RIGA: The national film centres and governmental agencies from Estonia, Latvia and Finland are joining forces to promote themselves as a filmmaking region under the banner of North Star Film Alliance, a new venture which will officially launch at the AFM (American Film Market) in November.
Representatives from all three countries were at the Magnetic Riga industry forum, which took place 18 – 19 October 2019 during the Riga IFF, and spoke with FNE about their joint initiative.
The project began to take shape in 2018, after research which showed a need to cooperate and strengthen the domestic film industries under a united front. “We will do different levels of promoting, both inside and outside the region. It’s more valuable to promote the region than projects,” Estonian project manager Ettie Mikita told FNE.
Latvian project manager, representing the Riga City Council, Laura Frinberga-Tuklere told FNE, “One of our goals is to make ourselves more visible and to bring people here and show them around.”
North Star Film Alliance will focus on introducing the region outside of Europe, targeting markets outside of the EU. Along with building up a workforce capable of servicing international films, the region is looking at increasing studio space, with a new film studio being built in Estonia, which will be ready in 2021. In Latvia, one of the sites on a locations tour was the Cinevilla Studio, which has been used in historical Latvian films.
North Star Film Alliance has a three-year operating budget of 2 M EUR.