Video interview with gaffer Thorsten Kosellek on lighting Oscar® nominee “Bardo”

The ARRI Orbiter proved to be essential behind the scenes of “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.” In a video interview, gaffer Thorsten Kosellek talks about his experiences working with ARRI lighting.

Feb. 27, 2023

Since its release at the Venice Film Festival in 2022, “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” or “Bardo” for short, has been getting much industry attention. Illuminated with ARRI lights and shot with the ALEXA 65 camera and a lens package supplied by ARRI Rental, “Bardo” was a festival favorite before being nominated for Best Cinematography at the 95th Academy Awards. The film was screened in select theaters and is now available on Netflix.

Five-time Academy Award®-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and cinematographer Darius Khondji AFC, ASC, teamed up with gaffer Thorsten Kosellek to work on “Bardo.” This epic style, visually stunning film tells the story of an L.A. based journalist and documentary filmmaker named Silverio who returns to his homeland of Mexico to collect a prestigious award. This seemingly straightforward trip turns into a soul-searching experience where Silverio confronts existential questions about his own life and the human experience. “Bardo” marks Iñárritu's first film to be shot in Mexico since his international sensation from 2000, “Amores Perros,” however, the team also worked in a studio built specifically for the picture.


Thorsten Kosellek


We were looking for super nice quality of color, we needed DMX control, and the quality of the shadow needed to be like the sunlight … we thought maybe the Orbiter would be the right light and then we tested the Orbiter with the Open Face 15° optics in the Mexician afternoon sun and it was pretty the same quality of shadow in a distance of 10 feet. So we designed the studio and asked for 24 Orbiters … we used them with the 15° Open Face optic just to create the punch of the sun.

A special thank you

When “Bardo” was shot in Mexico, early 2021, the Orbiter had just been released into the market and the LED fixture was scarce in Latin America. Together with ARRI’s local dealer Cinetec, 24 Orbiters were organized for the production. A special thanks goes out to the team from Cinetec who made the equipment delivery possible. 

Opening image: Netflix