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FUNDING Latvia

The National Film Centre of Latvia splits €1.1 million among 14 projects

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- Four feature-length fiction films, four animations and six documentaries have been awarded production support

The National Film Centre of Latvia splits €1.1 million among 14 projects
Director Aik Karapetian, whose absurdist comedy Pig’in’Pah has been awarded €200,000

The National Film Centre of Latvia has announced the recipients of production support, covering films due to be produced and completed over the course of 2019 and 2020. The line-up is a mixture of projects by established and debuting directors.

In contrast with last year, when Latvia celebrated its 100th anniversary and many movies therefore focused on historical heroes, four fiction films supported in the latest competition deal with modern-day protagonists and their struggles. A total of 38 projects were submitted for this round of funding, and among the feature-film projects, comedies were the most prevalent.

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The biggest winners are the absurdist comedy Pig’in’Pah (produced by Mistrus Media) by Aik Karapetian (2017’s Firstborn [+see also:
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) and the psychological drama Lovable (Tasse Film), the first feature by Staņislavs Tokalovs. The projects were awarded €200,000 each.

Marta-Elīna Martinsone received €97,109 for the development of her debut feature, Lame-os (Ego Media), about three geeky teenagers who are eager to become the most popular girls in class. Meanwhile, Aigars Grauba’s family comedy Circenīša ziemassvētki (lit. “Cricket’s Christmas”), produced by Platforma, was granted €85,000. Grauba is best known for the box-office hits The Pagan King (2018) and The Dream Team (2012).

In the documentary section, social observations and biographical portraits won big. The new film by Vitaly ManskyGorbočovs. Pēdējais vārds (lit. “Gorbachev: The Last Word”), produced by Film Studio Vertov, will get €53,618. Mansky previously made a TV documentary about the Soviet leader in 2001, Gorbachev: After Empire, and this time around, it looks like he will paint a very intimate picture, filmed in the former president's own apartment.

Legendary filmmaker Ivars Seleckis' upcoming film, The Farmers (Mistrus Media), received the highest amount in this round, €96,230. The director’s latest film, To Be Continued [+see also:
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, was Latvia's Oscar submission last year.

Where Do You Belong, produced by Ego Media and directed by Ivars Zviedris, best known as the director of the 2012 Best Latvian Documentary winner Documentarian, and one of the cinematographers on Wonderful Losers: A Different World [+see also:
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, received €54,316.

Andis Mizišs’ Breakthrough (Studija Centrums) received €41,600, Askolds Saulītis’s Zem viena karoga (lit. “Under the Same Flag”, Terra Europa) got €42,537, and Signe Birkova’s Ring of Fire (VFS Films) was awarded €43,034.

Latvian animation is clearly still going strong, as four projects received a total of €196,957. Experienced director Edmunds Jansons won funding for two projects, both being produced through Atom ArtGuard of Honor (€48,909) and Shammies (€54,763). Zirņa bērni (lit. “Children of Peas”), directed by Dace Rīdūze and produced by Animācijas Brigāde, received €47,417, while Diendusa (lit. “Nap”), helmed by Nils Skapāns and staged by production company VFS Films, got €45,868.

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