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As Local Biz Blossoms, Estonian Producers Take Top Projects to Cannes

Riding the high of a production-servicing boom, Estonia’s domestic industry has likewise shown no signs of slowing down. Here’s a roundup of top local productions in the pipeline, from producers who are searching for international partners in Cannes:

The Invisible Fight
Director: Rainer Sarnet
Producers: Katrin Kissa, Homeless Bob Production (Estonia), Alise Gelze, White Picture (Latvia), Amanda Livanou, Neda Film (Greece), Helen Vinogradov, Helsinki-filmi (Finland)
Sarnet, whose fantasy-drama “November” played at Tribeca in 2017, returns with a ‘70s-set kung-fu comedy about a guard on the Soviet-Chinese border who, after surviving a deadly attack, decides to become a monk but must continually prove along the way that he’s capable of becoming the enlightened man he set out to be.

Lioness
Director: Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo
Producers: Ivo Felt (Estonia), Guntis Trekteris (Latvia)
The sophomore feature from Trishkina-Vanhatalo, whose debut “Take It or Leave It” was Estonia’s submission for the international feature Oscar, follows the disappearance of a rebellious 15-year-old girl. With her grieving mother convinced she has nothing left to lose, she wonders why she should cling to sanity when madness offers a chance for reconciliation and love.

At Your Service
Director: German Golub
Producer: Stellar Film (Estonia)
Produced by EFP Producer on the Move Evelin Penttilä and written by Livia Ulman and Andris Feldmanis (Cannes Gran Prix co-winner “Compartment No. 6”), this feature from Student Academy Award winner Golub tells the story of a young mother and a police officer who finds herself in a predicament when deciding who to save — her family, her career, or herself.

Erik Stoneheart
Director: Ilmar Raag
Producer: Riina Sildos (Amrion Oü, Estonia)
Co-producers: Paul Thiltges Distributions (Luxembourg), Esse Production House (Ukraine), Uljana Kim Studios (Lithuania), Helsinki-filmi Oy (Finland), Locomotive Productions (Latvia)
The family fantasy adventure, also penned by Ulman and Feldmanis (“Compartment No. 6”), tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who sets off on a fantastical journey to the In-Between-World to discover if he truly has a stone for a heart.

Commander Pirx
Director: Margus Paju
Producer: Esko Rips, Andreas Kask (Nafta Films)
Based on the sci-fi collection “Tales of Pirx the Pilot” by Polish author Stanislaw Lem, the film follows the commander of an experimental military intelligence team who comes face to face with a new kind of moral decision: which of his subordinates are human and which are robots with human faces. Which are friends, which are enemies.

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