Aija Berzina • Producer
“The production I am most proud of is the project nobody in my home country believed in”
- Cineuropa met up with Latvian producer Aija Berzina, selected for the Producers on the Move initiative, to talk about her projects and her domestic production environment
A graduate of Ebeltoft's European Film College and the Latvian Academy of Culture, Aija Berzina founded Tasse Film with Alisa Gelze in 2011. Her first feature production, Renārs Vimba's Mellow Mud [+see also:
interview: Elina Vaska
interview: Renars Vimba
film profile], premiered at the Berlinale's Generation14plus in 2016. Aija, who has headed up Latvia's Film Producers Association since 2013, is currently in postproduction on Mihael Idov's The Humorist and Juris Kursietis' Oleg in co-production with Lithuania's fellow Producer on the Move Lukas Trimonis. We met up with her, now selected for European Film Promotion's 2018 Producers on the Move initiative at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, to talk about her projects and her domestic production environment
Cineuropa: Which is the production you are most proud of and why?
Aija Berzina: The debut feature film by Renars Vimba and the first from our company Tasse Film: Mellow Mud. It was the project nobody in my home country believed in except us and we had to fight for three years to get financing. When it was finished it ended up winning the Crystal Bear at the Berlinale and the Best Film of the Year award in Latvia. This was a very emotional moment.
What are the challenges and merits of producing in Latvia?
I would say limited audience and distribution possibilities. There isn’t really a financial challenge as much as there is a challenge to reach our own domestic audience, which is also very divided culturally between Latvian- and Russian-speaking population.
What are your expectations in Cannes as one of the "Producers on the Move"?
I think it is a great opportunity to meet new possible partners, with whom you share the same taste and passion of telling stories.
What are your next projects?
Right now we are starting post-production of the second feature called Oleg by Latvian director Juris Kursietis. His debut feature Modris [+see also:
film profile] was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. We also have few projects in development including the new feature by Renārs Vimba, the director of Mellow Mud.
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