The plot of Nolan’s movie features Estonia

Laagna road in Tallinn.

PHOTO: Sander Ilvest

The heated debates about the possible location of the shooting of the Christopher Nolan movie Tenet in Laagna Road in Tallinn and the closing of the road brought Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas to the government press conference on June 6.

The minister warned that the obstruction of the production by Tallinn city government’s restrictions would significantly harm the volume of foreign movie production in Estonia. “Ut would be highly regrettable and would also result in a setback for the film industry and the marketing of Estonia in the world of motion pictures.“

The minister also revealed some secrets; as far as he knows, the production involves at least 13 locations in Estonia, predominantly in Tallinn. But the Laagna Road location is particularly important, since this place directly related to Estonia in the plot of the movie. “The other more important places where they will shoot are Pärnu Road, the City Hall – these are not recognizable or related to Estonia in conversations. There are locations for episodes with extras, but the Laagna Road is directly related to Estonia in the plot of the movie so that Estonia also features in the movie as a geographical location,” Lukas revealed. It is also known that some of the shooting will take place in Kumu  Art Museum.

The minister later told Postimees that as far as he knows, the shots made in Estonia would amount to some 20 minutes of the full length of the movie. “But again – this is a creative process,” Lukas explained possible changes. According to the minister, the movie also features Ukraine and it is possible that the team would not go there and use some locations in Estonia. “They trust us enough to film locations here, which could be shot in some other places,” he said.

According to Lukas, not all arguments regarding the closing of the Laagna Road have not yet been voiced and the objections are an overreaction. “If the city government weights the possible traffic disturbance, which could certainly be reduced with practical agreements, some communal troubles and the stress of communicating with the public, it may seem overwhelming and how to balance the scales then?”

The scales would be balanced by 16 million euros expended in Estonia according to the production budget: the partners, Allfilm movie company, the transport and construction firms creating the necessary environment, the students of the Baltic Film and Media School involved in the production, 1,200 extras for the episodes requiring mass presence. Not to mention the profit of hotels and restaurants. “And this wave will be followed by others,” Lukas said.

“If the production here is a success, others will come here as well. And I can assure – not only Hollywood producers, but also moviemakers from cultures European countries, who may bear a grudge towards Hollywood. If you put all that on the scales, I ask the city government to think wisely and make the decision, which is important for Estonia’s movie industry and culture in the long run”, Lukas said.