PRODUCTION: Latvian Debut Feature Banana Boat Acquired While in Postproduction

    Banana Boat by Kristaps Brize Banana Boat by Kristaps Brize credit: Toms Grinbergs, production designer of the film

    RIGA: Latvian director Kristaps Brize is currently in postproduction with his debut feature Banana Boat / Banāns Upē, which has been picked up by the French/UK sales agent Alief during Berlinale’s European Film Market 2024.

    Banana Boat is a light-hearted summer tale about Ralf, a 35-year-old man who has decided to strengthen his bond with his girlfriend’s 12-year old son. They plan a thrilling boat trip, which takes an unexpected turn when Ralf’s flamboyant colleague Linards joins in at the last minute, injecting a whole new level of adventure.

    The main cast consists of Toms Aunins, Kaspars Dumburs, Nestors Cerjovs Krumins and Ilva Centere.

    “As a director I believe in films for a wider audience. I wanted to talk about serious topics in a light way and at the same time to not be afraid to expose how vulnerable and fragile men can be when they don’t really know how to talk with teens and in situations they cannot control. Behind this shell of a coming-of-age narrative lays a very personal story. The protagonist's relationship with the boy encapsulates my own relationship-building experience with my wife’s kids through many years”, Kristaps Brize told FNE.

    Madara Melberga is producing through Fa Filma with a total budget of 230,000 EUR.

    Banana Boat was financed by the Latvian Culture Capital Foundation in 2020 (with 100,000 EUR). Additional financing was attached from the Latvian Ministry of Culture through the National Film Centre of Latvia, as well as from private partners.

    “Despite our very limited budget, we managed to capture the so-called production value and the film, in general, looks as a much bigger budget film. We knew the shooting area well and a lot of things were arranged by support of local organisations and in kind support”, Madara Melberga told FNE.

    The film was shot in the summer of 2021 in Northwestern Latvia, on several rivers and next to the sea. This is the third project shot by Fa Filma in this area.

    In Latvia, Riverbed Sales will organise the national release of the film in all major cinemas in Riga and other cities after the film's world premiere later in 2024. After that, the film will be released on the streaming platform TET+, which distributes national films with a strong commercial audience.

    Production Information:

    Banana Boat by Kristaps Brize, credit: Toms Grinbergs, production designer of the filmProducer:
    Fa Filma (Latvia)
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Director: Kristaps Brize
    Screenwriter: Kristaps Brize
    DoP: Marcis Abele
    Music: 100th Debut, Modris Skaistkalns, Agris Semevics, Aldis Kolosovs
    Cast: Toms Aunins, Kaspars Dumburs, Nestors Cerjovs Krumins, Ilva Centere