FNE at Cannes 2017: Latvian Cinema in Cannes

By National Film Centre of Latvia



    Dita Rietuma, Head of the National Film Centre of Latvia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Agnese Zapāne, Festival Coordinator at the National Film Centre of Latvia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Aija Bērziņa, Head of the Latvian Film Producers Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Zane Biteniece, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Gints Grūbe to participate at the EFP’s “Producers on the Move” in Cannes

    Gints Grūbe, producer at the film studio Mistrus Media, is among the 20 of the most promising up-and-coming European producers to take part in European Film Promotion’s networking platform Producers on the Move at the Cannes Film Festival (May 17 – 28, 2017).

    Every year EFP (European Film Promotion) and its member organisations select 20 professional and promising European film producers to participate at the high-profile networking platform Producers on the Move. The stakes for participation are high, including the key requirements that the candidates have experience in an international co-production and an international theatrical release in their portfolio. The final selection shows that quality and entrepreneurship are not limited to the big players of the larger European countries, however this year Gints Grūbe is the only participant from the Baltics.

    Participation at the five-day event will offer the producers a tailor-made programme of roundtable pitching sessions, 1:1 speed dating, case studies, including one in co-operation with the pan-European co-production fund Eurimages, as well as other industry meetings. All of these events are being organized to support the exchange of experiences and help create new professional networks, as well as to secure publicity in the leading film industry resources such as Screen International and Variety. Gints Grūbe will have a chance to present the feature fiction project The Boy With The Dog by Dāvis Sīmanis, supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in the programme Latvian Films For Latvian Centenary.

    “Cannes film festival is the most important meeting point for the European filmmakers. I am pleased that the work of our film studio Mistrus Media, as well as the success of our documentary films and feature fiction The Chronicles of Melanie, has been acknowledged and will give me a chance to introduce the new project by Dāvis Sīmanis to wider audiences, as well as to present Latvian cinema and our studio’s work to the European film professionals,” says Mistrus Media producer Gints Grūbe.

    Gints Grūbe worked extensively in the field of media before setting up his own company Mistrus Media in 2000. His productions have included Escaping Riga (2014), My Father The Banker (2015) and the omnibus film Over The Roads, Over The River (2014) as well as the war drama The Chronicles of Melanie (2016), which was premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and was the most successful local film in Latvia in 2016. He is currently developing the feature documentary To Be Continued by Ivars Seleckis and Dāvis Sīmanis’ historical drama The Boy With The Dog. The Boy With The Dog tells the story of the unique Rigan Žanis Lipke and the events that took place in the German-occupied Riga and Lipke’s home. In Latvia, Žanis Lipke is among the most striking personalities to save other people’s lives – a passionate and fearless adventurer who, thanks to his natural humanity, saved more than 50 Jews. The shooting of the film began in January and would continue in June. The premiere has been set for September 2018.


    Films shot in Latvia to compete at Cannes

    The official programme for the Cannes Film Festival has just been announced, and it includes two films co-produced by and filmed in Latvia: Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature in the official selection, and Slovak director György Kristóf’s full-length debut Out in the Un Certain Regard section. Both films were made with assistance from the team at Film Angels Productions and co-production funding.

    Nineteen full-length films have been selected for the official competition in this 70th-anniversary year of the Cannes Film Festival (May 17–28). They include the newest works from François Ozon, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola and other directors. This will be the third time a film by Loznitsa will have competed at Cannes. His previous entry was In the Fog (2012), which received the FIPRESCI award and was the first film he shot in Latvia. Having enjoyed the advantages of filming in Latvia and the highly qualified and talented film professionals working in the country, Loznitsa returned to Latvia with his next project, for which he received co-finansing from the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Riga Film Fund and support from the Film Angels Productions studio.

    The feature film A Gentle Creature is based on motifs from a story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was filmed in the summer of 2016 in and near the Latvian city of Daugavpils. The main producer of the film is the French company Slot Machine; also participating in the international co-production were companies from Germany, Russia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
    Slovak director György Kristóf’s debut film Out has been selected to compete in the 16-film Un Certain Regard section, which will open with Mathieu Amalric’s newest film, Barbara. Kristóf’s film is the story of a middle-aged Slovakian man who heads to Latvia for work but is dragged into a series of absurd events. The film is a co-production by Slovakia, Latvia, France, Hungary and Czech Republic. It was filmed in 2015, and a few later scenes were shot in Slovakia and Hungary.

    Kristóf and his Latvian wife, Ieva Norvele-Kristóf, are both graduates of the FAMU school in Prague, Czech Republic. Norvele-Kristóf served as the director’s first assistant for Out, but she also acted in the film and is the reason why most of the film was shot in Latvia. The filming of this project in Latvia was also supported by Film Angels Productions, and most of the filming group in Latvia consisted of local film professionals, such as art director Aldis Meinerts, production director Elīna Zazerska, casting director Brigita Lībiete, lighting specialist Juris Zemītis and many others. Out also features Latvian actors Guna Zariņa, Ieva Aleksandrova-Eklone, Kaspars Pūce, Varis Klausītājs, Kaspars Bindemanis and others.

    In fact, Latvia is linked with one more film in the official Cannes competition lineup. Andris Keišs, an actor at the New Riga Theatre, plays in Zvyagintsev’s feature film Loveless.

    More information
    Film Angels Production studio producers
    A Gentle Creature – Jānis Kalējs, +371 29411317, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Out – Ivo Ceplevičs, +371 29294440, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Prepared by
    Kristīne Matīsa,
    NKC senior information officer
    (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +371 26129954, +371 67358879)


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    Firstborn (Pirmdzimtais), dir. Aik Karapetian, 90′, Latvia, 2017
    A psychological thriller about a middle-aged intellectual who, in an attempt to restore his reputation in his wife’s eyes, accidentally commits a murder. As time passes he begins to see a link between the deceased, his wife’s pregnancy, and the mysterious blackmailer who is forcing him to act against his will.

    National Premiere September 2017

    Production Company
    Locomotive Productions
    Bruņinieku 28–57, Rīga LV1011, Latvia
    Tel: +371 2929 8667
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Cinematographer Jānis Eglītis
    Main Cast Kaspars Znotiņš, Maija Doveika, Kaspars Zāle
    Producer Roberts Vinovskis
    World Sales Reel Suspects

    Supported by
    National Film Centre of Latvia