Matīss Kaža

Matiss Kaza.jpg

I'm a director, producer and writer, and one of the co-founders of Latvian production company Deep Sea Studios.

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1995, but grew up mostly in Riga, Latvia. I'm a Latvian/American/Swedish triple citizen. I know it sounds like I'm some MI6 agent, but it's not true. I've yet to acquire British citizenship.

I hold a BFA in Film & Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and have been a Directing Fellow at AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. I'm currently pursuing a MA in Audiovisual & Stage Arts at the Latvian Academy of Culture

 

I directed my first feature-length documentary ONE TICKET PLEASE (2017) about New York's (in-)famous theatre addict and hustler Nicki Cochrane during my sophomore year of college, and it got featured in Goteborg IFF, Krakow IFF, Beldocs among other prestigious film festivals, winning the NewDoc Award for Best Debut at Tempo Documentary Festival in Stockholm, as well as several other noteworthy awards at festivals around the world. 

After graduating, I returned to Europe to work as a producer and director on several short films and documentaries, including MEYERHOLD'S FLIGHT (2018) and THE WANDERERS (2020). During the Covid-19 pandemic, I directed an experimental feature-length single-take comedy AT THE MOVIES (2020), which blends theatre and cinema and was shot entirely in one take. Last year, I released the first Baltic western WILD EAST (2021), while my first release of 2022 is the single-take comedy THE TASTE OF WATER (2022).

I am currently hard at work on the post-production of the coming-of-age drama NEON SPRING. That's a lot of films, I know. Like, when does this guy even sleep, right? But there's more: 

As a producer, my most recent documentary co-production IMAD'S CHILDHOOD (2021) by Zahavi Sanjavi won the Tempo Documentary Award 2021 in Stockholm. I am currently working on the debut feature by Linda Olte, SISTERS, a Latvian-Italian social family drama. I am also the producer and co-writer for Gints Zilbalodis' (Contrechamp Award, Annecy 2019) next feature animation FLOW, set to be a Latvian-French-German co-production

When I'm not directing, producing or writing for the screen, I'm exploring new forms of devised theatre, curating lecture programs in cinema for school children. I have also taught screenwriting and directing in the bachelor's program at the Latvian Academy of Culture.

I'm interested in provocative, intellectually engaging and artistically brave performative art, but I also love work that doesn't take itself too seriously, that deconstructs and reconstructs the way we experience and enjoy the artistic experience. 

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