Lithuanian-Irish drama The Castle in post-production
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Lina Lužytė's second fiction feature wrapped filming in August and will be ready for a theatrical release in the spring
After the positive reception enjoyed by her feature-length fiction debut, the Lithuanian-Romanian thriller Together for Ever [+see also:
film profile], Vilnius-born director Lina Lužytė is now putting the finishing touches to her second fictional project, entitled The Castle, a coming-of-age drama produced by Kęstutis Drazdauskas (Sobibor [+see also:
film profile], Foam at the Mouth) for Lithuanian firm Artbox in co-operation with David Collins (Float Like a Butterfly [+see also:
interview: Carmel Winters
film profile], Cellar Door [+see also:
film profile]) for Ireland's Samson Films.
The film, shot in both English and Lithuanian, and penned by the director herself, is set in Dublin and centres on three characters: 13-year-old Lithuanian girl Monika (newcomer Barbora Bareikyte), her mother Jolanta (Gabija Jaraminaite, who recently appeared in Marius Markevicius' Ashes in the Snow) and her granny (veteran theatre and film actress Jurate Onaityte), who is suffering from dementia and requires 24/7 care. Monika dreams of becoming a famous musician and sees a concert taking place at The Castle as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Jolanta, once a professional pianist who had to take a job in a local fish factory, is sceptical and reluctant to support her daughter's dreams, and so she sells their keyboard and forbids Monika from attending the concert. Nonetheless, her decision does not stop Monika, who cooks up a scheme to get €100 in order to hire the keyboard. Struggling to raise the sum, she ends up abducting her own grandmother, pretending to kidnap her and demanding a ransom from her mother.
The total budget of the project amounts to €1.4 million and is partly being funded by the Lithuanian Film Center, Screen Ireland and RTÉ, the Irish public broadcaster. Moreover, the technical crew includes director of photography Michael Lavelle (Float Like a Butterfly, Cardboard Gangsters [+see also:
film profile]), production designer Tamara Conboy (Dark Touch [+see also:
film profile], Sensation) and Lesley McKimm (Float Like a Butterfly, My Name Is Emily [+see also:
film profile]), who is serving as an executive producer for Screen Ireland.
Filming took place in Vilnius and Dublin between June and August last year. The Castle will be ready for international distribution in the spring.
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