Film production company Exitfilm is currently working on turning an Estonian crime novel into movie. Estonia’s first gothic crime fiction “Apothecary Melchior and the Mystery of St. Olaf’s Church” into a full feature film.
According to the Estonian Public Broadcasting, the script is currently in development and an idea of creating a six-episode TV series based on the novels has also been floated.
The movie’s action is going take place in the 1400s, with the plot driven by old legends and the history of Tallinn.
Urbla said that the aim is to create a script that would provide a basis for an exciting historic film while appealing also to international audiences. “For Estonian viewers, many of the stories are obvious but the international audience needs a slightly different approach,” he told Eesti Ekspress, adding that the task is somewhat challenging, yet finding foreign partners is essential for the success of the project because of the high costs of history-based filming.
The original version of the script was written by Indrek Hargla, author of the Apothecary Melchior novels, and reviewed by a UK script editor, in order to better understand the international viewers’ reception.
Exitfilm is an Estonian movie studio established in 1992 that produces and distributes feature films, short films and documentaries.
Exitfilm’s international co-productions include Lilja 4-Ever by Lukas Moodysson (Sweden), Unforgettable by Anders Ronnow Karlund (Denmark) and Rothschild’s Violinby Edgardo Cozarinsky (France).
On the list of Estonian feature films produced would be the Shop of Dreams (Estonian: Stiilipidu) in 2005 co-produced with Finland, directed by Peeter Urbla one of the founders of Exitfilm.
The author of the book Indrek Harkla is one of the best selling Estonian authors working today. His Apothecary Melchior stories now run to six volumes, and film versions are currently in production.