Archive of films Mellow Mud / Es esmu šeit
2016, 105 min
Section: Variety Critics' Choice
Seventeen-year-old Raya doesn’t have things easy, living as she does with just her grandmother and younger brother in the country. When grandma suddenly dies the siblings should head for the nearest orphanage but the girl opts to take things energetically into her own hands. She still has to face disappointment and dramatic struggles with her harsh circumstances, but Raya isn’t one to give up.
Harsh circumstances force a resourceful and determined Latvian girl to mature beyond her years in this compelling, bittersweet coming-of-ager from first-time feature helmer-writer Renārs Vimba. The evocatively shot realist tale benefits from a spare yet credible script and a knockout performance from big-screen debutant Elīna Vaska, who conveys her character’s feelings of anger, abandonment, responsibility and first love with conviction and authenticity. When 17-year-old Raya returns from school one day and finds her grandmother dead, she and younger brother Robis bury her in the garden and tell no one. Raya takes on the responsibility of running the household, deciding that her best chance of putting things right is to track down her mother by competing in an English-language Olympiad due to take place in London, where mom relocated after abandoning them. Proving himself a director of sensitivity and a refined visual style, Vimba presents the action through Raya’s eyes, using sparse dialogue and expressive images.
About the director
Renārs Vimba graduated in cinematography from the Latvian Cultural Academy in Riga in 2008, then studied direction at the Baltic Film and Media School in Tallinn. He participated in creative workshops in Lithuania, Germany, and Russia. He made several short writer-director movies that grabbed attention at domestic festivals, including I Like What’s Gonna Be Tomorrow (Man patik kas rita bus, 2008), which he also edited, lensed, and produced, Daddy Doll (2009), and Breakwater (Mols, 2009). According to the director, his feature debut Mellow Mud was more than three years in the making, but his patience was rewarded this year with a Crystal Bear, the top honor in the Generation 14plus section at the Berlinale. He is currently at work on another feature-length project entitled Sanctus, for which he also wrote the script.
About the film
|Section:||Variety Critics' Choice|
|Dir. of Photography:||Arnar Thorisson|
|Producer:||Aija Bērziņa, Alise Ģelze|
|Cast:||Elīna Vaska, Andžejs Jānis Lilientāls, Edgars Samītis, Zane Jančevska, Ruta Birgere, Rēzija Kalniņa|
|Sales:||Pluto Film Distribution Network|