Estonian cinematographer writes book about Hollywood career

Alar Kivilo.
Alar Kivilo. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

Estonian cinematographer Alar Kivilo has shot films in Hollywood for 25 years. In his recently published autobiography, he compares his life with a staircase where you need to keep taking one step after another.

The editor and author of the idea is journalist Neeme Raud who about a year ago made a proposal to Alar Kivilo to put his journey into a book. The book, illustrated with approximately a thousand pictures, is designed by Indrek Sirkel and issued by Pilgrim publishing house.

"Last year when he won the Life Achievement Award at the Black Nights Film Festival, I started thinking that we know so little about his work. We know that we have a man like him in Hollywood. He is the most successful Estonian filmmaker in Hollywood," Neeme Raud said.

Raud met Kivilo at the beginning of the 1990s in Toronto.

"Alar was the kind of man that people looked up to. He was doing great, he had his own commercial business. He was doing something completely different," Raud said.

"I thought that when it comes to our man in Hollywood, we have to do the interviews in Hollywood. I flew to LA in the summer and spent two weeks there. For hours on end, I interviewed Alar, talked about the film industry and from this, the backbone of the book was created. But the main heroic act, is that he, who has not grown up in Estonia, wrote this book in Estonian himself," Raud said.

The book edited by Neeme Raud has already reached Alar Kivilo.

"He looked at it and teared up for a minute. He took it very seriously," Neeme Raud said, adding that although Kivilo has made many films, the book has a completely different meaning.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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