Latvian 34-year old Linda Krukle, European Film Promotion Producer on the Move, produced the first Latvian-Hong Kong coproduction Amaya aka Hong Kong Confidential with a cast of famous actors from Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Hong Kong, and the U.K. She'll be coming to Cannes with her comedy road movie (in development) Tempura, a contemporary story and multicultural film project that crosses national borders and cultures.
Directed by her husband Maris Martinsons (who also did Amaya) the story begins with a Japanese woman's well-planned trip to her daughter's wedding which collapses after turbulence on the way to Madrid. Middle-aged hotheaded Keiko refuses her next flight to Lisbon and, knowing nobody, accepts a ride from a young American man traveling through Spain exploring the landscape, architecture, and women. When they get lost on their way, both are forced to overcome their prejudices and antipathy toward each other's lifestyle and habits, emerging more tolerant to those closest to them. Tempura was selected for the Tokyo Project Gathering (October 2010), where it was pitched to selected Japanese production and distribution companies.
Krukle began her carrier by establishing the marketing and international relations department in the Baltic's biggest TV studio complex "ARTeta" in Lithuania in 2004. Two years later she founded her own film production and distribution company ART&A (Lithuania), moving, as she says, "step by step to the production side, starting from TV series, and then feature films." While in Lithuania, she produced Anastasia (2006) and Loss (2008), both directed by Martinson. In 2009 Krukle returned to her homeland Latvia and established a new filmmakers' partnership, Krukfilms.
Krukle sees producing local films as a challenge, "looking both from the financing and audience marketing sides. You may predict the festival cuircuit, but can't plan the worldwide sales, unless you have success in the major festivals." Producing a Latvian movie, as opposed to a film in France for example, means a smaller potential audience due to territory and language, and international audiences already have what, she says, "you may call illusions of what a French movie means... You can't explain what a Latvian movie is."
"We are focusing more on co-productions mainly because our stories are based outside of Latvia (like Amaya in Hong Kong, and Tempura in Spain and Portugal). So this is why it is necessary to attach co-production partners. For us it is very important to agree with our partner, who is not only the financial partner, but a creative partner as well," Krukle says.
She sees the EFP event as "an opportunity - not only to present, to meet, to exchange opinions, to exchange business cards - but to be close to professional people who are on board and to find long-lasting partners both for my own and their productions."
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