Nils Oliveto | The director who threw the hammers

hammer thrower; Athlete. actor. Director. Author of scientific articles. Poet. If the life of Nils Oliveto were a movie, then his screenplay would undoubtedly be accused of discredit. “I’m not a jack of all trades,” he swears. Jack-of-all-trades doesn’t know what they want. It’s always been clear what I want. I’ve always wanted to be number one. » Photo from Cantor bobsleigh trails, who these days presents his new feature film, recognition.

Posted at 7:00 am

Dominic Late

Dominic Late
Journalism

Nils Oliveto was thinking at the time of less time-consuming ways to finance his career as a hammer throw. Advertising ? There’s easy money out there, he says to himself “in a very simplified way,” today admits with a laugh, the person who was then finishing a master’s degree in exercise physiology and human performance at the University of Oklahoma.

While visiting his former high school in Greenfield Park, the athlete delivers a word to his drama teacher. “Mr. Gold said to me, ‘Why are you doing this part-time? You are a talented actor, do it now while there is still time.'” »

A few weeks later, in the basement of his dorm, the student is watching a movie. “And there, he took me by the throat. I had a physical experience. I could no longer be left behind. I had to be there. It exists as: in the screen.”

The son of Italian immigrants who sailed to Quebec in the name of adventure, Nils Oliveto was until then the man with one goal in mind: to participate in the Olympic hammer throw tournament, a discipline he chooses because it fits his size (huge, but not gigantic) and because of all the throws, that demands mastery. Technically significant, he explains.

Photo by David Boyle, Press

Nils Oliveto

But while he feels that Olympic dream is fading away, having competed in several major competitions, including the Canadian and Francophone Games, Nils Oliveto is doubling down on the representative workshops in Oklahoma. If he doesn’t become the next Gaetan Boucher, his hero since the Sarajevo games, if he doesn’t beat Yuri Sedykh’s records, why not play all he has in…Hollywood? “This, in screenwriting, is what we call plot development,” he jokes.

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Like thousands of dreamers before him, he moved to Los Angeles in 2000 hoping to be spotted, a two-year period during which he doubled his training in acting and screenwriting, as well as solo careers.

My weekly budget for groceries was $20. The hammer thrower lost a lot of weight. But I also learned what that means, competition. I thought I knew, but this was a completely different game. I had to learn to differentiate myself, to target my unique side.

Nils Oliveto

smarter than it looks

Having landed several small roles in films and television series, and after a stay in Calgary at the National bobsleigh camp, Nils Oliveto returns to Montreal driven by ambition to charm a producer with one of his scripts. Having called “all film producers on earth”, he relies on the risky but advantageous path of complete independence.

Like all his other works, recognitionWhich he presents on Thursday in modern cinema and which he hopes will soon have the opportunity to distribute it more widely, is the fruit of a strong sense of vitality. A dreamlike suspense in black and white, the pocket-financed feature film delves into the twisted psyche of a teacher (played by Nils), wrongly accused (or not) of various crimes. It won Best International Film at the Golden State Film Festival in March.

“We began to understand that I’m not just fat, tough and silly, that I’m smarter than I look,” the director says half-jokingly, about this conviction of not being one thing he sometimes sees the other.

Competitive at all times

Versatility, you say? Posted by Nils Oliveto last December haiku-lympics . winter olympics, a group of haikus singing the beauty of winter Olympic sports – you read that right. He wrote in the introduction about his job as a sports commentator for the board, which he has been doing for Radio Canada since 2017, “I consider being boring to be blasphemous in my profession.” “If I change the duct while I’m on the air, I fail. Period.”

Photo provided by NILS OLIVETO

Nils Oliveto with teammate Kevin Britton

Observed during the recent Beijing Olympics with his deservedly flying Alan Goldberg with a tone “loud enough to wake the dead,” Nils Oliveto had crafted captivating events whose stakes would have remained impenetrable for a novice.

His friend and fellow sports journalist Kevin Britton notes that Niels “brings to life analysis and description in the same way he did on stage”. “I even think that he plays a character in the analysis, on purpose, to make it more lively. Performance is something inseparable from him, he wants to perform, regardless of the field.”

“I often work on TV with people who have higher athletics pedigrees than me, so this is my chance to show that I can be as good as them at what I do in 2022,” confirms the person who will be the world’s athletics champion from July 15 on Radio Canada to Along with Bruni Soren and Michele Chabot. His most recent scientific article was published in July 2021 in the journal track and field news. I’m not fighting them, but I’m still competitive. The first thing I said to Kevin was, “I want viewers to find us sexy.” »

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Participating in the Olympic Games in this way will alleviate the disappointment of not being invited as an athlete. “It took me a long time to put this bitterness aside,” admits the person who will be involved in distributing the series Undefensible In the fall at TVA. “Today, it is as if I have been so in love with a girl for years, without being answered, and that I am now friends with this girl.” Beautiful picture. “It is my poetic side.”

recognition It is served this Thursday at 10 pm at the Cinéma Moderne.

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