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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Latvia / USA / Luxembourg

Signe Baumane’s sophomore feature, My Love Affair With Marriage, set to premiere at Tribeca

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- The animated film, an international co-production backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia and Film Fund Luxembourg, is a story about the acceptance of the “inner-female rebellion”

Signe Baumane’s sophomore feature, My Love Affair With Marriage, set to premiere at Tribeca
My Love Affair With Marriage by Signe Baumane

This year, two titles will make up the Latvian contingent at the Tribeca Film Festival, which is set to unspool from 8-19 June. The first of these is Viesturs Kairišs’s latest effort, January [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, whilst the second is Signe Baumane’s sophomore film, My Love Affair With Marriage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Signe Baumane
film profile
]
, and both are set to take part in the International Narrative Competition.

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The latter is directed by independent filmmaker and animator Signe Baumane. The Latvian-born, Brooklyn-based artist has made 16 award-winning animated shorts but is best known for her first animated feature, Rocks in my Pockets [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Signe Baumane
film profile
]
. The film, which premiered at Karlovy Vary in 2013, covered a 100-year history of depression and suicidal tendencies that afflicted the women in her family, including herself.

Now, in My Love Affair With Marriage, we follow Zelma, played by Dagmara Dominczyk. From an early age, songs and fairy tales convince her that love will solve all of her problems, as long as she abides by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grows older, something doesn’t seem right with this concept of love: the more she tries to conform, the more her body resists. The creative team describes it as “a story about the acceptance of the inner-female rebellion”. Other key cast members include Michele Pawk, Matthew Modine, Cameron Monaghan, Ieva Katkovska, Kristine Pastare, Iluta Alsberga and Stephen Lang. Italy’s Kristian Sensini served as the composer of the score.

A co-production between Latvia, the USA and Luxembourg, the project was made over the course of six years, with financing from 1,685 individual donors along with grants from arts and cultural institutions.

Speaking about the style of her new film, Baumane explained: “By making My Love Affair With Marriage part-musical, part-biological insight, part-exploration of a woman’s mind, my goal is to provoke and delight a thinking audience with a movie of a kind they have never seen before. Not only to tell a tale full of humour, surprising twists and unexpected worlds, but to leave them with the salient fact that biology is the root of our existence. What fascinates me about humans is how eagerly we want to dismiss science when it threatens to expose the fairy tales that we tell ourselves. We are all biological creatures, yet we hold on to ideas about ourselves that are not rooted in this biological reality. Especially in matters of love, we are wilfully ignorant.”

My Love Affair with Marriage was co-produced by Roberts Vinovskis for Studio Locomotive (Latvia), Signe Baumane and Sturgis Warner for The Marriage Project LLC (USA), and Raoul Nadalet for Antevita Films (Luxembourg). The project was backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia and Film Fund Luxembourg. Poland’s New Europe Film Sales is in charge of its international sales.

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