National Film Centre allocates funding for film production
National Film Centre of Latvia announces allocating the film production grants for 2020. The total funding of the grants is 1,768,327 EUR. Five full-length feature films, eight documentaries and six animated films, including two full-length pictures, are supported and their production will begin this year.
The aim of the film production grants competition for 2020 is to support the production or postproduction of full-length (at least 65 minutes) feature films and production of animated and documentary films of any running time, in 2020 and 2021. The funding totals 1,768,327 EUR, out of which 875,089 EUR is granted for feature films (5 in total), 371,572 EUR to documentaries (8 in total) and 521,666 to animated films (2 full-length and 4 short films). Within the available funding, more projects than initially planned were supported in all the categories.
In 2020, five directors will be able to launch their feature film productions – Linda Olte will make her debut with a teenage drama Sisters (Māsas) about two girls brought up at a children’s home, the internationally recognised director Juris Kursietis will make his third full-length feature Barbarians (Barbari), the director and musician Aigars Grauba will make a captivating movie about the legendary rock group Jumprava: The Great Happening (Jumprava: Lielais notikums), Ināra Kolmane will make her screen adaptation of the internationally recognised novel by Nora Ikstena, Soviet Milk (Mātes piens), while Māris Martinsons aims for a historic and nationally patriotic production with his In the Land that Sings (Zeme, kas dzied) about the birth of the tradition of the Latvian national song festival.
The following documentary directors will start their film projects: Laila Pakalniņa, Pēteris Krilovs, Kārlis Lesiņš, Dāvis Sīmanis, Kristīne Briede, Una Celma, Andrejs Verhoustinskis and Anna Viduleja. The most notable event in animation is that the production of two feature length films are launched simultaneously, both directed by experienced masters. Roze Stiebra has based her traditionally drawn animation on the novel by Jānis Ezeriņš Rule of the Heart (Sirds likums), but Jānis Cimmermanis will bring to life the characters of a pie world in his puppet animation Henry the Great (Lielais Indriķis). Also production of four short animated films is supported; among their authors are Dace Rīdūze, Agnese Aizpuriete, Indra Sproģe and Zane Oborenko.
Nation Film Centre’s film production grants competition for 2020 was announced on 31 January, projects were accepted until 9 March, but the pitches were held in a form of online video conferences on April 20 – 22. This year, projects for twelve feature films, seven animated films and eleven documentaries were presented in the pitch.
In parallel, the 2020 production grants for films already in production are distributed in the amount of EUR 2,036,443. 10 film projects, partly supported by National Film Centre in 2019, can apply for financing: four documentaries (directed by Ivars Seleckis, Signe Birkova, Askolds Saulītis and Andis Mizišs), two animated films (directed by Nils Skapāns and Edmunds Jansons), and five full-length feature films (directed by Aiks Karapetjans, Marta Elīna Martinsone, Staņislavs Tokalovs, Viestur Kairish and Agnes Koscis).
Also this year, the call for applications for film projects already in production is open until 30 September. Producers can submit projects for further financing when it is best suited for the production plan and after the obligations of the previously concluded financing agreement with the National Film Centre are met. The evaluation of the projects will take place monthly, evaluating the projects submitted in the preceding month.
A number of other competitions for grants are currently ongoing. In mid-May results of the all-category project development grants will be announced, followed by the support of minor co-productions. All year round, a grant competition is open for the support to other film industry projects – further education, film marketing, industry events, etc. Taking into account the current situation, the regulations are supplemented with the support for marketing of films with the premiere and distribution planned only online.