PRODUCTION: Latvian Animation Director Kārlis Vītols Preps The Northern Star

    The Northern Star by Kārlis Vītols The Northern Star by Kārlis Vītols credit: Studija kokles

    RIGA: Latvian animation director/artist Kārlis Vītols is currently in preparation with his long animated film The Northern Star / Ziemeļu Zvaigzne, whose production is due to start in September 2023.

    Nikolaus von Himsel is a submissive youth who travels across Europe accompanied by his private tutor and assembles a collection for his cabinet of curiosities. All that remains is to return home and reap the recognition of high society. Yet just before turning towards home, the young man gets wind of the opportunity to climb Vesuvius, a flaming volcano whose summit is the target of so many of his peers. Himsel can no longer find peace.

    The Northern Star is the coming-of-age story of a young man who revolts against the generally accepted ideas on how to live to become an honourable and successful person. At the beginning of the film the main protagonist is immature and overwhelmed by the generally accepted norms, he is still scared and insecure, yet his soul is smouldering in anticipation of a spark. I want to make a journey that would encourage audience to be independent and dare to follow their goal, no matter how uncomfortable or foolish it might seem”, Kārlis Vītols said in a statement.

    As for the technique, “the film is made in 2D/cutout with references to the 18th century shadow theatre and the animation traditions developed by director Lotte Reiniger. I am an admirer of European cinema, therefore in my animation I retained the historical link, but the film is oriented towards a broad audience; the characters and backgrounds please the eye with their bright colours and lively light”, Kārlis Vītols also said.

    The Northern Star is produced by Sniedze Kāle through Latvian animation studio Studija kokles in partnership with the Latvian Television, TET and the CEE Animation Workshop 2021.

    The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia, as well as the State Culture Capital Foundation and the Latvian Television. The total budget is 1.2 m EUR.

    “In 2022, we received a grant from the National Film Centre of Latvia, which covered 67% of our production budget and enabled us to enter preproduction and to make progress with the character design. We are currently working on a new teaser. In September 2023, we will begin production after which we will seek additional financing. Our goal is to premiere the film in 2026 and to submit it to various festivals”, producer Sniedze Kāle told FNE.

    Production Information:

    The Northern Star by Kārlis Vītols, credit: Studija kokleProducer:
    Studija kokles (Latvia)
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    Sniedze Kāle: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Director: Kārlis Vītols
    Screenwriter:Kārlis Vītols
    Art director: Kārlis Vītols
    Character design: Baiba Baiba
    Script consultant: Līga Gaisa
    Composer: Jēkabs Nīmanis
    Sound director: Ernests Ansons
    Film editor: Andris Grants
    Animation director: Inga Prauliņa
    Main cast: Uldis Siliņš, Klinta Reinholde, Jānis Skanis, Imants Strads