Three feature films, one from each of the three Baltic states, more indie than Hollywood, were screened in Toronto last weekend as the 7th annual Baltic Film Festival. Viewing them brought a certain pride of accomplishment.
Fed Up, an Estonian - German co-production with dialogue in German (sub-titled in English) took about ten minutes for the viewer to understand what was happening and who were the main characters (Estonians in the audience had no problem understanding, however.),
Lotte from Gadgetville is a Latvian animated feature, a film for children made with marked involvement from Estonian filmmakers. It told an interesting story and kept the children in audience attentive (and quiet).
Anastasia. This Lithuanian drama was made by Latvians with Latvian lead actors playing Russians. The plot revolves around a former Russian soldier wanting to go back to Russia in style. He elects to do so by taking some hostages, holding them for ransom. Enter a Lithuanian SWAT team and a hostage negotiator. Anastasia, one of the hostages, is the daughter of the hostage negotiator. She falls in love with the Russian, a classic case of Stockholm, in this film the Lithuanian Syndrome.
The Baltic Film Festival was very well organized by Latvian National Federation in Canada executive vice president Andris Kesteris. With the Toronto screening completed Kesteris is next taking the show to Vancouver. The festival already had an earlier stop in Ottawa.
7th annual Baltic Film Festival in Toronto