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Estonia Baltic Event Special: Aarma Launches New Production Company

2010-11-30

Estonia earned international acclaim for the 2009 documentary Estonian documentary Disco and Atomic War. FNE spoke wth the film's producer/co-director Kiur Aarma about the launch of his new production company, Traumfabrik, with four diverse projects in the works. One of those is The Gold Spinners, a sly look at the Soviet commercial industry based in an Estonian film studio, which was attracting attention at the East European Forum (www.dokweb.net) in Jihlava.

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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