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Rome-based international sales and production company TVCO has sold Dace Pūce’s debut feature “The Pit” to German independent distributor Arsenal Filmverleih.

The drama, staged by Latvia’s Marana Production and Finland’s Inland Film Company, is based on a series of true stories published by Jana Egle.

The plot follows a 10-year-old boy called Markuss (Damirs Onackis), who must adapt to starting a new life in the Latvian countryside with his strict grandmother (Dace Eversa). After Emīlija (Luize Birkenberga), a neighbor’s daughter, makes some contemptuous remarks about Markuss’s dead father, he decides to trick her and makes her fall into a pit. The cruel lesson has severe repercussions throughout the village and the only person who seems to understand the child and his fears is an old sailor who lives alone in a modest house.

Last year, the title won the NDR film prize at the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck and took part in the Baltic Film Competition of the Tallinn Film Festival.

Arsenal Filmverleih’s CEO Stefan Paul said: “Arsenal Filmverleih is a long-time partner for Scandinavian films, since we released our big Norwegian hit ‘Elling,’ which gained 700,000 admissions at the time. We’ve always supported the Nordic film festivals organized in Hamburg and Lübeck and bought several films there.”

He added: “With ‘The Pit,’ we are releasing the first Latvian film in Germany and we look forward to present it in autumn, when the coronavirus crisis will be over, hopefully. We are aiming at a major release in about 30-35 locations. Moreover, we will try to screen it simultaneously in Austria and the German part of Switzerland.”