Jan Cvitkovič
Photo: presonal archive, Text: Kaja Stradovnik

Cvitkovič Jan

International award-winning film and television director and screen writer, an archaeology graduate of the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. He lives and works in Slovenia. 

Jan Cvitkovič is a successful director, screen writer and occasionally also actor. His films have won prizes all over the world, yet early in his life it never occurred to him that he would end up in the film world. As a young man he first enrolled in studies of physics, then he changed direction and in 1999 graduated from the UL Faculty of Arts in archaeology.

Even as a student, he won the Grossman Prize for his screenplay for Rop stoletja (Robbery of the Century). This was just the beginning of his successful career. The full-length feature film V leru (Idle Running), for which Jan was co-writer and lead actor, received the prize for best screenplay at the second Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož. For his portrayal of the lead role he also won the Stop actor of the year prize and the Yves Montand prize for best actor at the festival. Jan’s film Kruh in mleko (Bread and Milk) received the prize for the best debut film in Venice. In Gijon his screenplay and directing for the short film Srce je kos mesa (The Heart is a Piece of Meat) received the prize for the best short film. His full-length feature Odgrobadogroba (Fromgravetograve) received the "Altadis", the prize for the best new director at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Jan’s most current work is the film Družinica (The Basics of Killing), which depicts the breakdown of an idyllic relationship between parents caused by loss of work and financial collapse. This full-length film has also received numerous awards. It has received four Vesna prizes, and the main actress, his partner Irena Kovačevič, won the prize for the best female part at the Montreal Film Festival for her role in that film.