Promising prospects at Baltic Event Works in Progress
- Ten new films in production were presented at this year’s edition of the industry event during the Black Nights Film Festival
The Baltic Event of this year’s Black Nights Film Festival brought a line-up of ten new projects to the industry audience. Although the projects selected in that strand have traditionally hailed from the Baltic Sea region, this year’s selection was even more concentrated, with all ten hailing from the Baltic countries or from Finland. Last year’s laureate of the Baltic Event Works in Progress Award, J-P Valkeapää’s Dogs Don’t Wear Pants [+see also:
interview: J-P Valkeapää
film profile], had its premiere in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section.
Estonia put forward three new projects this year. After The End of the Chain [+see also:
interview: Priit Pääsuke
film profile], which was shown in Karlovy Vary’s East of the West competition in 2017, the director Priit Pääsuke returns with low-budget youth comedy Kids of the Night, which will be about relationships and extensive partying (read article). Meanwhile, Peeter Simm’s (Good Hands, Georg [+see also:
film profile]) new feature, the tragicomedy On the Water, will explore the growing pains of pre-adolescent Andres (read article). The most ambitious of the three films, O2, a co-production between the three Baltic states and Finland directed by Margus Paju, will be a period spy thriller taking us back to the days before World War II, and more precisely to the year 1939. The budget being over 2 million euro, O2 showed convincing production value and a fresh insight into a period that has rarely been described previously.
Two of the three Latvian projects were by first time filmmakers: the Eastern Western Where the Road Leads is set to be directed by Swedish-born Matiss Kaza, while family drama The Pit will introduces a new talent in Dace Pūce. Meanwhile, acclaimed arthouse director Laila Pakalniņa presented a characteristically out-there project called In the Mirror, apparently constructed in its entirety from selfie shots (read article).
Lithuanian project People We Know are Confused, by Tomas Smulkis, will be a drama revolving around three people trying to find themselves in interconnected stories. Andrius Blazevicius, whose feature debut The Saint [+see also:
interview: Andrius Blazevicius
film profile] went on to win quite a few awards, returns with a second feature, Paralysis (not the final title, as stressed by producer Marija Razgute), which will look into psychic problems via a young female protagonist.
Finally, Finland introduced Ulla Heikkilä's Eden, a coming-of-age drama comedy taking place in a Protestant Confirmation camp, and Pamela Tola's Ladies of Steel, a senior comedy about a gang of older ladies refusing to go out with a whimper and causing chaos wherever they go (read interview with the director).
Some of these projects were among the winning titles of the edition (read news).
Here is the full list of Baltic Event Works in Progress projects:
Kids of the Night - Priit Pääsuke
Production company: Alexandra Film (Estonia)
On the Water - Peeter Simm
Production company: Filmivabrik (Estonia)
The Pit - Dace Pūce
Production company: Marana Productions (Latvia)
People We Know are Confused - Tomas Smulkis
Production company: Just a Moment (Lithuania)
Eden - Ulla Heikkilä
Production company: Tekele Productions (Finland)
Ladies of Steel - Pamela Tola
Production company: Helsinki-Filmi (Finland)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.