ESTONIA: Eia's Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm, the last of the feature films that won the Estonia 100 film competition, is now in production. The second film by writer-director Anu Aun is set to screen during Christmas 2018.
"Estonia doesn't yet have its own children's Christmas film, so we're very happy to be able to give one as a present to our country for its 100th anniversary," said producer Maie Rosmann-Lill.
The film follows 10-year-old Eia, whose Christmas holiday takes an unexpected turn after being brought to a mysterious farm in rural Southern Estonia. She follows her heart to rescue an old primeval forest, helps two lovers find each other, and is destined to unwrap her family's well-kept secret.
Eia's Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm is an adventure film for the whole family that brings the viewers closer to nature. The film uses two directors of photography; director of photography Heiko Sikka will film all of the acted scenes, and nature cinematographer Ants Tammik will film the documentary nature scenes of forest animals and birds.
The main actors, 10-year-old Paula Rits and 12-year-old Siim Oskar Ots, were selected from among 3,000 applicants over a six-month casting period. The cast includes renowned Estonian actors Tambet Tuisk, Mirtel Pohla, Priit Võigemast and Juhan Ulfsak.
Luxfilm and Kinosaurus Film are coproducing on a 1.1 M EUR budget, of which 837,000 EUR is covered by the Estonian Film Institute (Estonia 100 film programme).
The production, which kicked off in January, takes place primarily in Southern Estonia with some scenes shot in the capital Tallinn. The filming wraps in March and the film is set for a December 2018 release.
Director/Scriptwriter: Anu AunDoP: Heiko Sikka, Ants Tammik (nature photography)Production Designer: Matis MäesaluCast: Paula Rits, Siim Oskar Ots, Tambet Tuisk, Mirtel Pohla, Priit Võigemast, Juhan Ulfsak, Märt Pius, Priit Pius, Jaan Rekkor, Anne Reemann,Tõnu Oja, Meelis Rämmeld, Maria Annus, Robert AnnusProducers: Maie Rosmann-Lill, Maario Masing