Latvia comes out from In The Fog
by Laurence Boyce
25/05/2012 - In the Fog [trailer], the bleak World War II story of a man wrongly accused of collaboration that recently screened in Cannes competition, represents another success for the burgeoning Latvian film industry. A co-production between Germany, Latvia, Belarus, Netherlands and Russia, director Sergei Loznitsa’s film was filmed entirely in Latvia.
Loznitsa met Latvian producer Vilnis Kalnaellis during Cannes 2010 with the former screening his acclaimed feature debut My Joy [trailer] and the latter representing Rija Films and their film To Swallow a Toad, screening in the short film section. Soon Loznitsa and producer Heino Deckert approached Kalnaellis with a view to collaborating and shooting in the Baltic Country whilst also utilising the skills of local Juris Zukovskis, who became the film’s art director.
The production was financially supported both by the National Film Centre of Latvia and Riga Film Fund (the country’s co-financing programme, offering foreign companies a refund of up to 25% of budget spent in Latvia) and represents the increasing attractiveness of the country for outside and co-productions. TV shows such as the BBC’s version of Wallander and the two part Daniel Craig-starring Archangel have recently come to the area alongside features such as Werner Herzog’s Invincible. It’s a fact not gone unnoticed by its Baltic cousins Estonia and Lithuania, which have recently announced their own initiatives to attract foreign investment to their film industries.
With many positive reviews already, the future success of In The Fog should see the awareness of Latvia’s industry increase as it increasingly positions itself as an attractive and important part of the international industry.