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Magic Kimono sets Baltic Japanese co-production in motion


- The first-ever co-production between Latvia, Estonia and Japan, directed by Maris Martinsons, will be shot in August

Magic Kimono sets Baltic Japanese co-production in motion
Director Maris Martinsons

Announced today, Magic Kimono (魔法の着物), helmed by Latvian feature and television veteran Maris Martinsons (Loss, Amaya), will mark the first co-production between Japan and the Baltics. Co-produced by Linda Krukle for Latvia’s Krukfilms, Eiko Mizuno Gray and Jason Gray for Japan’s Loaded Films, and Sten Saluveer for Estonia’s Oree, this title sets the East-West deal in motion. The tragicomedy follows a Japanese woman’s efforts to open a sushi restaurant in Riga whilst coming to terms with the rich food culture of Northern Europe and the sudden reappearance of a long-lost husband, and it is set to shoot on 15 August in Riga, Latvia, later moving to Kobe, Japan.

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The €1.3 million movie will see Japanese screen diva Kaori Momoi (Memoirs of a Geisha, Sukiyaki Western Django), whose recent Oh Lucy! (2014) picked up the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance after its Cannes premiere, reunite with Martinsons after a Hong Kong set festival favourite Amaya (2010) and Oki (2014). The title in preproduction has attracted the attention of top Japanese thespians with the rest of the cast announced by Hong Kong Filmart. Latvia’s celebrity chef Mārtiņš Sirmais will also serve as a food consultant.

Having recently passed Japan’s exclusive co-production venue, the UNIJAPAN CoProduction Certificate, the feature will be also backed by Latvia’s well known philantrophist come film investor Boris Teterev whose recent credits include Chef, the Winter Will Come, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill for. Says Saluveer: “Food is an essence that can create understanding and connection between different cultures and thus makes a perfect co-production point. Having the fantastic culinary traditions at its core the film will certainly appeal to broad audiences of foodies from Asia to Europe”.

Says Krukle: “Although their third collaboration, the film marks the summit collaboration point for the director Martisons and actress Momoi with both fascinated exploring the eternal question - if you have lost someone close then how would it feel to be able to talk or meet them just once again”.

Krukle and Saluveer will be attending the European Film Market until the end of the market to pitch for world sales and co-financiers.

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