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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Estonia / Luxembourg / Lithuania / Finland / Latvia

Second filming session for Ilmar Raag’s Erik Stoneheart under way

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- The award-winning Estonian director is now shooting his new fiction film at Tallinn’s Haven Kakumäe Marina and in Toila

Second filming session for Ilmar Raag’s Erik Stoneheart under way
Actress Florin Gussak, in the role of Maria, and director Ilmar Raag on set (© Véronique Kolber)

Estonia’s Ilmar Raag is now working on a new project, penned by Livia Ulman and Andris Feldmanis. The Kuressaare-born director is best known for his socio-critical film The Class [+see also:
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(2007) and his recent drama I Won’t Come Back (2014) as well as his work as a media executive, actor, screenwriter and journalist.

The new fiction film, entitled Erik Stoneheart, revolves around an 11-year-old boy called Erik (Herman Avandi), who is convinced that he has a stone for a heart. That’s why he doesn’t mind that his parents have no time for him or that he has no real friends. When his family moves to a villa they inherited from Aunt Brunhilda, he discovers another family living there – Maria (also aged 11, played by Florin Gussak) and her dad, whom Erik’s parents want to kick out. When the family gets an eviction notice, Maria hatches a secret plan to bring back her missing mother to save them. Together, they end up on a fantastical journey to the In-Between-World, and Erik learns how hard it really is to wear a heart of stone. Other cast members are Juhan Ulfsak (playing Coldshoe), Laura Peterson-Aardam (Captain), Renars Kaupers (Versac), Jules Werner (Pop), Norbert Rutili (Tiny Pirate) and Nickel Bösenberg (Buckethead).

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The crew includes DoPs Tuomo Hutri and Ivar Taim, production designer Kari Kankaanpää, costume designer Anu Lensment, sound engineer Vladimir Golovnitski, make-up artist Frederic Roeser and editor Thierry Faber. The original score will be taken care of by Kipras Masanauskas and Renars Kaupers. The first shooting session took place from 3-16 November in Luxembourg’s Filmland Studios, whilst the ongoing one began on 6 July and will wrap on 25 July. Current locations are Tallinn’s Haven Kakumäe Marina and Toila (in Ida-Viru County). A third and final filming session is scheduled to take place from 3-18 August at Meysembourg Castle (Luxembourg).

Erik Stoneheart is being produced by Riina Sildos for Estonia’s Amrion, in co-production with Paul Thiltges for Luxembourg’s Paul Thiltges Distributions, Uljana Kim for Lithuania’s Uljana Kim Studios, Aleksi Bardy for Finland’s Helsinki-filmi Oy and Roberts Vinovskis for Latvia’s Locomotive Productions. The project is also being backed by the Estonian Film Institute, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Viru Film Fund, Film Fund Luxembourg, the Creative Europe - MEDIA programme, the Lithuanian Film Centre, the Finnish Film Foundation, YLE and the National Film Centre of Latvia. The movie is being shot in the Estonian language, but will also be dubbed for international distribution. The release of the film is slated for February 2022.

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