Riga International Film Festival Announces Full Film and Event Programme
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will take place between 18 and 31 October in film theatres Splendid Palace, Kino Bize, K Suns, the Latvian National Library as well as in Cafe Film Noir and Kaņepe Culture Centre. More than 180 films will be screened in 12 themed and competition programmes this year, including full length feature films and documentaries as well as short films, animation and experimental cinema. The festival will also hold events for the film industry professionals, public discussions and meetings with filmmakers. Winners of the feature length, short film and music video competitions will be awarded during the closing of the RIGA IFF.
The RIGA IFF will open on 18 October with the feature film The Mover (Tēvs Nakts) by Dāvis Sīmanis – a true story about the Latvian Žanis Lipke who saved more than fifty people during the Second World War.
The first festival weekend will be dedicated to families and children. The KIDS WEEKEND will include screenings of latest films for children and playground activities in Splendid Palace, the oldest and most glamorous film theatre of Riga. The morning of 21 October will start with an animation programme for the youngest – preschool audience. Following the last year’s tradition, the programme is chosen by a guest curator – this year, it will be Inese Zandere, poet and children book author.
Within the international FEATURE FILM COMPETITION, 10 films from the Baltic Sea region will be screened and judged, including the main prize winner of the Russian Film Festival Kinotavr in Sochi – the moving drama Core of the World (Serdce mira), a story of a veterinarian living in a remote region of Russia for whom it’s easier to get along with dogs than with people. Director Natalia Meshchaninova and leading actor Stepan Devonin will be the guests of the RIGA IFF. The competition programme also includes the premiere of the feature film debut of the Latvian director Jānis Ābele, 7 Billion Years Before the End of the World (7 miljardi gadu pirms pasaules gala), filmed in Latvia and France, as well as the coming-of-age movie Team Hurricane, popular in Denmark.
The FESTIVAL SELECTION will feature recent films from prominent festivals, including the award-winning Sunset (Napszállta) by László Nemes that premiered in the Venice Film Festival recently, as well as the romantically alluring comedy Magical Nights (Notti magiche) by Paolo Virzi. The programme also includes the documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. about the famous Sri Lankan musician and artist Matangi Arulpragasam, known in the pop music world as M.I.A. The film consists of video footage shot by the artist and her closest friends over the past 22 years, revealing her innermost reflections on art, politics and identity and her battles with the music industry and mainstream media.
This year, the RIGA IFF will also showcase three new film programmes: BERLINALE 2018 RIGA – ja selection of the best recent films from Germany, including 3 Days in Quiberon (3 Tage in Quiberon), showing three days in the life of the world-famous actress Romy Schneider, the film was nominated for the main prize, Golden Bear, of the Berlin Film Festival this year; the architecture film programme ARCHITECT’S CUT as well as a tribute to the cinema legend Ingmar Bergman – INGMAR BERGMAN 100. Bergman-lovers will have a chance to see three masterpieces of the famous director: Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika), Cries and Whispers (Viskningar och rop) and Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander). The Swedish writer and film critic Stig Björkman, considered to be one of the most important scholars of Bergman’s creative legacy, will give a lecture in Riga.
This year’s retrospective and research programme POPCORN VENUS will honour and celebrate women in cinema. The guest curator of the programme is Dita Rietuma, and it includes five films directed by women, including the cult film The Night Porter (Il portiere di notte) by the legendary Italian director Liliana Cavani, Happiness (Le bonheur) by the French director Agnès Varda – one of the early works of the famous director, and The Bride Wore Red (1937) by Dorothy Arzner, starring the Hollywood diva Joan Crawford, that will be shown in Latvia for the first time, moreover as a 35-mm print.
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA, as always, will feature not only controversial documentaries but also several round table discussions with filmmakers, international media representatives and other guests. On 20 October, the documentary The Trial(Process) by the Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa will be screened. It is an intriguing and historically important story of a trial in Moscow in 1930 when a group of top rank economists and engineers were accused of plotting a coup d’état. The director will be present at the film festival.
Just like during the previous festivals, special events for the film industry professionals will be held, for example, RIGA IFF FORUM – an international European children’s and youth film project pitching as well as a cycle of events on virtual reality storytelling, CRITICS MEETING – a cycle of lectures and discussions for professional and emerging film critics and comprehensive school educators, and EUROPEAN SCRIPT MEETING – a meeting platform for professionals that gathers representatives of European film projects in development and screenwriters. Short film authors will have an extensive SHORT RIGA event programme – project pitchings and discussions.