RIGA: Juris Kursietis’ debut feature Modris has been selected by a committee of experts established by the National Film Centre of Latvia as Latvia’s candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. Modris is a Latvian/Greek/German coproduction.
The committee unanimously praised the film’s monolith style, its direct relationship with reality and the performance of the non-professional actor Kristers Pikša as the film’s protagonist.
Modris is a coming-of-age story of a Latvian teenager: Modris is a normal 17-year-old with a girlfriend and some good pals at school. But his addiction to gambling makes his relationship with his mother difficult, especially since she keeps on reminding him that his father is in prison. The film is based on true events.
The cast includes professional actors Rēzija Kalniņa, Baiba Broka and Januss Johansons. The film was produced by Latvia’s Red Dot Media in coproduction with Greece’s Boo Productions and Germany’s Sutor Kolonko. It was supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia , Culture Capital Foundation, the MEDIA Programme, Eurimages, Germany’s NRW Film Financing Fund and the Greek Film Centre.
The total budget of the film was approximately 350,000 EUR. The film received seven nominations and won Best Debut at the Latvian National Film Festival The Great Christopher/Lielais Kristaps in 2014.