VILNIUS: Director Arūnas Matelis is in production with his feature length documentary Gladiators. A Different World/Gladiatoriai. Kita planeta, a Lithuanian, Italian, Belgian, Swiss, Irish, Northern Ireland/UK and Latvian coproduction.
The film is a poetic documentary about cycling as well as one of the harshest mountain races Giro d’Italia told from a totally different, never yet seen perspective – that of a doctor’s medical car. Looking at the race as if through the eyes of a doctor, the film tells the story of those who fall and injure themselves, those who scrape their skin, break their collar bones and most often get to taste blood rather than victory, but nevertheless attempt to jump on their bikes again as soon as possible and, clenching their teeth out of pain and putting out all of their effort, try not to lag behind. It is a story about cyclists who, just like soldiers in war, must forget their unbearable physical throes and, by following a certain, very strict routine, try to overcome the pain and continue the race in order to finish a stage or even the whole Giro at any price. Willpower and a wish to survive step into the spotlight and willful warriors, 21st century gladiators, and their human powers break out in the awe-inspiring Giro landscapes, unbearable heat, glacier cold and steep uphils, uncovering the marvels of human body and soul.
Matelis was the first director from Central and Eastern Europe to receive an award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement by the Directors Guild of America. His 2005 documentary film Prieš parskrendant į Žemę (Before Flying Back to the Earth) was awarded a Silver Wolf at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the Golden Dove at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film and other film awards. His films have been broadcast in dozens of countries in Europe and Asia.
Gladiators. Another planet is produced by the Lithuanian production company Nominum, independent Latvia film production company VFS FILMS, Stefilm International (Italy), Associate Directors (Belgium), DOKMobile (Switzerland), Dearcán Media (Ireland) and Planet Korda Pictures (Ireland).
The film is funded by MEDIA (22,500 EUR), the Lithuanian Film Centre, Northern Ireland Screen, Vlaams Audiovisual Fund, Apulia Film Commision, Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commision, Trento Film Commission and Piemonte Doc Film Fund.
Partners of the film are the Lithuanian Film Centre, Lietuvos rytas.TV, Latvijas Televizija, and RTV SLO.
The film will be completed in 2015.
Studio NominumA.Goštauto 2/15,LT-01104, Vilnius, Lithuaniatel +370 5 2123113
Director, producer: Arūnas MatelisCamera: Audrius Kemežys, Ivars Zviedris, Vincent O‘Callaghan, Mark Olex, Gintautas BeržinskasScript/Co-writer: Arūnas Matelis and Edita PučinskaitėProduction manager: Ugo PozziLine Producer: Algimantė MatelienėSound: Francesca Scalisi, Gerry Tracey