Large-scale Latvian film begins production


    On July 16, the big national Latvian project Rudolf's Gold(Rūdolfa mantojum) went into production. The film is being produced by the film studio Platforma with a budget of around €2 million, part of which was supported by the European Union MEDIA programme (www.ec.europa.eu/information_society).

    Director Jānis Streičs is a notable writer and an unquestionable directing authority in Latvia (he has made 20 feature films - his film Limuzīns Jāņu nakts krāsā was voted the all-time best Latvian film in a national survey). In writing the screenplay himself, he is executing his idea to not just make a screen version of a popular writer's national play, but to create a modern paraphrase on a theme: Latvia in the early 20th century.

    That was a time referred to as the heyday of Russian capitalism, and Latvia was considered the empire's most productive land. The pre-Soviet Latvian way of life was characterized by a specific cultural-historic scene. For hundreds of years Latvia was a crossroads of many other nations, and alongside Latvian, the film will contain German, Russian, Polish, Latin and Hebrew dialogue.

    "Spring Life is a method whereby the elixir of life is found through a person's own positive experience, and in this film it will be the whole nation's experience", Jānis Streičs stated in a project intro.

    For this film, there will be the unique construction of a group of buildings for filming purposes, not as props, but as an authentic recreation of an early last century Latvian farm in its natural proportions using materials historically appropriate for that period. The project is taking place on the open-air film backlot - Cinevilla (www.cinevilla.lv) - in the Tukums region of Latvia.

    The cast of Rudolf's Gold includes famous Latvian actors such as Rezija Kalniņa, Romualds Ancāns and Arturs Skrastiņš, and is set to premiere at the end of 2008.