Most everything I know about the country of Latvia - which I admit, is not much - I only know because I've known Signe for so long. I know that the capital of Latvia is Riga, and it's located between Estonia and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, and that it was part of the Soviet Union from the start of World War II until it declared independence in 1990.
I joke around with Signe by telling her that if weren't for a certain basketball player on the New York Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis, she'd have a real shot at being the most famous Latvian in NYC. Who knows, maybe someday he'll be traded to another team and she can move up in the local rankings.
If you've been following Signe on Facebook, then you know she and Sturgis have been in Latvia for the last three weeks, and she'll be back in New York just in time for Christmas. But it hasn't been a vacation, they've been supervising the Latvian recording of the dialog and songs for "My Love Affair With Marriage".
If you remember Signe's film "Rocks in My Pockets", there were two versions released theatrically, one with English dialogue and the other with Latvian dialogue. Her film was so successful in Latvia that it won Best Screenplay and Best Animated Feature in the Latvian National Film Competition, and also the Best Feature Film Prize at the Riga International Film Festival. Then it was chosen as the official Latvian entry to the Academy's Foreign Film category, which was a great accomplishment for an animated film.
Obviously, with a story based on Signe's family history, which was set in Latvia, that film had a strong connection with the people of Latvia. Since part of Signe's next film is set there, too, it makes sense to see if lightning will strike twice, and make a Latvian version of "My Love Affair With Marriage" also.
This means that the dialogue and songs that were recorded in English earlier this year have to be re-worked and re-recorded with Latvian actors and singers. So that's what Signe and Sturgis have been doing in Latvia, working with the film's Latvian co-producer, Locomotiv Productions.
For the songs, they called on the Latvian trio known as LMND/Limonade, which consists of Ieva Katkovska, Kristine Pastare and Iluta Alsberga. They filled the roles of the Mythology Sirens, who sing advice to the main character about how to behave and fit in with society.
And now they've moved on from the songs to recording the dialogue. From what I hear, the work schedule has been very intense, but it's also been very exciting to hear the film's soundtrack coming together, now in two languages.
So while we've all been rushing around here in New York., getting ready for the holidays, Signe and Sturgis have been hard at work! I hope that they've allowed themselves a little time to relax and enjoy the trip, and I wish them safe travel back here on Christmas Eve.