01-11-2010

Aarma Launches New Production Company with The Gold Spinners

By Cathy Meils

Estonian documentary producer/director Kiur Aarma (Disco and Atomic War) is launching a new production company, Traumfabrik, with four diverse projects in the works. Aarma spoke with FNE at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (www.dokument-festival.cz) and East European Forum (www.dokweb.net), where he was pitching The Gold Spinners, a sly look at the Soviet commercial industry based in an Estonian film studio, that forum moderators said was one of the projects attracting eager buyers.

The Gold Spinners is moving into full production phase after two and a half years in development (including interviews that will be used in the film). Aarma and co-director Hardi Volmer plan a May 2011 delivery date on the film, with the Cannes market in mind, following the international success of Disco and Atomic War.

"Cannes has a connection with the film," Aarma told FNE. "The studio won the bronze medal at the Cannes advertising festival in 1988 and collapsed shortly thereafter with the collapse of the Soviet Union." The film is using extensive archive materials covering the history of Soviet advertising history, around 85% of the film, which were located in Estonia and which will be digitalized from the old 35 mm stock.

The film has a budget of 205,000 euros, with Finnish coproduction funding of 20,000 euros and TV presales in place with Latvia and Iceland. Finnish broadcaster YLE was expected to come on board, while ex-Soviet territories including Poland and Czech Republic, are also looking at the project. The Estonian Film Foundation (www.efsa.ee) gave a 38,000 euro grant, and MEDIA (ec.europa.eu/media) granted 30,000 for development and 29,000 will go toward distribution. Estonian public TV, Ministry of Culture, and Cultural Endowment funding make up the remainder of the budget.

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Click HERE to see the trailer of the Gold Spinners