Five domestic movies to be filmed in Estonia this summer

The beginning of shooting film called
The beginning of shooting film called "Eesti Matus" Source: Robert Lang

This summer, five new domestic movies will be made in Estonia as the industry picks itself up after the coronavirus pandemic. These are "Kalev", "Erik Kivisüda", "Apteeker Melchior", "Tagurpidi torn" and "Eesti matus". In addition, two Finnish series will be shot in Estonia.

This summer, the real-life-inspired sports drama "Kalev" was the first to be shot, which tells the story of the basketball team of the same name's journey to the winning title of the last Soviet Union championship. The first shoot for the film started on June 3 and has now ended, though a new shoot will start at the end of July. Filming will take place in Tallinn, near Pärnu, Riga and Jurmala, Latvia. 

The movie's producer Pille Rünk said: "The coronavirus had a huge effect on filming - we specifically had to postpone our preparation and shooting days (March, April, May). 18 shooting days were planned for this period." 

She added that although the conditions on the set were different than usual, the shots were still successful. "People understand, we follow the rules and we try to create order in the chaos that has arisen," Rünk said. 

At the end of June, the filming of Andrus Kivirähk 's movie version of "Eesti matus" (English: "Estonian funeral") began. The movie is directed by Rene Vilbre and the filming days pass by with a joyful spirit - the movie crew is constantly struggling not to laugh behind the camera.

 However, the shooting of the adventurous children's movie "Erik Kivisüda" will start on July 6. The film tells the story of 10-year-old Erik and Maria. "We will start shooting in Kakumäe Haven, where we built a pirate ship," said movie producer Riina Sildos. Then filming will take place in Toila in Ida-Viru county and in Luxembourg in August. 

"Unfortunately, we had to change locations due to the coronavirus, which has also led to financial losses, because we have to use a lot of special effects," said Sildos. 

Due to the pandemic, it is also difficult to get the team together, because people from Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Luxembourg are involved in making the movie. "It's a complete madhouse, but somehow we can still do it," Sildos said. 

However, "Erik Kivisüda" is not the only children's movie that will be filmed in Estonia this summer. At the beginning of August, the techniques of "Tagurpidi torn" ("Reverse Tower") is to be released in Laitse and Hellenurme, which were postponed by a month due to the coronavirus. Due to the quarantine, it was not possible to make physical preparations for the movie, e.g prepare the locations and rehearse with the actors. 

Director Jaak Kilmi. "Even casting had to stay on pause with their work. We have a group of kids, a group of five plus bystanders. Just before the coronavirus, we were able to do one casting round, but then we had to make another meeting. It couldn't be done from a distance, it really took a lot of time to get the kids together."

He added, however, the preparations for the film were not completely halted: "All the other preparations could be made - check and go through the scenario, talk about the visual concept, etc."

In mid-July, the first part of "Apteeker Melchior" (English: "Melchior the Pharmacist") will start shooting, and will last until mid-August. The filming of the second and third parts will take place in autumn and winter. The film is based on the stories of Indrek Hargla's book called "Apteeker Melchior" and is directed by Elmo Nüganen. 

In addition to domestic films, two Finnish series will be filmed in July - "Bad Apples" and "My Husband's Wife". Technical tests of the domestic feature film "Invisible Fight" will also take place this summer, but shooting will begin in next year's April. 

However, the shooting of one movie planned overseas, Kadri Kõusaar's "Surnud naine" (English: "Dead Woman"), due to take place in Jordan, was postponed from summer to autumn. 

Edith Sepp, director of the Estonian Film Institute (Eesti Filmi Instituut), said the film industry had regrouped quite quickly after the coronavirus crisis. 

"It is very good that Estonia got under control with the virus just before the summer, something many countries have not succeeded in doing, and they have had to postpone their filming. The preparation time for Estonian movies was quite short and half a million euros is affected by the crisis to continue the production of films, and another half a million is used to make brand new movies, " said Sepp.


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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