REPORT: Baltic Event Works in Progress 2022
- We zoom in on the eight projects from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland that were presented at the 20th edition of Baltic Event’s Works in Progress showcase
The Baltic Event Works in Progress showcase, which took place for the 20th time during the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, featured eight projects from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. The presentation was held on 24 November at the Coca Cola Plaza. We home in on each of the eight works below:
8 Views of Lake Biwa - Marko Raat (Estonia/Finland)
Producers: Ivo Felt, Dora Nedeczky (Allfilm)
Co-producers: Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff (Bufo)
The film portrays several intertwined, tragic love stories between people from a single rural fishing village. Everybody knows everyone else, and each story’s protagonists are supporting characters in the other tales. All of the sagas are interrupted, only to continue in the next ones. A devastating accident leads the surviving inhabitants into a cascade of tragic consequences. Even in a community self-isolating from modern progress, their art and their magic are fading. Estonian helmer Marko Raat’s new project (see the news) comes more than ten years after his last fiction film, The Snow Queen, and will be released in March. It is still looking for distributors, sales agents and festivals.
Anna LOL - Ivars Tontegode (Latvia)
Producer: Guna Stahovska (Mojo Raiser Production)
Anna, a 19-year-old girl who is still in school, has just lost a close friend, her first real romantic experience. After this loss, she has her own depressive and suicidal thoughts, to the point where she loses touch with reality. And when her mother leaves, Anna is kicked out of her home by her emotionally abusive father. Being so alienated from the people around her, Anna gets into a whole heap of trouble. Latvian director Ivars Tontegode is known for his urges to experiment and depict the inner struggle and evolution of strong personalities in a highly creative and modern manner. His newest effort will be ready in spring, and is looking for gap financing, distributors, sales agents, festivals and streamers.
Black Velvet - Liene Linde (Latvia/Lithuania)
Producers: Guntis Trekteris (Ego Media), Tremora
Marta, once an emerging film director, is now in her thirties and has given up on her cinematic dreams. She spends her days working in a job she hates, taking care of her chronically ill cat, fighting with her stoner boyfriend and lying to friends that she will "soon" start working on her new script. While trying to handle her depression, Marta keeps on dreaming about making movies, drawn to the healing power of storytelling, but not plucking up the courage to act on these dreams. This dark comedy is the debut fiction feature by Liene Linde, whose first documentary feature, Mothers and Others, was released two years ago. Aiming for a spring release, the film is looking for gap financing, distributors and festivals.
Death Is a Problem for the Living (working title) - Teemu Nikki (Finland/Italy)
Producer: Jani Pösö (It's Alive Films)
Co-producer: Andrea Romeo
The cheapest drivers in the hearse business, gambling addict Risto Kivi and his friend, the 85% brainless man Arto Niska, have found themselves in a situation where everything has gone wrong, and they are in need of a fresh start. Ultimately, Arto, the man without a brain, and Risto, the man without a heart, are forced to gamble with their own lives. Finland’s prolific self-educated, award-winning filmmaker Teemu Nikki delivers a film about addiction, friendship and carrying around dead bodies that will be ready in April. The movie is looking for distributors, sales agents and festivals.
Free Money - Rain Rannu (Estonia)
Producer: Tõnu Hiielaid (Tallifornia)
Free Money tells three loosely interconnected stories about money, cryptocurrency and the investment culture of the last few years, as investing has become a form of entertainment, and every taxi driver is trading in stocks and coins. Estonian film director, producer and tech investor Rain Rannu creates an ensemble movie that follows three men – a brash cryptocurrency entrepreneur, a straightforward programmer and a conservative banker – and their relationship with money (see the news). Slated to be ready in springtime, the film is looking for distributors, sales agents, festivals, streamers, festivals and markets.
Infinite Summer - Miguel Llansó (Estonia)
Producer: Tõnu Hiielaid (Tallifornia)
While spending the summer together at a beach house, Grete, Sarah and Mia meet a guy who calls himself Dr Mindfulness and is selling his own meditation app. Although Dr Mindfulness speaks and performs like a complete charlatan, his app and devices deliver a surprisingly mind-bending experience. Based in Tallinn since 2017, Miguel Llansó is known for his previous work Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway [+see also:
interview: Miguel Llansó
film profile], which was screened at various festivals. His upcoming sci-fi thriller is set to be released in August, and is looking for gap financing, distributors, sales agents, festivals and co-producers.
Life Interrupted - Ilze Kunga-Melgaile (Latvia/Lithuania)
Producers: Aija Bērziņa (Tasse Film), Marija Razgute (M-Films)
Alicija, a Polish-born liberal free thinker, joins the Awakening movement. Her newlywed husband, Ilgvars, a man with the experience of another generation, urges her to be more careful and cautious. With the support of a close friend, poet Normunds, Alicija soon comes to the forefront of the Singing Revolution. However, alongside this initial success, difficulties appear – Alicija receives an anonymous letter accusing Ilgvars of being a former KGB informant. This is the premise of the debut feature by Latvian director Ilze Kunga-Melgaile, whose previous shorts have won awards at various festivals. The drama will be released in November next year, and is looking for distributors, sales agents and festivals.
Lotus - Signe Birkova (Latvia/Lithuania)
Producers: Dominiks Jarmakovičs, Roberts Viniovskis (Studio Locomotive)
Baltic German Alice von Trotta returns to her father’s manor in Latvia in 1919. During her stay, she meets some local labourers who display hostility. Moreover, Alice discovers that she has been lured into a trap, organised by the demonic lawyer Emil Keyserling, the hedonistic organisation Viva la Mort and its necrophile leader. While trying to escape the clutches of her decadent “friends”, Alice meets cinema enthusiasts who have been working on their own silent film. First-time Latvian writer-director Signe Birkova is poised to deliver a period drama that centres on German-Baltic Countess Alice Von Trotta (see the news). It will be ready by September, although it is still looking for gap financing, distributors, sales agents and festivals.
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