Feature film “Bille” has been released

Film Studio Deviņi (Latvia), Masterfilm and Magic lab (Czech Republic), and Studio 2 (Lithuania) are proud to present their co-production Bille – a bonding cinematic experience for all family featuring strong female leads – directed by Ināra Kolmane to international film markets and audiences.

Bille is an autobiographical drama based on the first novel of trilogy Bille by the famous Latvian author Vizma Belševica, a winner of Tomas Tranströmer Award and 5-time candidate for the Nobel Prize. The remarkable success of her novel Bille in Latvia, Sweden and beyond was the cause of the author being considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Swedish population listing her as a very likely winner. Now the bestseller is reborn as a film and is ready to hit the screens worldwide after winning the race with Hollywood blockbusters after its first weeks in Latvian cinemas earning nothing but praises from more than 30,000 spectators. The local distributor in Latvia is Forum Cinemas/Uz Kino, the search for the international distributor is still ongoing.

Bille is a poignant yet inspiring story. Confronted by the contradictory and confusing adult world and her nervous mother’s contempt for her, Bille tries to find an escape in her vivid imagination and look for the Wonderland. Growing up in the late 1930s poor working class family, she has many struggles ahead of her but eventually she finds the right way and proves that dreams may come true. Despite being set in 1930s, the issues addressed in this feature are still relevant nowadays. Through masterful camerawork and intelligent directing technique, the spectator is able to enter the mind of a child and see the world through the innocent child’s eyes. Light (natural and VFX-created) serves as a narrative device that highlights the most transformative moments in life of the protagonist who eventually finds the light in the end of the tunnel full of disappointments and illusions.

Furthermore, Bille is a story about women made by women. Mother-daughter relationships are very individual yet very relatable for everyone. The first viewers claimed they saw their own childhood episodes flash before their eyes while watching this movie. The award winning Latvian author and political activist Vizma Belševica provides a firm and visually rich material for the film that is skillfully interpreted by the world-renowned director Ināra Kolmane bringing sorrows and excitement of childhood to the big screen in a touching and visually powerful manner. Filmed in the actual apartment the author spent her childhood in, the viewer is teleported back to 1930s and learns about her life in the most authentic way possible. The first-time actress Rūta Kronberga delivers an unforgettable experience admired by numerous experts and screenplay consultants while the experienced actresses in roles of Bille’s Mother and Grandmother form a gritty background fueling the narrative. We can confidently say Bille falls within the category of modern cinema that contain engaging storyline, detailed and sensitive filmmaking, a strong child lead and a diverse team of women filmmakers.

The core of the film crew consists of screenplay writers Evita Sniedze and Arvis Kolmanis, director Ināra Kolmane, director of photography Jurģis Kmins, producers Jānis Juhņēvičs, Marta Romanova-Jēkabsone, co-producers Kestutis Petrulis, Arunas Stoskus, Michal Krecek, Dagmar Sedlackova, executive producer Marta Mannenbach and associated producer Andrea Shaffer, editor Michal Lansky, and sound director Arturas Pugaciauskas. The author of music is the internationally recognized composer Pēteris Vasks.

The leading role of Bille is played by Rūta Kronberga, Elīna Vāne stars as Bille’s Mother; the role of Father is portrayed by Artūrs Skrastiņš while the role of Grandmother is mastered by Lolita Cauka. The cast includes many famous and experienced Latvian film and theater actors – Lilita Ozoliņa, Gundars Āboliņš, Guna Zariņa, Vilis Daudziņš, Maija Doveika and Lauma Balode, and others.

The production was financed by the Culture Ministry of the Republic of Latvia, the National Film Center state programme Latvian films for Latvia’s Centennial, the State Cinematography Fund of the Czech Republic and the National Film Centre of Lithuania and is dedicated to the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia this year.

More information
Marta Romanova – Jēkabsone
Producer
Film Studio Deviņi
Mob. (+371) 26475178
e-mail: marta.rova@gmail.com

Marta Mannenbach
Executive Producer of feature BILLE
+1 415-574-0082
e-mail: marta.mannenbach@devini.lv
marta@mannenbach.com