PRODUCTION: Latvian Director Māris Martinsons in Production with Historical Drama In the Land That Sings

    In the Land that Sings by Māris Martinsons In the Land that Sings by Māris Martinsons photo: Andrejs Strokins

    RIGA: Latvian director Māris Martinsons has started production on In the Land that Sings (working title) / Zeme, kas dzied. The historical drama is set in the second half of the 19th century, when the first Latvian Song Festival took place. The initial shooting period ran from 9 to 20 March in Riga and Ramava. The next shooting period is planned for January and the summer of 2022. The film is produced by Linda Krūkle for K Films.

    The film In the Land that Sings tells the story of the first Latvian Singing Festival, which took place in 1873. At the time the territory of Latvia was part of the Russian Empire, but the movement for recognising and forming Latvian national identity and culture was very strong. At the beginning just a few enthusiasts, leaders of the Riga Latvian Society, pursued the idea of organising the Singing Festival despite having no finances and repertoire, nor permission for holding it. The festival became a milestone event for showing the unity of Latvian people, and the beginning of a national cultural tradition. The film’s plot will include historical facts and people along with fictional characters, among them a twenty-year-old Anna, whose desire to sing is so strong that she is ready to overcome obstacles she, like any woman in that period of history, faces. She finds a way to join the festival, although there are only male choirs. Through singing she finds self-confidence, power, joy of life and sense of unity, flourishing together with the idea of the Latvian nation, and becoming a symbol of women’s freedom.

    The film’s cast includes a number of renown Latvian theatre and film actors, among them Andris Keišs, Vilis Daudziņš, and Ģirts Ķesteris. The internationally recognised opera singer Marina Rebeka is cast in the supporting female role. The film will include a significant number of extras, with these scenes planned for the 2022 filming period.

    In the Land that Sings is the tenth full-length fiction film of internationally awarded Māris Martinsons. His feature debut Loss (Nevajadzīgie ļaudis, 2008) received the Best Fiction Film award at the Latvian National Film Awards and Best Director award at the Shanghai IFF. With his next film Amaya (2010), Martinsons started his collaboration with the Japanese actress Kaori Momoi, with whom he made three films. His latest films were the comedies New Year’s Taxi (2018) and New Year’s Taxi 2 (2019).

    In the Land that Sings is produced by K Films and supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia with 650,000 EUR, and mobile tech innovator LMT. The strategic partner is the Latvian National Centre for Culture. The estimated budget is 3 m EUR.

    The expected release date is spring 2023, the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Song Festival tradition. 

    Production information:

    K Films (Latvia)
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    In the Land that Sings by Māris Martinsons, photo: Andrejs StrokinsCredits:
    Director: Māris Martinsons
    Screenwriter: Māris Martinsons, Dainis Īvāns
    DoP: Jānis Jurkovskis
    Editor: Māris Martinsons
    Production Desinger: Mārtiņš Kalseris
    Costume designer: Katrīna Liepa
    Make up artist: Beāta Rjabovska
    Original music: Uģis Prauliņš
    Cast: Marina Rebeka, Ģirts Ķesteris, Vilis Daudziņš, Andris Keišs, Andris Bulis, Ainārs Ančevskis, Nauris Brikmanis, Marta Lovisa Jančevska
    Producer: Linda Krūkle