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Role Model

January 9, 2023


Role Model

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A lonely and bullied teenage boy of divorced parents and an alcoholic mother makes friends with a dangerous and mysterious man who moves into the flat opposite his.


MAJA (45) and JAN (14), mother and son, live in an apartment building in a small, unnamed town. Recently divorced, MAJA is a psychologist at a nearby primary school, where Jan goes, and is currently in the final grade. The film starts in the last days of April 2020, with strict anti-epidemic measures implemented in school. JAN is extremely lonely, hurt by his parent’s divorce, and suffering abuse in school. His new schoolmate is JAKOB, who tried to commit suicide unsuccessfully. MAJA is in charge of JAKOB’S rehabilitation, but JAKOB is a part of a gang that terrorizes schools, especially JAN. If JAN wants to survive these last months, he has to lose the mysterious title of “sunshine” that bullies have given him. JAN finds solace in a mysterious man, also named JAN, who is living in a flat opposite his and is as violent as he is infantile. Meanwhile, MAJA starts to drink again, feeling lost and pressured by newcomer NEJA, a chillingly kind and competitive young psychologist.

Director’s Profile

Nejc Gazvoda (1985) wrote his first short story collection when he was still in high school. It received a nomination for the best literary debut of the year in 2004 and won the Liberal academy’s Golden Bird Award in 2005 and Dnevnik’s Fabula Award for the best short fiction collection of the year in 2006. Nejc Gazvoda then went on to publish his first novel, Camera obscura, which was nominated for the prestigious Slovenian Kresnik Prize for the best novel of the year. He is also the author of two other novels. In 2010 he graduated from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (UL AGRFT) with a degree in Film and Television Directing. For his diploma thesis he was awarded with the academic Prešeren’s Award of Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television. In 2011 he wrote, directed and edited his first feature film, A Trip, for which he also did the scenography. The film starred Nina Rakovec, Jure Henningman and Luka Cimprič and won various national and international awards at several different film festivals. Two years later his second feature film, Dual (starring Nina Rakovec, Mia Jexen, Nataša Barbara Gračner and Jure Henningman) was equally successful. Nejc Gazvoda also co-wrote the film Personal Baggage (2009), directed by Janez Lapajne and the film Class Enemy (2013), directed by Rok Biček.
He is also a renowned figure in the field of performing arts. In 2019 his play Silent Breath received the Grum Award and its stage adapta.on in Ljubljana City Theatre (MGL) was selected for the competitive programme of the 54. edition of Maribor Theatre Festival Borštnik.

Company Profile

La Sarraz Pictures is an independent production company, with its head office in Turin and an operational office in Rome, has been producing producing works mainly of three types: fiction films, creative documentaries and animation works. Since 2010, La Sarraz has also set up a department that deals with distribution. During these years of activity, the company has acquired a very important position within the national market and is seen as a point of reference by many authors for production and distribution. It has produced around 20 projects to date, all of presented and very often awarded at the most prestigious film festivals, working with authors such as Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, Umberto Spinazzola, Valentina Pedicini and Eugène Green, to name but a few.