PRODUCTION: Stalin Era Chronicles of Melanie in Production

    Sabine Timoteo in Chronicles of Melanie by Viesturs Kairiss Sabine Timoteo in Chronicles of Melanie by Viesturs Kairiss

    RIGA: The Latvian-Finnish coproduction of Viesturs Kairiss’s historical drama Chronicles of Melanie (Melanijas hronika) resumes shooting in April with another filming segment scheduled for August 2014.

    Director Viesturs KairissChronicles of Melanie is an adaptation of On the Banks of the Spirit River: 1941-1957 (Velupes krastā 1941 - 1957), the autobiography of journalist, lawyer and writer Melanija Vanaga recalling her time in exile in Siberia during Soviet repressions. This is the third feature film from Latvian director Viesturs Kairiss, who has directed several documentaries as well as staged multiple operas by Richard Wagner. Alongside Latvian crew members, such as cinematographer Gints Berzins and production designer Ieva Jurjane, the film cast and crew includes Finnish make-up artist Mari Vaalasranta who has worked with Lars von Trier on Dogville and Mandarlay, and Swiss actress Sabine Timoteo, who was cast in the title role. Chronicles of Melanie also features Latvian actresses Guna Zarina (Kiril Serbrennikov’s Venice premiered Betrayal) and Maija Doveika.

    Kairiss’s film is produced by Latvian producer Inese Boka – Grube (Mistrus Media) and Klaus Heidemann from Finland. It has already been supported by National Film Centre of Latvia, Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation, companies Eco Baltia and Arkogints.

    Chronicles of Melanie was granted 110,000 EUR from Eurimages receiving praise for the script, its dramatic structure and its thematic actuality. Kairiss’s subject matter, a portrayal of Stalinist repressions, has rarely been depicted in film.

    Producers estimate the 1m EUR film will be ready for release by the end of 2015, depending on funding.

    Website: Chronicles of Melanie: http://www.chroniclesofmelanie.com/