News from EFM: Baltic Film Centres and Locarno IFF Strike Deal on Participation in “Match Me!”

Agreement with Locarno IFF1

The film centres of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have signed an agreement with Locarno International Film Festival that will see six Baltic producers participate in the festival’s international “Match Me!” programme.

Locarno IFF, in its 71st instalment this August, is one of the most important European film events. Its programme for industry professionals attracts a number of influential cinema people: producers, sales agents, financiers.

“Match Me!” is an event for promising producers and it offers them an opportunity to present their companies and coproduction projects, both current and in the pipeline, to an international community of film professionals. In addition to networking opportunities and special attention, the participants from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will profit from lectures and masterclasses on strategic film production company development, where experienced speakers will discuss the changing international film market and possibilities it offers to each company.

“The aim of the project is to stimulate the collaboration among European producers, film cultures and industries,” says Dita Rietuma, the director of the Latvian National Film Centre.

“The Baltic film industries, that have undergone tremendous growth in recent years, need additional impulses to help them establish themselves internationally. Our successful cooperation with Locarno Film Festival, which we launched last year, and general interest in our region have opened the way for one more initiative, so once we received an offer to expand our cooperation, my Baltic colleagues and I immediately put it on our joint agenda,” says Rolandas Kvietkauskas, the director of the Lithuanian Film Centre.

“We believe that producers who have long-reaching development visions for their companies and are on the lookout for coproduction projects will make good use of this unique opportunity. At the same time, this project is a message that adverts to the national cinemas of the Baltic region,” says Edith Sepp, the head of Estonian Film Institute.

Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian film centres began their partnership with Locarno IFF in 2017 with a Baltic film programme presented to industry professionals in the “First Look” programme. Lithuania was represented by Vytautas Puidokas’ documentary El Padre Medico and Mantas Kvedaravičius’s Stásis, both of which were met favourably by the jury and attracted interest from distributors and festival programmers.

Estonia was represented by two debut feature films – Portugal by Lauri Lagle and The Little Comrade by Moonika Siimets. Portugal was awarded with the jury’s main award 65 000 euros for post-production services and The Little Comrade got Le Film Francais award.

Latvia was represented by the debut feature film Paradise 89 by Madara Dišlere and film The Mover by Davis Simanis Jr.

In the photo from left: Dovilė ButnoriūtėHead of Department of Film Promotion, Information and Heritage, Lithuanian Film Centre, Markus Duffner, “Match Me!” Project Manager, Dita Rietuma, CEO of the Latvian National Film Centre, Eda Koppel, Head of Marketing, Estonian Film Institute, Rolandas Kvietkauskas, CEO of the Lithuanian Film Centre.