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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Latvia

Matīss Kaža putting the finishing touches to his second fiction feature, Neon Spring

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- The director’s new film, slated for release this autumn, centres on a 20-year-old woman in the wake of her parents’ separation

Matīss Kaža putting the finishing touches to his second fiction feature, Neon Spring
Neon Spring by Matīss Kaža (© Aija Melbārde)

Young Latvian director Matīss Kaža is now finalising post-production on his second fiction feature, a drama entitled Neon Spring. The story of this new film, penned by the director himself in tandem with Marija Luīze Meļķe, centres on a 20-year-old woman called Laine. Following her parents’ separation, her father becomes emotionally estranged and her ten-year-old brother Bruno starts having trouble at school; furthermore, she isn’t ready to take up her mother’s duties. At a drugged-up rave, Laine befriends seasoned partygoer Gunda. Their relationship suddenly – and unexpectedly – becomes intimate. The neon spring of Riga’s techno scene blossoms, and Laine begins to question her sexuality and identity at a time when her family is falling apart. She finds an escape in the drugs, clubs, festivals and afterparties as she struggles to hold together her fast-dissolving relationship with reality.

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The main cast includes writer Marija Luīze Meļķe alongside Grēta Trušiņa, Gerds Lapoška, Agnese Rukšāne and Jānis Skutelis. The technical crew is toplined by DoP Aleksandrs Grebņevs, editor Paula Popmane, production designer Rūdolfs Baltiņš, composer Toms Auniņš, and costume designers Laura Jančauska and Krišjānis Elviks. The film was shot entirely in Riga.

Speaking about the current state of the project, the director told Cineuropa: “As we near the final stages of post-production, we can already see the film coming together. The naturalistic acting is truthful and emotionally honest, while the long takes and lingering camerawork give the piece a sense of presence and participation in the lives of these characters, especially the protagonist, Laine. I hope that Neon Spring will speak to young audiences in Latvia and beyond, who will see a part of their own chaotic, uncertain and emotionally overwhelming lives reflected in the movie.”

Neon Spring is being produced by Dace Siatkovska for Deep Sea Studios and Una Celma for Fenixfilm. The project is also backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia and the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia. Its release is slated for this autumn.

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