and North Korean authorities separately, it seemed worth the try to bring them together. After all, as a theatre director, you don’t get to work with actors and venues like that every day, or even every lifetime.
Ugis Olte - Music has always been the most magical element of my creative life, the most potent, abstract and emotional tool that a filmmaker can have in his arsenal. And now I have this film which is built like a rock song itself. An energetic, lively seed, ripened in the soil of an exotic event and watered in a collective effort of a band-like entity. Magnified in the larger-than-life reality of the film screen.