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PRODUCTION Latvia

Film Angels ready to get on Last Boat

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Latvia’s leading film studios and production house Film Angels Studio is planning to produce its first major international co-production in 2010. The €2m Last Boat to Gotland by Janis Kalejs will be a European co-production.

Last Boat will be the third feature film for the 44-year-old Latvian director, following Matin Dans Une Forêt (made in 1999 when he lived in Canada), and Vogelfrei, for which he won three national film awards in 2007.

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Last Boat spans the last days of WWII until 1950. The film focuses on three young people (a Latvian cabaret actress, her boyfriend and a German soldier) who decide to escape Latvia on a small boat in the hopes of reaching neutral Sweden. As they fight for survival, their relationships start to change.

According to producer Tomas Makaras, who joined Film Angels Studio in 2007, the film has already secured development support from various organisations such as the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Vienna Film Fund and the MEDIA Programme. It will be majority produced by Latvia (35%), with Germany (25%), Austria (20%) and Sweden (10%). Shooting is scheduled to start next summer in the four co-production countries.

Meanwhile, after having housed the Danish Emmy-award winning TV series The Protectors this year, in February Film Angels Studio will welcome German feature film Blue Colour Blue, to be directed by Hans Steinbichler (Winter Journey [+see also:
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) and starring Hannelore Esner and Juliane Köhler.

Makaras is confident that other foreign productions will come to Riga in the upcoming year as the local city council will soon inaugurate the first Regional Film Centre of the Baltic region, the Riga Film Fund, which will offer co-financing to foreign producers. A new 10-15% film tax incentive is also in advanced stages of discussions in government.

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