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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Estonia / Latvia / Lithuania / Finland

Filming under way on Margus Paju’s spy thriller O2

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- The Estonian director’s sophomore feature revolves around an Estonian intelligence officer who has to track down a mysterious Soviet double agent

Filming under way on Margus Paju’s spy thriller O2
O2 by Margus Paju (© Nafta Films)

Margus Paju is now shooting his second feature, a spy thriller entitled O2. The project follows Paju’s debut film, The Secret Society of Souptown [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2015), which became the highest-grossing Estonian family flick at the time and picked up important awards at Stockholm, Zurich, Schlingel, Yerevan and many other international festivals. Paju, an alumnus of Tallinn’s Baltic Film and Media School, directed several shorts, such as My Condolences (2014), Black Out (2009) and Audition (2006), before working on his first feature.

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The story of O2, penned by Tiit Aleksejev, Eriikka Etholén-Paju and Tom Abrams, kicks off on 23 August 1939, when Europe started fearing an imminent war, and the Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany shook the world to its core by signing a non-aggression pact. At that very moment, an Estonian agent is murdered and a Soviet source claims that there is a traitor in their ranks. Feliks Kangur (played by Priit Võigemast), an Estonian spy, will be assigned to catch the traitor. Meanwhile, global political and military events start to unfold at dizzying speed, and Feliks finds out that the Red Army has kicked off an operation codenamed Volcano to annex Estonia. Moreover, Feliks is also burdened by a secret regarding his lover Maria, a young Polish art historian.

Kaspars Znotiņš (Still River [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Angelos Frantzis
film profile
]
), Agnese Cīrule (City on the River [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Elmo Nüganen (Tangerines [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) are part of the main cast alongside Võigemast. Some of the confirmed members of the technical crew are production designer Jaagup Roomet (Helene), DoP Meelis Veeremets (The End of the Chain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Priit Pääsuke
film profile
]
), editor Marion Koppel (The Secret Society of Souptown), sound designer Vytis Puronas (Nova Lituania [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Karolis Kaupinis
film profile
]
), and composers Eriks Esenvalds (Mellow Mud [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Elina Vaska
interview: Renars Vimba
film profile
]
) and Rihards Zalupe (1906). The movie is being shot in five different languages – namely, Estonian, Russian, German, French and Finnish.

O2 is being produced by Esko Rips for Nafta Films and Kristian Taska for Taska Film. The co-producers are Jukka Helle for Finland’s Solar Films, Janis Kalejs for Latvia’s Film Angels and Lukas Trimonis for Lithuania’s InScript. Furthermore, the project received support from the Estonian Film Institute and was presented at last year’s Baltic Event Works in Progress, hosted by the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. The film will be premiered by the end of this year.

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