PRODUCTION: Latvian Actress Elza Gauja in Postproduction with Debut Feature

    Keep Smiling, Mom! by Elza Gauja Keep Smiling, Mom! by Elza Gauja credit: Anna Tereza Tomsone

    RIGA: Latvian actress Elza Gauja is currently in postproduction with her debut feature Keep Smiling, Mom!, which will be released by the broadcasting company TV3 Group in all three Baltic countries after its theatrical release.

    Keep Smiling, Mom! / Mamma vēlsmaida is a road film focusing on three estranged sisters who live in different countries: Latvia, Estonia and Finland. The only occasion that brings them together is their mother’s birthday. When the mother unexpectedly passes away while in Finland, the sisters undertake a journey to bring her remains secretly back to Latvia to be buried next to her husband’s. The journey forces them to spend time together and re-evaluate their sisterhood, but all gets complicated when the van with the mother’s body is stolen.

    Latvian theatre and film actresses Anta Aizupe, Baiba Broka and Daiga Kažociņa are cast in the roles of the three sisters.

    The film was shot in various locations in Latvia, such as Liepāja, Ventspils, Garciems, Ādaži, Jūrmala, Rīga, for 25 shooting days between December 2020 and February 2021. Finnish and Estonian locations were created by the art department and filmed in Latvia.

    Andris Gauja and Marta Bite are producing through Latvia’s Riverbed with 90,000 EUR support from the National Film Centre of Latvia in the low budget production grants competition 2020. Additional funding came from the TV3 Group and several corporate sponsors. The total budget is approximately 150,000 EUR.

    The film will be released under the label Go3, which is a brand created by the broadcasting company TV3 Group for original content produced by or with the support of the broadcaster. The film will be released in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on the Go3 channel in early 2022 and later on the TV3 channel. The cinema release is planned prior to TV broadcast at the end of 2021.

    Production Information:

    Riverbed (Latvia)
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    Director: Elza Gauja
    Screenwriter: Rasa Bugavičute-Pēce
    DoP: Aleksandrs Grebņevs
    Editor: TBD
    Production designer: Jānis Bijubens
    Costume designer: Līga Krāsone
    Make-up artist: Dzintra Bijubena
    Original music: TBD
    Cast: Anta Aizupe, Baiba Broka, Daiga Kažociņa, Matīss Budovskis, Jānis Skutelis, Lidija Pupure