Brothers’ work takes prize at short films fest

Brothers Raitis and Lauris Ābele were awarded the International Grand Prix Award at the 45th annual Tampere Film Festival over the weekend for their 2014 short fiction film ‘Castratus Kuilis’.

A five-day-and-night festival lasting from March 4-8, the Tampere Film Festival focuses on movies whose duration is less than half-an-hour, offering seminars and discussions, exhibitions and club events in addition to the screenings of the short films themselves. Receiving the Grand Prix at the Tampere Festival means a first step towards consideration for the Oscars short films category.

The film has previously received the jury's award at the Kinoshock 2014 festival in Russia as well as the jury's prize at the Prague Short Film Festival 2015. It was also named best Baltic feature film at the festival 2Annas last year, and was screened at the Antarctic Short, Documentary and Animation Film Festival 2014.

Castratus Kuilis is the brothers’ debut feature fiction short. Lauris has a degree in film directing from Latvia’s Academy of Culture while Raitis has studied at the New York Film Academy. Their film tells an impressionistic tale of a young man named Vaters and his secret, which prevents him from playing a useful role in his local small-town society.

"It's a brief, contrasting story about alienation, longing and rebirth. Valters spends his days singing in the local church choir and looking after his inherited herd of pigs, but this doesn't make him any less lonely. He seeks solace in the company of the girl Aija, but his affirmations of manhood are too out of the ordinary," say the authors about their work.

The main characters are played by Kaspars Kārkliņš and Anete Saulīte. The film was produced by Dace Siatkovska and Toms Palmens. Cinematographer Gatis Grīnbergs used the project as his thesis work upon graduation from the Culture Academy.

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Culture
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