This year the saga of the apothecary Melchior gathered the most viewers in Estonian cinemas. Over 200,000 tickets were bought for these films – the first one was seen by 130,000 people, and the second, which still runs in cinemas throughout Estonia, has already collected more than 70,000 views.
Producer Tanel Tatter said that the promotion and distribution of films about Melchior will continue both in Estonia and in other countries: “In addition to 200,000 Estonian cinemagoers, more than 1,000 people have seen these films in Finland. We have signed an agreement with the international film distributor Global Screen, which will distribute films in cinemas in other countries. An agreement has also been signed with the Amazon streaming platform, which will release a mini-series based on all three parts of the trilogy for German-speaking markets next year.”
Tatter said that filmmakers are of course particularly pleased when people go to watch the entire adventure of Melchior, but each part of the trilogy can be seen as a story in its own right. The second film ‘Melchior the Apothecary. Ghost’ is now in theatres all over Estonia. “If someone missed the first part, do not be discouraged – each story of Melchior works like a separate film. Some people started with the second film before watching the first one, which can still be seen in special screenings at Apollo theatres as well as on the Apollo TV platform,” added Tatter.
Next year, the premiere of the final act of the trilogy will take place – the third feature film ‘Melchior the Apothecary. The Executioner’s Daughter’.
Fans of ‘Melchior the Apothecary’ can now also see a scene cut from the first film. Director Elmo Nüganen explained: “One of the features of working on a film is the art of letting go. The easiest way to explain this is the comparison with building a house. The house is built exactly as the architect and designer intended. When it is ready, there is nothing left to do. It is not possible to rearrange floors or change the position of windows.
However, the film can change literally up to the last minute. Sometimes a lot of work has been done, the film is finished and edited, but as a director you understand that somewhere else something is missing. Or somewhere there is too much of something. This is where the art of letting go comes into play – you must cut something out of the film in order to achieve a better overall result. If it’s a matter of a few seconds, it’s all right. But if you have to give up whole long scenes, the director must be 1000 percent sure that such a sacrifice is really justified”.
Nüganen added that if you’ve put in a lot of effort into directing, filming, editing, and scoring a particular segment, you’ll have to act reluctantly, but cutting can make a movie that much more energetic and exciting.
The scene cut from the first part of the trilogy:
The ‘Melchior the Apothecary’ trilogy is based on the bestselling Melchior the Apothecary novels. In the script of the films of the trilogy screenwriters Indrek Hargla, Elmo Nüganen and Olle Mirme intertwined characters and events from the books with completely new and exciting twists created for the film.
The film is directed by Elmo Nüganen (Names in Marble, 1944) and produced by Taska Film (O2, Fred Jüssi. The Beauty of Being, Winter, Class Reunion, Names in Marble, 1944), Nafta Films (O2, The Secret Society of Souptown), Apollo Film Productions (Winter, The Old Man: The Movie, The Bog) and HansaFilm (Truth and Justice). The film about Melchior the apothecary was jointly made by Estonia, Germany, Latvia, and Lithuania, and co-produced by Maze Productions (Germany), Film Angels Productions (Latvia), and InScript (Lithuania). Operator Mihkel Soe, artist Matis Mäesalu, editor Marion Koppel, music by Liina Sumera, head of special effects Jan Viljus. Starring: Märten Metsaviir, Maarja Johanna Mägi, Alo Kõrve, Marko Matvere and other famous Estonian actors. Sponsors: Estonian Film Institute, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Viru Film Fund, the Film Fund of Saare County, Tartu Film Fund, National Film Centre of Latvia, Riga Film Fund, Lithuanian Tax Incentive, Creative Europe MEDIA, Kanal2 and Apollo TV.