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Andrijs Gauja's feature film "The Lesson" to have world premiere at Montreal International Film Festival

Director Andrijs Gauja's feature film "The Lesson" will have its world premiere at the Montreal International Film Festival on August 27. In September the film will also participate in international film festivals in Norway and Russia. It will have its Latvian premiere at "Kino Citadele" on October 9.

The film is about a young teacher who, while trying to make friends with her class, ends up entangled in complex personal relationships.

"The film is about a woman in a quest for herself. About a kind-hearted person, a good teacher who wishes no harm to anyone. But when she has to choose between her personal happiness, it may mean that she cannot be good for everybody," says the director Andris Gauja. The main character, a thirty-year-old teacher, is played by actress Inga Alsiņa-Lasmane. In addition to professional actors, the film also features young people who had never participated in shooting a film. This was a challenge to the professional actors, but at the same time it contributed to making the film very refreshing.

"We did all we could to avoid unnecessary pretentiousness, so the film would be natural and speak to all kinds of viewers," notes Gauja.

Camera operator Andris Grebņevs adds that the film was shot without using clapperboards - the actors never knew whether the camera was on or off, which helped shooting some very natural scenes. Also, the actors were encouraged to improvise in many of the scenes.

While most of the film was shot in Latvia, some scenes were done in France and Russia, whereas post-production was done in India, using the latest technology. As a result, the film has top-quality sound and vibrant colours, which may appeal to some of the filmgoers. "The entire post-production was done in India, and we are very pleased with it. Originally we were afraid that they might use some hyper-bright Bollywood colours. The sound studio was the best in India," Gauja adds.

The film's target audience is young people 16 to 25 years old.

This is the first feature film directed by Andris Gauja. He started shooting the film in May 2012. The total budget of the film was approximately EUR 270,000.
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