Elina Litvinova • Producer, Three Brothers
“I’m a believer that difficult times always bring a healthy change and opportunities”
- We interview producer Elina Litvinova, of Estonian company Three Brothers, selected as one of EFP’s 2020 Producers on the Move
Elina Litvinova co-founded the company Three Brothers with the writer-director Martti Helde and produced his feature Scandinavian Silence [+see also:
interview: Martti Helde
film profile] which premiered in Karlovy Vary in 2019. She is one of EFP’s 2020 Producers on the Move
Cineuropa: Tell us a little about your background and not only about the films you’ve worked on in the past but also about some of the projects you’re working on in the future
Elina Litvinova: I’m a Latvian-born film producer working in Estonia. I moved to Tallinn to study at the Baltic Film and Media School, followed by international co-production training in Europe and a Masters at the National Film and TV School in the UK. I started out working as a production manager and line producer on commercials and features, so this helped me realise that I’m most keen on working with international teams and films that have a strong moral responsibility and aesthetic form.
I’m still actively involved with the international distribution of Scandinavian Silence (2019) and we’re also developing Martti Helde’s new film Thule.
I’m in post-production of Vladimir Loginov’s new documentary film that has observed the very unique atmosphere of the Tallinn Hippodrome for the last five years. We’re in pre-production with short film Drifting Apart, with the young and talented director Rebeka Rummel, which revolves around the theme of trust in Soviet cosmonautic rehabilitation center. And last, but certainly not least, I’m working on Dark Paradise, the second feature from fierce Estonian director Triin Ruumet.
For a small country, Estonia seems to have a relatively healthy film scene. What do you think that other film industries could learn from Estonia and the Baltics?
The scale of our country and industry makes us very effective in communication, decision-making and reliability. We haven’t bureaucratized everything beyond limits, so when it comes to financing or prepping a shoot in Estonia our regulations, crews, locations etc. are very accessible and flexible compared to many other European countries where the wave of servicing Anglo-American films has gone through already. So in a way we haven’t been spoiled yet and are very open to collaborate with minds that think alike.
And, conversely, what do you think the film industry in Estonia still needs to help it grow and improve?
We have great storytellers in Estonia but as the film industry overall becomes more of ‘’an industry’’ I really hope that directors whose talent lies in making make more artistic films won’t find themselves in a situation where they are forced to compromise their handwriting and style to make films just for economic purposes and meeting certain market demands.
This interview is being done as the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis is – seemingly – subsiding. How do you think the film industry will be able to recover this difficult time.
I’m a believer that difficult times always bring a healthy change and opportunities. I hope that this crisis that has shaken us out of our comfort zone globally will first of all mean that more intriguing stories will emerge and we’ll be able to filter the important events and customs in and around the industry. Reduce the clutter, focus more on the content and quality instead of appearances.
Covid-19 has affected Cannes, but you’ll still be taking part in Producers on the Move which EFP will hold online this year. What are you hoping for from being part of it?
As filmmaking often has a lot to do with lucky coincidences and fortunate series of events I can only hope that this selection and program might spark a new beginning for one of my projects now or in the future.
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