Institute History


OTTO is the story of a man who believes he is going to die on his 30th birthday and sets out to say good-bye to all his friends. The only problem is that he really doesn't know them.

Otto lives in an aging residence hotel with his older sister, Miriam. Ever since an accident to his head as a small boy, Otto has been child-like and simple. He neither works nor goes out, and Miriam worries that he seems to have no real life. Otto just passes his days alone staring at the TV.

At night, however, unbeknownst to Miriam, Otto sneaks out and spies on the eccentric inhabitants of the hotel. By watching them and imagining he's involved in these observed situations, Otto has come to believe he knows them.

During a visit to the doctor with Miriam, Otto overhears part of their whispered conversation and believes he's going to die on his 30th birthday, which falls on the following day. After Miriam leaves for work, Otto comes to a decision. He is determined to say good-bye to all his friends in the hotel—the only hitch being he's never actually met them.

But in his naive and innocent way, he sets out to meet each and every one of them. During this all-day and all-night odyssey, Otto has a series of encounters that forces him to confront, experience and understand the emotions that make up the fullness of adult life. In turn, he gives each "friend" some offering that alters the way he or she views life.

At the end of the day, Otto does not die. In fact, he is transformed by the journey, with a new sense of dignity and personal pride. After all, Otto has finally learned how to live.

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]