King of the Airs

A film by Ivo Zen


With his friend's diary, Ivo Zen tells the story of his generation - a story of friendship and the longing to fly higher than anyone else. The film plunges into a time when both were on the threshold of adulthood. The writing of texts and the production of pictures was central. Like many young people from the 1990s generation, Martin and Ivo were torn between the impulse to expect more from life than it could offer and the desire to break out. The transition into adult life was a threshold that was accompanied not only by hopes but also by losses and fears. Ivo Zen survived. Martin Felix died of his addiction at the age of 34. The question of "why" fades into the background. Beyond the chronicle of a youth, Ivo Zen's search for traces becomes a mirror of a society marked by prosperity and order, in which denial and self-destruction still have something tempting about them today.

«I visit Martin in his new flat next to the Chur train station. There's no table. Empty bottles and ashtrays litter the on the floor.»
Ivo, friend, director

More Infos

  • Credits


    Ivo Zen

    Christine Felix

    Ivan Beer

    Martin Ghisletti

    Katarina V.

    Lorenz Felix

    Jean-Claude Campell




    Ivo Zen


    Ivo Zen

    Hercli Bundi


    Tania Stöcklin


    Ulrich Grossenbacher

    Location Sound

    Ivo Schläpfer, Mike Lawson


    Ilja Komarov, Trixa Arnold

    Music Archives

    Disco Doom, Fragment

    Voice Martin German

    Flurin Giger

    Voice Ivo

    Henrik Zimmermann

    Voice Ivo English

    Kaleo La Belle


    Hercli Bundi


    Mira Film

    Associate Producer

    Vadim Jendreyko

    Production Manager

    Peter Zwierko

    Marketing and Outreach

    Susanne Guggenberger


    Andromeda Film

    Color Grading

    Paul Avondet

    Sound Mix

    Daniel Hobi


    Christof Steinmann, Magnetix


    Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRG SSR

    Commissioner SRF

    Urs Augstburger

    With financial support of

    Zürcher Filmstiftung

    Kulturförderung Kanton Graubünden

    Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst BS/BL

    Kulturfonds Suissimage

    Bundesamt für Kultur

    Succès Passage Antenne

    Ernst Göhner Stiftung

    UBS Kulturstiftung

    Stiftung Bündner Suchthilfe

    Stiftung Stavros S. Niarchos, Chur

    Stadt Chur

    Beitragsfonds der Graubündner Kantonalbank

    Developped within Sources 2

  • Technical Details
    Duration78 min
    Original LanguageGerman, English
    SubtitlesGerman, English, French
  • Festivals

    KING OF THE AIRS at Tartu World Film Festival 2019

    March 19, 2019 - March 20, 2019

    Freistadt Festival # 30 Der neue Heimatfilm

    August 23, 2017 - August 27, 2017

    dokKa Festival 2017

    May 24, 2017 - June 28, 2017

    DOK.fest München 2017

    May 03, 2017 - June 14, 2017

    Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis 2017

    January 25, 2017 - January 28, 2017

    Solothurner Filmtage 2017

    January 20, 2017 - January 24, 2017

    22e Visions du Réel Festival international de cinéma Nyon, Competition

    April 15, 2016 - April 23, 2016

  • Awards

    Max Ophüls Preis 2017

    Best Film Music

    Solothurner Filmtage 2017

    Official Selection

Press material