THE BALLET MASTER AND THE SEVEN ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE
Erik is a fireman in Estonia. As a prelude to its war with Germany, the Soviet Union annexes Estonia and arrests Estonia’s President. In these troubled times, Erik finds his friend and colleague Johannes murdered for being involved with the Estonian underground resistance movement. Swept along by events, Erik finds himself recruited to step in for his deceased friend and carry on the fight for independent Estonia. Unlike his predecessor, Erik has no training in covert methods. Erik receives the bare minimum of instruction – his mission is to join up with an operative group, which will then travel to Siberia to liberate Estonia’s President.
The plan is to take him to neutral Switzerland, where the government of Estonia can be formed in exile. Erik also inherits Johannes’s false identification – the internal passport of an Estonian ballet master, yet Erik also knows nothing about ballet. Thus he must improvise in two roles he knows nothing about – as a member of a secret operative group and as a ballet master. His group travels to Moscow under cover as a folk dance ensemble and in the train already they must prove themselves. Against all odds, their performance is a success, arousing the interest of the mysterious and beautiful Jelizaveta Filippovna. She makes the group an offer they cannot refuse – to tour the Soviet Union with her as their manager. In the process, she falls in love with Erik. But at the same time, she regularly reports to a stone-faced Red Army general, who follows the group’s every move with great interest. Erik’s team finally manages to make its way to the psycho-neurological prison, where the President has been held the whole time with a mental case who thinks he is the Russian Tsar Nikolai II. Jelizaveta organises their next show in town, and Erik’s men use that as a diversion to break into the prison. The President has in the meantime been forced to take medication and this confinement has had an adverse affect on his psyche. By the time Erik’s men reach him, the President refuses to go to Switzerland, denies the possibility of Estonia’s independent existence without Russia, and proposes that they go to America instead, where the President claims to have millions stashed away. Sadly, Erik’s men realise that they are too late to save the President, and they leave him in the prison. With nowhere to turn for further instructions, Erik takes up the role that the President can no longer fill.
Yet instead of escaping to Switzerland, he returns to his homeland to secretly spread the spirit of resistance among the people. By holding on to their folk dance traditions, the people persevere through decades of occupation until the spirit of independence can again rise from the ashes.
Born: July 24th, 1963 in Toronto, Canada
Founding partner of Rühm Pluss Null Studio, a film and video production studio. He works at Rühm Pluss Null Studio as a director and producer since 1996. He is an assistant to the producer and managing director of Eesti Joonisfilm Studio, a cell animation film production studio, since 1997. He participated in a feature film idea competition held in the spring of 1998 by Allfilm Studio in Estonia with an idea outline with the working title Reconciliation, which earned an honorable mention from the competition jury.
He developed the initial treatment for The Ballet Master and the Seven Enemies of the People at the screenplay and production development course for feature films European Development Network organised by Draft Zero in September – December 2003.
|1986||Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Toronto|
|1990-1992||Studied various aspects of filmmaking (scriptwriting, directing, cinematography, film sound) in evening courses at New York University|
|1993-1995||Continued studies in film directing at the Chair of Film and Video of the Tallinn Pedagogical University in Estonia.|
Camp For President (documentary) – writer, director
Aruanne (English title: The Reckoning), 1997 (short) – writer, director; awards: Best Film in the Young Directors Category, Blue Sea Film Festival, Rauma, Finland, 1997. Special Jury Prize, East Village Film and Video Festival, New York, USA, 1997
Mission Impossible, 1995 (documentary) – writer, director
Kaevaja (English title: The Digger), 1994 (short) – writer, director
Hullud Päevad (English title: Crazy Days), 2006 (documentary, in development)- producer
Udmurditar Ja Mulk (English title: The Udmurt Girl and the Guy from Viljandi) 2006 (documentary, in development) – producer
Kahe Näoga Saar (English title: The Island With Two Faces), 2005 (documentary) – producer
Avasta Rikas Nurgatagune Kosmos (English title: Discover the Rich Cosmos Around the Corner), 2005 (documentary) – producer
Teistmoodi Tihane (English title: A Different Titmouse), 2004 (documentary) – producer
As line producer/production manager:
Erki Kasemets, 2002 (short documentary)
Ballada, 2001, (short)
Inimeste LemmIK (English title: The Philosopher), 2001 (documentary)
Kalamaja: Puitlinna Võimalus (English title: Kalamaja – Possibility of a Wooden Town), 2000 (documentary)
Öine Navigatsioon (English title: Night Navigation), 1998 (short)
Born on 8 November 1957 in Pärnu, Estonia.
Lecturer at Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Media Studies, Department of Scenography.
After graduating form the State Art Institute he started to work in the film studio “Tallinnfilm” as a puppet film director and production designer. At the same time he was active as a freelance scenographer in almost all Estonian and some foreign theatres. H.V. has directed and designed ten 3D animated films, one short and two full-length feature films, a documentary, two TV-serials, and a couple of TV-shows. He has made over 70 sets for theatrical productions and directed two plays. He has staged and designed about 20 TV-commercials of different kind and technique and about 10 music videos. He has designed books and theatre posters. He has worked as a copyrighter in an ad agency.
Awards he received include: Young theatrical designer award, 1986; about 20 prizes in international film festivals (Minsk, Kiev, Shanghai, Espinho, Alexandria, Seoul etc); Best feature film director in Estonia, 1997; Sinebrychoff OY Estonia culture prize, 1999; Best theatrical designer – Pärnu Endla, Viljandi Ugala, Rakvere Theatre, 1987-2000.
1985 State Art Institute of ESSR (now Estonian Academy of Arts), production designer
1978 Technical School No. 4., tailor
1976 Pärnu Secondary School no 2
Studies and workshops:
3D animation workshop in Stuttgart Film School, 1989
3D animation workshop in Volda Film School (Norway), 1990
Film directors’ workshop in Luxembourg (lecturer), 1995
Lectures & workshop for Estonian amateur theatre directors, 1999
Imeline nääriöö (Miraculous Christmas Night, A) – 1984
Nõiutud saar (Enchanted Island) – 1985
Kevadine kärbes (Spring Fly) – 1986
Sõda (War, The) – 1987
Tööd ja tegemised (Works & Doings) – 1988
Animeeritud autoportreed (Animated Self-Portraits) – 1989
Jackpot – 1990
Incipit vita nova – 1992
Hilinenud romanss (Twilight Romane) – 1994
Keegi veel (Somebodu Else) – 1998
Primavera – 1999
Barbarid (Barbarians) – 2003
Man from Animazone (Pärnograafia/Pärnography) – 2005
Feature films and series:
Igaühele oma (For Everyone Its Own) – 1992, (short)
Tulivesi (Firewater) – 1994 (feature)
Minu Leninid (All My Lenins) – 1997 (feature)
Armastuse kahur (Cannon of Love) – 1998 (TV series)
For All the Money – 1999 (fake-documentary)
Paralüüs (Paralysis) – 2000 (TV series)
Pehmed ja karvased (Soft & the Furry) – 2001 (political TV-show)
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