Like Porsche and the Porsche Award, Mario Zozin, an alumnus of the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, is also celebrating an anniversary this year. It is exactly 10 years since he impressed the jury and received one of the coveted awards. Born in Bonn in 1980, Zozin’s talent for filmmaking was initially dormant, and after completing his A Levels he sold tickets for clubs and parties in Ibiza. Then, during an internship in TV, he came to appreciate the industry and began working as an editor and producer for various TV formats. He gradually became interested in the role of the director and started work on his first projects, before applying to study at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.
“I really value the time I spent at film school because you were given a lot of tools there. However, you shouldn’t forget that your study course is basically like a driving school. You learn the theory, you drive around with the teacher keeping an eye on you, but at some point you’re going to have to manage alone.”
Mario soon proved that he was keen to graduate from the driver training area to the motorway. His films “Pure Performance” and “Oleg” won him the Porsche Award as well as numerous other prizes.
“Apart from my application film, our Adidas spec was the first advertising film I’d ever made, and it was amazing to get recognition for my work at such an early stage. The contacts I was able to make through festivals also facilitated my entry into the industry.”
By now, Mario is a well-established figure in the advertising film industry and has realised over 50 advertising films for companies such as Lufthansa, Coca-Cola, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. He particularly loves the routine in a job that always involves new challenges. The experience he has gained over the years means he is now much more relaxed as he approaches new projects, and he appreciates the directing profession even more as a result.
Although he has now settled in Cologne, Mario spends a lot of time working abroad, especially in Asia, where he completed a project last year with the Chinese Olympic team. Due to the global nature of the industry, he believes it makes sense to raise the profile of the Porsche Award in other countries in future, and to develop international collaborations. Mario’s own future lies in advertising, but he has also developed an interest in fictional film.
“As a director you have to stay true to yourself, while also remaining open to new influences so that you can continue to develop. I recently directed a short film and a five-part youth drama series and I realised that these types of projects – along with advertising – also really suit me and I enjoy them. So in future I hope to spend more time developing and realising fiction films with my wife, who works as an author. Having said that, I do love working in advertising film and will continue to do that.”
Mario advises prospective film students not to put themselves under too much pressure or to forget to enjoy life due to excessive ambition. As a triathlete, sport is an important way of finding balance when faced with the demands and unpredictability of life as a director. It is also how Mario achieves a healthy distance to his work, which is also extremely valuable in the creative process.