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The Latvian film Vogelfrei is the sole omnibus film competing in the East of the West section at the Karlovy Vary film festival, a joint effort from four of Latvia's most promising directors, ranging in age from 35 to 43.

The New Species, the directorial film debut in animation by veteran Latvian cinematographer Ēvalds Lācis, has been selected for the children's competition section at this year's Berlinale. The film was produced by Animācijas brigade, one of only a few studios in the world creating classic handmade puppet animation.

The long-awaited national film Defenders of Riga will appear on screens throughout Latvia on Nov. 11. A film of this scale is without precedent in Latvia, not only because it is the most expensive domestic film ever made (with a budget of 2 million lats or €2.8 million), but also because it is the first historical drama in 20 years and has used vast artistic resources.

The biggest Latvian co-production project in recent years. the eccentric comedy Midsummer Madness, is coming to domestic screens on Nov. 9. The film's budget is €2.5 million and it was shot in seven weeks in Latvia, with one episode in Lithuania.

On July 16, the big national Latvian project Rudolf's Gold(Rūdolfa mantojum) went into production. The film is being produced by the film studio Platforma with a budget of around €2 million, part of which was supported by the European Union MEDIA programme (www.ec.europa.eu/information_society).