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PRODUCTION Estonia

Exit enters new year with Friend of Mine

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Exit enters new year with Friend of Mine

Tallinn-based Exit Film, co-owned by Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainment and Estonian producer/director Peeter Urbla, will begin 2010 by going into production on A Friend of Mine by Mart Kivastik (co-writer of Taarka [+see also:
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), set to star Aarne Üksküla, Aleksander Eelmaa and Rita Raave.

A friend of Mine is a feel-good movie about two older men who share a passion for books and develop a friendship. The low budget film (under €400,000) received support from the Estonian Film Foundation and the Estonian Cultural Endowment.

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“Because of the crisis and cuts in public subsidies (by around 20% in 2010), there is very little money available for film production here and we have to make much smaller films to keep the machine going while taking our time to develop bigger projects (over €1m) with European partners,” said in-house producer Anneli Ahven.

The well-established Exit Film has three other projects in development, beginning with The Messenger Knocks Three Times, Elo Selirand’s directorial debut about the ability to love and to be loved.

The bigger budget film Demons (€1.2m) by Ain Mäeots will look at addiction to gambling through the stories of three people from different generations. The project will be co-produced with Germany’s Propeller and hopefully Scandinavian partners. Mäeots‘s feature debut Taarka, about the Seto ethnic minority, travelled to several world festivals in 2008 and garnered over 12,000 admissions in Estonia.

Exit Film’s fourth project, Routine Repairs, will hopefully be ready in 2011 to celebrate Tallinn as European Culture capital. The project to be directed by director-musician Hardi Volmer (Pärnography) will be set in the top floor of a historical building in Tallinn that witnessed 100 years of Estonia’s history. Ahven is hoping to find German co-producers on the costume drama, now in its fifth draft of development.

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