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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Latvia

The National Film Centre of Latvia announces the beneficiaries of its latest round of funding

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- On this occasion, the body has earmarked a total of €1,982,472 to support the making of 16 new projects

The National Film Centre of Latvia announces the beneficiaries of its latest round of funding
Director Viesturs Kairišs, who has received €200,000 for his fiction feature Ulya as well as €43,000 for his documentary Emptiness

On Monday 13 June, the National Film Centre of Latvia announced the recipients of its latest slate of funding. On this occasion, the public body has earmarked a total of €1,982,472 to support the production of five fiction features, seven documentaries and four animated flicks.

The first project in receipt of a grant is Pavel Gumennikov’s Tiger Martindale’s Survival Experts (€350,000, produced by Sergei Serpuhov for Riga-based firm Baltic Pine Films). During our interview at the 2020 edition of Cinekid (where it won the prestigious Eurimages Co-production Development Award), the director described his project as “an emotional story about a 16-year-old girl called Wendy, who creates an imaginary wilderness survival competition in order to protect her blind little sister from the news of their father’s death”.

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The other fiction features awarded with funding from the institution are Juris PoškusCall Me Calendar (€289,046, produced by Madara Melberga for FA Filma), Viesturs KairišsUlya (€200,000, produced by Guntis Trekteris for Ego Media), Dzintars DreibergsBrothers War (€170,000, an Amber Sound presentation produced by the director himself along with Inga Praņevska, Marta Romanova-Jēkabsone and Arta Ģiga) and Alise Zariņa’s Impressions (€200,000, produced by Alise Rogule and Roberts Vinovskis for Mima Films).

Meanwhile, the documentaries benefiting from the body’s backing are Laila Pakalniņa’s Last Stops (€75,000, produced by Kompānija Hargla), Viesturs Kairišs’ Emptiness (€43,000, produced by Gints Grūbe and Elīna Gediņa-Ducena for Mistrus Media), Una Celma and Marina Nazarenko’s Women Without Men (€62,900, produced by Celma for Fenixfilm), Kristīne Želve’s Milda’s Room (€14,020, produced by Marta Bite for Bite Films), Agnese Laizāne’s My 80th Spring (€70,000, staged by Linda Krūkle for K Films), Dainis Kļava’s Apparent Freedom (€104,000, a Jura Podnieka Studija presentation produced by Antra Cilinska) and Kārlis LesiņšEl Lobo Leton: The Legend of Latvian Wolf (€45,870, produced by Roberts Vinovskis and Dominiks Jarmakovič for Studio Locomotive).

Finally, the four animated features in receipt of production bursaries are Kārlis VītolsThe Northern Star (€180,708, produced by Sniedze Kāle for Studija kokles), Dace Rīdūze’s Upside Down (€84,190, staged by Māris Putniņš for Animācijas Brigāde), Edmunds JansonsFreeride (€31,430, staged by Sabīne Andersone for Atom Art) and Krista Burāne’s The Magic Wardrobe (€62,308, a VFS Films presentation produced by Uldis Cekulis).

Speaking about the backed productions, head of the National Film Centre of Latvia Dita Rietuma told Cineuropa: “The projects chosen by the experts of the National Film Centre offer a wide array of genres and styles, spanning sports dramas and biopics, such as Ulya, period dramas, such as Brothers War, a contemporary comedy based on Andris Kalnozolos’ bestseller [Call Me Calendar], and titles for young audiences, such as Tiger Martindale’s Survival Experts and the animated feature The Northern Star. Meanwhile, one of the supported documentaries, El Lobo Leton: The Legend of Latvian Wolf, tells the sensational story of a Latin American film star of Latvian descent.”

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