MUSIC FOR THE FILM “BLIZZARD OF SOULS” ADVANCES IN THE OSCARS RACE
Music for the film Blizzard of Souls composed by Lolita Ritmanis advances to the next stage in the run for the Academy Award or the so-called Oscars Shortlist that includes 15 of the 136 contenders. Blizzard of Souls and Netflix’s The Life Ahead by Sophia Loren are the only films produced outside Hollywood competing in this category.
“Dzintars Dreibergs entrusted me with wrapping his firstborn in a musical blanket, and now the music for Blizzard of Souls has made the cut for the Oscars Shortlist in the Best Original Score category. The small Latvia is in the world spotlight… I can’t even express my emotions,” composer Lolita Ritmanis is thrilled. No Latvian feature film has yet gained such a success – its original score continues to run side by side with such cinema giants as Tenet, Mank, News of the World, Mulan and others.
Director of the film Dzintars Dreibergs also expresses his satisfaction, “Lolita’s music gave the film its soul. I feel honoured that thanks to Blizzard of Souls so many people now hear about Latvia in the world, and we can tell about our history and experiences of riflemen. Of course, it is a great success to find ourselves in one list with the greatest names and studios in Hollywood, and I am thankful to the entire team, who worked late nights during these months, and the Latvian company, warehouse store DEPO, who agreed to support the story about Latvia on this quest during this really complicated time.”
Dita Rietuma, the Head of the National Film Centre, points out, “This is an unprecedented achievement in the history of Latvian ciema, and I sincerely congratulate the creators and composer of Blizzard of Souls, Lolita Ritmanis, with that. The fight for the Oscar nominations is extremely fierce, the competition is strong. In the pandemic year that has affected film production and screening around the world, the Academy Award has become a milestone that continues the tradition and gives hope for return to normalcy. The Oscar competition is especially fierce this year, and the value of this award is even greater. Therefore, we must appreciate the fact that Blizzard of Souls, and especially the work of the composer, has been noticed in an international competition.”
Conductor Māris Sirmais and singers of the State Choir Latvija led by the choir manager Māris Ošlejs took part in the recording of the music for the historical war drama Blizzard of Souls. A special orchestra was formed for the recording – Edgars Saksons, the orchestra producer and winner of the Latvian Grand Music Award, brought together musicians from the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian National Opera and Ballet, the chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Riga and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. The music was recorded in the Latvian Radio Studio 1 by Māris Briežkalns and sound director Varis Kurmiņš. The author of the musical instrumentation is Larry Rench (USA) with additional instrumentation by Steven Rade, and music mixing by American producer and sound director Mark Mattson. The sound director of the film is Aleksandrs Vaicahovskis.
The film’s Oscar run marketing and public relations campaign is sponsored by warehouse store DEPO and supported by the National Film Centre, the Ministry of Culture, and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the film also received help from the American Latvian Association.
Blizzard of Souls received most of the funding from the state, and the rest was provided by the film’s general sponsor – one of the Latvian-born brands, warehouse store DEPO – as well as by the sponsor Latvijas Mobilais Telefons.