Silvestar Kolbas is a film and TV cinematographer and director. He was born on 12 April 1956, in Petrovci, near Vukovar; he grew up in Vinkovci. He enrolled in the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb on the basis of his interest in photography. He graduated in Film and TV Cinematography in 1982.
His photography and cinematography are consistently intertwined throughout his career. His early exhibitions were tied to the film group Enthiusia Planck and the festival/exhibition “Make Your Own Movie in Samobor”. Until 1985, he worked as a freelance photographer for magazines and books, and documented the Croatian domestic crafts. From 1985 to 1996 he was employed at the Croatian Television as a cinematographer.
From 1996, he’s been working as a tenured professor at the Academy of Dramatic Art. He is still works as a freelance cinematographer.
He published and edited papers on cinematography. He led several cinematography workshops. He’s was the co-founder and co-owner of the only movie theatre in the war-torn Vinkovci (1994 – 1998).
He made several feature films (Diploma za smrt, Noćni brodovi), short films (Krupni otpad, Inkasator) and TV-films (Kako preživjeti do prvoga, Terevenka, Lude gljive, Bez trećeg, Mor, Mrtva točka), TV-series (Luda kuća) and a number of documentary films (Suzanin osmijeh, Američki san, Život na svježem zraku, Sretno dijete, Lora-svjedočanstva, Mimara revisited…), under TV or independent productions (Factum, etc.).
In movies where he engages in self-reflection, he uses his own photography and examines the medium of photography. He directed documentary movies: All about Eve (2003), 20 days on Tibet, War Reporter (2011), Self-portrait V2.1 (2010) and The Cinema Crvena Zvijezda (2014). His film War Reporter won him the annual Vadimir Nazor Award for Film and Octavijan Award.
In the last couple of years he again became more engaged in photography and exhibiting his works. He began his career as a professional photographer, but today he takes photos of only what he wants.