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Latvia Greenlights Four Movies for Co-Financing Funds

The $560,000 dispersed for the international projects will cover up to 25 percent of their local spending in the country.

LONDON – Latvia's National Film Center has approved four international movies shooting in the country for co-financing rebates worth a quarter of the local budget.

The fund, currently worth an annual $660,000, has been EU approved and will gradually increase, the center said on Monday.

The four projects approved, from six that applied, are two from Boheme International: Son, in cooperation with Russia's Amalgama Studio (co-financing $85,000 representing 20 percent of the local spend); and Heritage, with Russian film studio Ivan ($110,000; 20 percent of the local spend). Both projects also already have additional Riga Film Fund grants.

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Tal Filma's project Refugees, co-produced with Trogir Prodaksn, Russia, gets $235,000, representing 25 percent of its local spend, and So Far So Good, from Film Angels Studio with Film United in the Czech Republic, gets $137,000 (25 percent of the local spend) in addition to Riga Film Funds.

The co-financing rules allow up to 25 percent rebates for local spends on projects where the story takes place in Latvia, and 20 percent for those where the film is shot in Latvia using local services, but the country is not specifically identified.

Ilze Gailite Holmberg, director of the national film center, said the grants are the first in the Baltics for co-productions and makes Lativa “the Baltics’ only tax-friendly film-financing nation.”

The Riga Film Fund, which offers money to attract projects to the city, the country's capital, has already had success in attracting projects from Europe, Russia, Japan, India and Korea -- including spy thriller The Berlin File starring Jung-woo Ha and lensed by Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan.

International productions spent an estimated $9.4 million in Latvia last year.