PHOTO: The oldest international film project in Latvia is being created in Old Riga

PHOTO: The oldest international film project in Latvia is being created in Old Riga

The multi-series film is produced by the German company “Story House Pictures”, and the filming in Latvia is organized by “Cinevilla Films”.

The project has received financial support in the amount of 380,850 euros from the Riga Film Fund and 650,000 euros from the National Cinema Center.

The premiere of the first season of “Sisi” is scheduled for the end of this year.

The historical drama “Sisi” is filmed in Old Riga +143 See more

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The company “Story House Pictures” has been successfully operating in Latvia for the third year in a row and has already filmed 6 projects here, providing significant added value to our film industry.

As part of the Story House Pictures projects, the cinema city of Cinevilla has been significantly expanded, with the construction of several new streets and squares. This investment has created increased interest in Latvia in other international projects as well. If co-financing from Latvia increased, our filming volumes would increase this year and beyond, ”says Tomas Makaras, executive producer of Story House Pictures in the Baltic States.

For filming purposes, the Latvian National Opera and the Riga Latvian Society House have become more than 600 years older, becoming the home of the Hungarian kings – Buda Castle in Budapest. The interiors of the legendary rococo pearls of Laaksenburg Castle are created in the Grand and Small Guilds, while the exterior is filmed in Cesvaine Castle.

The gardens, corridors, dance halls and reception rooms of our own Rundāle Castle play the role of Hofburg Castle, the center of the Habsburg dynasty empire. In the streets of Old Riga you can find the life of 19th century Vienna: market days, guest houses, horses, carriages and soldiers, hookers and dogs, drinkers and beggars. Straupe Castle and its surroundings interpret life in the Hungarian countryside about 150 years ago. The most extensive and grandiose decorations have been made in the Riga Film Studio – premises of three different castles were built in the area of ​​2000 square meters: Hofburg, Laksenburg and Posenhofen.

“Sisi” is a story based on real events about the turbulent life twists of the iconic last Austro-Hungarian Empress Elizabeth or Sisi. Elizabeth falls madly in love with the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, but soon after the two get married, she realizes that life in Vienna is not what she had hoped for.

At the heart of this six-hour adventure will be Sisi, perhaps Europe’s most beautiful women, fighting for her ideals and freedom against existing power and cruel regimes. Emperor Elizabeth is entrusted to portray the rising Swiss-American star Dominique Devenport, her ally Francis Joseph I will be embodied by German actor Jannik Schümann, and Sisi is directed by Sven Bohse.

Professionals from Germany, Lithuania and Latvia cooperate in filming in the Baltics and Bavaria.

The international team consists of about 200 people, most of whom are masters from Latvia. At least 150 people work on the filming site every day, the number of mass viewers tends to reach up to 200 people in one day. Horses and riders from Latvia and abroad regularly take part in the filming, and historical carriages were brought from Poland. Professional choreographers, surgeons, historians, Hungarian teachers and others who consult and supervise the artists’ ability to speak, amputate, dance or shoot according to the century are involved in unmistakably portraying 19th-century life in all its glory.

There are two stunt teams from Latvia and Germany on the square, supervising and participating in battles on the battlefield or in battles on the city streets, as well as making sure that no one is injured during the execution.

The costumes were made by Latvian masters

For the needs of filming, several hundred 19th century costumes have been created by Latvian masters, which reflect life from the farmstead to the palace of the rulers.

Director Sven Bohse says about Latvia: “It is a great pleasure to work in such a fantastic climate with such sincere and wide-minded people. The successful cooperation between Latvian and German film professionals has allowed us to do a very large amount of work at a fantastic pace – everything necessary from dresses to bedrooms was created to make this project possible. ”

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“Where else in the world, if not in Latvia, can you find the necessary architecture and landscapes to film everything from a medieval village to Cold War spy games? Latvia fits the portrait of Austro-Hungary even too well, only the mountains are missing. ”

Andrejs Ēķis, a representative of Cinevilla Films, reminds: “This is the first time a project of this scale, such as Sisi, has been made in Latvia. And in the case of the right tax policy, this project could bring six million into the Latvian economy, while in the current system it has brought only three million. It is important to remember that cinema is not just a culture, but the main thing – it is an industry – a profitable industry. Any film project allows you to earn not only a narrow, industry-related group of people, but also a wide range of service providers – caterers, hotel chains, craftsmen, transport providers, and this list could go on and on. At the national government level, it would be important to understand that cinema can heat the economy. “

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