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Jaak Kilmi’s Christmas in the Jungle filming in Indonesia


- The Latvian-Estonian children’s adventure film will be ready for theatrical release in December 2020

Jaak Kilmi’s Christmas in the Jungle filming in Indonesia
l-r: Bryden Pablo Escobar, Rebeka Šuksta and Tõnu Karkon on the set of Christmas in the Jungle (© Andrejs Strokins)

Estonian director Jaak Kilmi is currently working on his new feature in Indonesia, a children’s adventure flick entitled Christmas in the Jungle. Principal photography is now taking place in Central Java, mostly in and around the city of Yogyakarta. Christmas in the Jungle comes after Kilmi’s latest project, the Latvian-German-Czech-Estonian documentary My Father the Spy [+see also:
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, premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest in June this year.

The film, penned in its entirety by screenwriter Lote Eglīte, revolves around a ten-year-old girl called Paula (Rebeka Šuksta), who has moved with her family from Latvia to an exotic location. We follow Paula and her friend Ahim’s (Bryden Pablo Escobar) adventurous journey into the jungle as they go off in search of the Christmas miracle. The main cast also includes actors Inga Alsiņa-Lasmane, Māris Olte, Elizabete Liepa, Bojan Emerišč and Tõnu Kark, who will play Santa Claus.

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Producer Roberts Vinovskis said: “We have been working on this project for almost five years, starting from the idea up until the production of the movie. I spent my childhood watching Soviet children’s films and East German films about Indians. They had captivating plots but no special effects. I’d like to watch such movies with my own children, films that have exotic locations and animals, great adventures and a meaningful story about the essential things in life – something that stays with you.” Other members of the crew attached to Kilmi’s feature are DoP Aigars Sērmukšs, editor Hendrik Magar, production designer Katrin Sipelgas and costumer designer Jūlija Volkinšteine. Filming in Indonesia started on 7 September and will end on 19 October. One additional shooting day will take place in Europe later this winter.

Christmas in the Jungle, the budget for which is €1.2 million, is being produced by Roberts Vinovskis for Riga-based outfit Studija Lokomotive in co-operation with Estonia’s Stellar Film. The film has also been backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Estonian Film Institute. ACME Film is in charge of its domestic distribution.

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