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PRODUZIONE / FINANZIAMENTI Lettonia

Fine riprese per la serie storica Emily. Queen of Press in Lettonia

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- Ispirato alla storia vera della leggendaria donna d'affari Emīlija Benjamiņa, la sceneggiatura presenta una serie di importanti personaggi ed eventi storici lettoni del XX secolo

Fine riprese per la serie storica Emily. Queen of Press in Lettonia
Il cast e la troupe di Emily. Queen of Press (© Andrejs Strokins)

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

After 50 intensive days, shooting for the Latvian mini-series Emily. Queen of Press, consisting of seven episodes, has just been completed at the original summer manor house of the Benjamiņ family in Valdeķi. The plot revolves around the biography of publishing entrepreneur Emīlija Benjamina, known as the “queen of the press” in interwar Latvia, whose wealth, success and tragic fate have become part of the local folklore.

The script covers the period from the beginnings of Emīlija’s magazine Atpūta (Leisure) to her arrest and deportation to Siberia. Each episode focuses on a significant segment of her life while illustrating various aspects of her personality. The ominous prophecy of a prominent clairvoyant predicting that Emīlija would die from starvation in a foreign land weaves through the entire narrative. With a strong female character at its centre, the series depicts Latvian society in all its richness and provides insights into the lives and socio-political influences of prominent Latvian historical figures, such as poet Kārlis Skalbe, writer and left-wing politician Vilis Lācis, journalist Pēteris Blaus and others. Six of the episodes are designed as fiction features, while the seventh is a collection of documentary evidence on the era, providing references to what remains today.

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“We created this mini-series, which is so significant in terms of Latvia’s 20th-century history, for less than a year in difficult circumstances, and we are thankful to all of the teams who made the reconstruction and interpretation of this period possible. Our hope is to better understand people’s destinies back then, the relationships between the ruling power and the media, and the political dilemmas, including gender-equality issues. Our special gratitude goes to the Benjamiņs, who kindly shared their family memories and archives with us,” says producer Gints Grūbe, of Mistrus Media (The Shift, My Father the Spy [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
).

The screenplay was written by Baņuta Rubess, Ivo Briedis, Aiva Birbele and Tabita Rudzāte, and the directing was a joint effort by Kristīne Želve, Andis Mizišs and Dāvis Sīmanis (The Year Before the War [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Dāvis Sīmanis
scheda film
]
), while the documentary episode has been created by Gints Grūbe and Lilita Eglīte. Prominent actors Guna Zariņa (Oleg [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Juris Kursietis
scheda film
]
, Breathing into Marble [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Giedrė Beinoriūtė
scheda film
]
) and Juris Bartkevičs (Still River [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Angelos Frantzis
scheda film
]
) star in the leading roles; the cinematography has been entrusted to experienced DoP Andrejs Rudzāts (What Silent Gerda Knows [+leggi anche:
recensione
scheda film
]
, The Year Before the War).

Emily. Queen of Press is being produced by Mistrus Media, which has several historical films under its belt, such as The Chronicles of Melanie [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
scheda film
]
and The Mover [+leggi anche:
trailer
scheda film
]
, as well as being the co-producer of In the Dusk [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Sharunas Bartas
scheda film
]
and Natural Light [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Dénes Nagy
scheda film
]
, which was premiered in the Berlinale’s main competition earlier this year, winning the Silver Bear for Best Director. The series was supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia and the local Ministry of Culture via the state contingency fund due to the state of emergency. The national co-producers of the series are technology and entertainment company Tet, Latvian Television and Riga Film Studio. Its premiere is scheduled for autumn 2021, and the series will be screened on Latvian television in 2022.

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