Baltic Event Co-Production Market
The body of a boy is discovered in the peat field, Broze, a local policeman is forced to reopen a missing persons case from 30 years ago and the past never truly stays buried.
A body of a 12-year-old boy is found buried in a peat bog near a small town in Latvia. Local policeman Broze (43) is put in charge of the investigation, and very soon a local deadbeat Adamson confesses to the murder. During the identification, Broze seems to recognize the body and when a medallion is discovered around the boy’s neck Broze is convinced – the body is that of his childhood friend Mickey who disappeared more than 25 years ago and was never found. After Adamson sobers up his confession falls apart at the seams and Broze has to release him. The people of an otherwise sleepy town are set on revenge and are not concerned about any evidence. Brozes inability to show quick results threatens his authority and he gets bogged down with keeping the order in the town while trying to recall the event of the day when Mickey disappeared. Seems that the bog holds more than one secret.
The body of a 12-year-old boy is found buried in a peat bog near a small town in Latvia. A local deadbeat named Adamson confesses to the murder he committed years ago when he was still a teenager. Adamson also indicated that the local policeman, Brože (42), was present on the day when a game played by boys turned tragic. During the identification, Brože recognizes the body of his childhood friend Mickey, who disappeared more than 25 years ago and was never found. After Adamson sobers up, his confession falls apart at the seams, and Brože has to release him. The people of an otherwise sleepy town are set on revenge and are not concerned about any evidence. Brože's inability to show quick results threatens his authority, and he gets bogged down with maintaining order in the town. Adamson's accusation that Brože was also involved in the murder comes as a big surprise to Broze himself, but not to the folks of the town. Mickey's brother is determined not to let things go, leading to a clash between him and Brože during a tense hunting scene. Although Brože cannot clearly recall the events of the day Mickey disappeared, he remains certain of his own innocence. Yet, some cracks start to appear in his memory, triggered by conflicts Brože's son Sandis (12) is involved in at school. Brože suspects his son of being a bully at school, and according to the town, "it runs in the family." The discovery of the boy's body stirs up the underlying conflicts in the town, and everyone seems to be stuck in the bog of their own tangled emotions. Time starts to play tricks on Brože's mind—events seem to be repeating themselves here from generation to generation, and violence might be just a short step ahead. Brože has to reckon with guilt about Mickey's disappearance that starts to rise in his consciousness - a guilt he can't clearly identify nor ignore.
The idea originated when I heard about the phenomenon of the bog bodies - in Northern Europe, mummified bodies are discovered in bogs that look like they were buried yesterday but can be thousands of years old. The film will not be a traditional police procedural. I am interested in the metamorphosis of this genre in world cinema. Directors such as Ceylan and Dumont (films Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, L'humanité) have proven that it is possible to utilise some of the genre convictions, but at the same time focus on the atmosphere and the setting of the story. The central theme of the film is guilt and the subjectivity of memories. As the title suggests, our main character is on a shifting ground. He starts to question his own memory, which leads him to a sort of paranoid state and the rumours in town about his involvement in the crime don't help either. The setting of the film holds a strong symbolic meaning, as in bogs the past is never dead and maybe time is not as linear as we are used to thinking.
We believe that the film project The Bog will not only be an opportunity to successfully further the development of the director's handwriting, but also an opportunity to expand the variety of genres and consolidate his directorial style. Kalviņš' feature film The Bog presents thrilling, original storyline and artistic methods – the necessary factors to ensure the diversity of genres in European cinema and to develop the style of the director. This new film project The Bog features a dialogic approach to the themes and aesthetics of the 1990s, almost making the concept of "swamp" semantically loaded. In our opinion, this approach will allow us to be a part of the current trends in cinema – the stories of the 90s from a contemporary point of view, complemented by a distinct auteur cinematic approach.
Today working as a director, Reinis studied filmmaking under the mentorship of Bela Tarr (MA program at Film Factory Sarajevo). Reinis Kalvins first feature length film crime drama The Shift debuted in 2021, his filmography includes short films He Took the Bottle but Left the Girl (2014), Blackout (2015), Coffee and Cigarettes (2016). Reinis is an alumnus of Torino Film Lab and the Locarno Match Me program.
The Shift, 2020, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11737748/reference/ He took the Bottle and left the girl, 2014, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5135322/reference/
Gints Grūbe holds degrees in philopsohy and political science. He has diverse work experience in the field of media. Since founding Mistrus Media, one of the leading film companies in Latvia, he has been involved in producing films including Escaping Riga (dir.Dāvis Sīmanis jr.), Chronicles of Melani (dir.Viesturs Kairišs), To Be Continued (dir.Ivars Seleckis), and The Mover (dir.Dāvis Sīmanis jr.), January (dir.Viesturs Kairišs), Samuel’s Travels (dir. Aiks Karapetjans), co-produced movies Tsoy (dir. Alexei Uchitel) and In The Dusk (dir. Sharunas Bartas). He co-directed World Sounds and My Father The Spy.
January, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14326086/reference/ Samuel's Travels, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15944320/reference/ Natural light, 2021, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11681056/reference/ In the Dusk, 2019, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9799640/reference/ The Mover, 2018, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5697990/reference/
Mistrus Media, established in 2000, have strong reflections on historical and current social-political themes. In recent years, the film studio has cooperated with a number of countries, working both on complex joint productions of international films and providing professional services to foreign companies shooting their films in Latvia. In 2022, in honor of Cannes' 75th anniversary Screen International selected Mistrus Media as one of the 75 independent European production companies actively engaged in 2022 in the origination, development and production of feature films, working with other co-production partners to create works for arthouse audiences and the global festival circuit. A few noteworthy co-production titles include: the feature drama *January* (2022) by Viesturs Kairišs which won the Best International Narrative at the Tribeca Film Festival, *Natural Light* (2021) by Dénes Nagy, a minority co-production, selected for the Berlin International Film Festival, awarded the Silver Bear for the Best Director, *In the Dusk* (2020) by Sharunas Bartas, a minority co-production, selected for the Cannes 2020. Limited TV series *Queen of the Press* was released in 2021 and the dark comedy *Samuel’s Travels* (2021), directed by Aik Karapetian premiered at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, USA. The documentary by Ivo Briedis *Homo Sovieticus* (2021) premiered at One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague, and *The Land* by Ivars Seleckis premiered at IDFA 2022.