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The National Film Centre of Latvia announces the recipients of its latest round of funding


- The body will back the making of 14 works, including new efforts by Linda Olte, Aik Karapetian and Juris Kursietis, through production grants worth a total of €1.8 million

The National Film Centre of Latvia announces the recipients of its latest round of funding
Director Juris Kursietis, who has received €139,270 for Tabita

This week, the National Film Centre of Latvia announced the recipients of its latest round funding. On this occasion, the Riga-based body has earmarked a total of €1,800,158, set to back 14 new productions.

Of the funding made available, a total of €1,113,660 has been handed out to support six feature-length fiction projects. In detail, this year's competition called for special attention to be paid to children- and youth-orientated films, and two adventure stories boasting elements of mystery and fiction have been selected for funding. These are Linda Olte’s Secrets of the Great Bog (staged by Air Productions, in receipt of a bursary of €34,950) and director Aik Karapetian’s Sorcerer’s Eye (a Mistrus Media presentation, €285,996). A leading character that we see in her teenage years is featured in Juris KursietisTabita (produced by White Picture, €139,270), which promises to be “a sensitive story about the psychological experiences that a child with special needs creates in the family”.

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The other three feature-length fiction projects that are being backed include Andrejs Ēķis’s historical spy-thriller Dark Border (produced by Cinevilla Films, €250,000), set in 1939 on the border between Latvia and Russia; Marta Elīna Martinsone’s The Wedding Day (an Ego Media presentation, €103,444), which the helmer “will infuse with her extensive knowledge of and passion for the musical genre”; and Laila Pakalniņa’s Whisper in the Cellar (produced by Kompānija Hargla, €300,000), billed as a “story about wartime refugees hiding in the basement and being dependent on rescuers, who may also be experiencing their own complications”.

Meanwhile, the centre awarded bursaries worth a total of €544,133 to six documentary projects. Madara Dišlere’s The Dancing Void will zoom in on the emotionally difficult work of Dr Clowns in Latvia and elsewhere (produced by Sunday Rebel Films, €98,003). The idea at the core of Staņislavs TokalovsWho Is Velta Ivanova? (also produced by Ego Media, €90,000) was born while the director was working and filming over a long period in a Mežciems nursing home. In Normunds Pucis’s Can I Get Beer Here? Post Scriptum (a Sāga Film production, €80,000), with the help of documentary films, archive footage and animated graphics, we get to solve a post-war spy story, which also inspired Anšlavs Eglītis’s novel of the same name. Authentic, unpublished archive films will also take centre stage in Ivo Briedis and Alex Shiriaieff’s Letters to My Creator (a VFS Films production, €80,000), the story of which hinges on the world’s first gender-reassignment operation, performed in Riga in the 1970s by surgeon Viktors Kalnbērzs. In his new effort Time to the Target (a Vertov production, €46,130), Latvian-based Vitaly Mansky films his hometown of Lviv to capture the changes brought about by the war, through the prism of a military orchestra’s everyday life. Finally, in I Love You, Lex Fridman (produced by Trickster Pictures, €150,000), producer Matīss Kaža and actress Iveta Pole will co-direct and document the personal quest of a creative woman active in Latvia, Germany and the USA.

A total of €142,365 was set aside to support two animated shorts: Anna Zača and Oskars Pavlovskis’s animated puppet film Nesting (another VFS Films production, €107,370), which figuratively and charmingly plays on the changes in the life of a young couple from the moment a crib appears at home; and Ella Mežule’s 2D, hand-drawn The Nature of Tide (a Studio Kokles production, €34,995), which will centre on the relationships, memories, disappointments and misunderstandings of a young woman.

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