Festivals Animation
Kadrs no filmas un Palmas zars

Flow, the latest animation film by Gints Zilbalodis, has been selected for the competition programme Un Certain Regard at the 77th International Cannes Film Festival, marking the first time a Latvian full-length animation has entered the Cannes Film Festival competition.

Un Certain Regard is the "second" competition programme of the Cannes Film Festival, showcasing up to 20 films from around the world renowned for their unique and extraordinary artistic vision. The Un Certain Regard jury will be chaired by Canadian director Xavier Dolan. Previously, only one Latvian film has competed in the Un Certain Regard programme: the feature film The Shoe, directed by Laila Pakalniņa in 1998.

Gints Zilbalodis’ full-length animated film Flow is set in a stunning yet desolate, flooded world. The film's central character is a fiercely independent Cat, accustomed to managing everything in life alone and preferring solitude from other animals. However, when a massive flood forces him to leave his home, Cat finds himself aboard a small boat, compelled to navigate the waters alongside other animals, including the group's leader Bird, the pacifist Capybara, the trusting Dog, and the hoarder Lemur. As they struggle to survive in the increasingly menacing flooded world, Cat faces a pivotal decision: maintain his independence or learn to cooperate.

"I feel honoured that my film Flow has overcome fierce competition to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. The past five years dedicated to this film have been intense and challenging, and I eagerly anticipate its world premiere. The inclusion of Flow in a festival where animation is seldom featured brings me great satisfaction, as the film's story is deeply personal to me. It indicates that a profound connection with the audience can be achieved through pure cinematic language," says director Gints Zilbalodis.

"The inclusion of the film in the Un Certain Regard official competition programme of the Cannes Film Festival is a significant milestone for any filmmaker. I am proud of the work undertaken by Gints and our talented young team in creating this beautiful and poetic film. This marks the pinnacle of my career as a writer and producer thus far. I anticipate that participation in this competition will pave the way for Flow to be distributed worldwide, garnering widespread acclaim," adds Matīss Kaža, the film's producer and co-screenwriter.

"We can take pride in the success of Latvian cinema, as the inclusion of a film, particularly an animated one, in the official programme of the world's premier film festival is a momentous occasion for Latvia and the Baltic countries. Amidst thousands of global entries vying for a spot in the Cannes Festival's official selection, animated films stand as a special exception, given the festival's primary focus on feature films. It's worth noting that years ago, the Hollywood animated film Shrek (2001) premiered in the Cannes Festival's official programme, becoming a beloved classic. The recognition of an animation project from a small country in the rigorous Cannes selection process underscores the competitiveness and world-class professionalism of Latvia's emerging generation of animation creators. Both the film's author Gints Zilbalodis and producer Matīss Kaža have astounded us all by crafting a powerful and nuanced animated film, a collaboration effort of Latvia, France, and Belgium," emphasizes Dita Rietuma, head of the National Film Centre of Latvia.

Director Gints Zilbalodis’ previous film Away (2019) won the main prize of the Contrechamp competition at the Annecy Film Festival and was successfully screened at over 90 film festivals worldwide. While Zilbalodis worked solo on that project, an international team contributed to Flow – character animation was done in France, sound post-processing in Belgium, and characters, environmental elements, visual effects, and music were created in Latvia.

The main creative team of Flow includes director, producer, screenwriter, and artist Gints Zilbalodis, producer and co-screenwriter Matīss Kaža, producers Ron Dyensa and Gregory Zalcman, sound director Gurwal Coïc-Gallas, lead animator Léo Silly-Pélissier, and music composers Gints Zilbalodis and Rihards Zaļupe, with visual effects artists Konstantīns Višņevskis and Mārtiņš Upītis.

Flow received financial support from the National Film Centre of Latvia, the State Culture Capital Foundation, Eurimages, the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image of France, Arte, and Canal+, along with several regional foundations and support programmes in France and Belgium. The film is produced by Dream Well Studio (Latvia), Sacrebleu Productions (France), and Take Five (Belgium). In Latvia, Flow is set to premiere this autumn.


Additional information:
Matīss Kaža
Producer, Dream Well Studio
e-mail: matiss@dreamwell.lv
phone: +371 2003022