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FESTIVALS Estonia

Baltic quintet plays at Karlovy Vary

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Over a dozen representatives from the Baltic film community will attend the 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 29-Jul 7) to support five films in selection, including the feature films The Dark Deer and The Class [+see also:
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competing in the East of the West competition section.

The Dark Deer is the second feature by Latvian stage director Viesturs Kairišs. The drama focuses on 17 year-old Ria who cannot reconcile herself to the fact that her father earns a living by inviting German tourists to hunt the deer on their family country estate. The film is a co-production between Latvia’s Kaupo Filma and Austria’s Fischer Film.

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Ilmar Raag’s Estonian youth drama The Class had its world premiere at the Cannes market last May. The low budget film dealing with the topical issue of school violence scored at the local box office with a second place for a local film at the Top 10. Produced by this year’s Estonian ‘Producer on the Move’ Riina Sildos, the film has just been picked up for world distribution by Stockholm-based NonStop Sales.

Competing in the Documentary section among 16 contenders are Theodore by the established Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalnina, and Uku Ukai by Lithuania’s Audrius Stonys. A graduate from Moscow’s VGIK school, Pakalnina has directed three feature films and four documentaries, including the FIPRESCI winner The Ferry (1994). Theodore was produced by Vides Filmu Studija. Uku Ukai produced by Studija 2, is a medidative visual essay portraying older people undertaking various activities such as meditation and group laughter therapy.

As for Zen Through Garbage by Estonia’s Asko Kase, it is screening among 32 short films as part of the Forum of independents.

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