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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Latvia

Three Latvian brothers working on the dramedy Troubled Minds

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- The dark, psychedelic dramedy is written and directed by Raitis and Lauris Abele, whilst Mārcis is in charge of the cinematography

Three Latvian brothers working on the dramedy Troubled Minds
On the set of Troubled Minds (© Kristians Muižnieks)

Raitis and Lauris Ābele’s second feature, Troubled Minds, is currently in post-production. The film’s principal photography took place over a period of 26 days last autumn; most of the scenes were shot in the Latvian coastal town of Liepāja and in Norwegian Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle. The Abele brothers’ directorial debut was the documentary Baltic Tribes: Last Pagans of Europe, produced by Tritone Studio and released in May last year.

The story of Troubled Minds, penned in its entirety by the two brothers, is a dark, psychedelic dramedy and revolves around two brothers, a pair of contemporary artists who are preparing for their biggest exhibition, which they want to turn into an “art terror act”, and who are struggling to cope with their personal ambitions, bipolar disorder and psychedelic experiences, as well as their ability to accept each other’s artistic ego.

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The cast includes actors Toms Auniņš (1906, The Pagan King), Mārcis Lācis (Three to Dance), Dārta Danēviča (The Immortal [+see also:
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, Despair), Juris Žagars (the TV series Moscow Noir, The Pagan King), Marija Skangale (the voice-over narrator on the duo’s Baltic Tribes) and newcomer Daniela Vētra. Speaking about the plot, director Lauris Abele disclosed to Cineuropa: “The main story is based on our close friend, an artist affected by bipolar disorder. We shared many of those sad, crazy – and, sometimes, even funny – moments with him, and we saw the tragedy of a creative man who has to calm down and control his ambitions in order not to become a social outcast. In this film, we try to answer the question: what are the boundaries of ‘normal’ in our experience-obsessed contemporary society?”

Raitis and Lauris’ brother, Mārcis Ābele, is in charge of the cinematography, whilst Armands Začs (My Father the Spy [+see also:
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, Breathing Into Marble [+see also:
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) will serve as the editor. Mārcis also worked on the duo’s debut feature.

Troubled Minds is being produced by Riga-based firm Tritone Studio, and received financial support from the Jūrmala City Council, the Liepāja City Council and the National Film Centre of Latvia, the country’s main audiovisual agency. The film will be released in autumn 2020.

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