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Acclaimed Latvian animation ‘Away’ at the RIGA IFF Opening Night (Tickets on sale!)
We are delighted to announce that the opening film of the RIGA IFF on October 17 will be 'Away' – feature debut of the gifted young Latvian animator Gints Zilbalodis. This film is currently being praised by audiences and critics alike at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The artist and director attracts attention as a one-man band: everything – screenplay, animation of the characters and backgrounds, editing, composing, sound design, and production – was done solely by him over three and a half years. Find more about ‘Away’ here. [screening] The Opening Night of the festival will be special as an exclusive opportunity to participate at the National premiere of ‘Away’, to meet its author and the RIGA IFF's representatives, as well as to enjoy the festive atmosphere of this event. There is a limited amount of tickets available here already! Reminder: here you can buy tickets to the only screening of the Cannes winner 'Parasite' at RIGA IFF on October 19! https://youtu.be/jjFXqSjU7G4
Baltic Pitching Forum calls for short film projects
The 7th edition of the Baltic Pitching Forum, organised by Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts,”  is looking for short film projects. This year it expands the horizon by inviting Finland as a Guest Country. Accordingly, three Finnish short film projects will be selected for participation alongside Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian filmmakers. The event welcomes participants that are either directors or/and producers of the submitted project. In 2016, Lizete Upīte's film “Riga's Lilac” – featured in this year's RIGA IFF: Short Riga Opening – was selected as one of the winners at the Baltic Pitching Forum 2016. Lizete Upīte was awarded with participant rights at the European Short Pitch 2017 organized by NISI MASA. Latvian director-screenwriter Reinis Spaile, participant of the last year's edition, recounts his experience last year: “For me it was a highly valuable experience, both in terms of pitching practice, as well as for meeting other Baltic screenwriters. Those were two intense days with trainings, lectures and two pitching sessions. And Vilnius is an amazing weekend destination!” Read more on the Baltic Pitching Forum website. Application deadline is the 1st of August.
Cannes Winner ‘Parasite’ at RIGA IFF (Tickets on sale!)
The Riga International Film Festival's visitors will have the opportunity to watch Parasite, a dark comedy by Korean director Bong Joon-ho that unanimously won the Palme d'Or of the 72nd Cannes film festival. Film will be screened in October 19, 21:30 at Splendid Palace Large hall and tickets are already available! “I am thrilled about the possibility to present this moving, exciting, brave social satire in our film programme. Parasite is an elegantly effortless mixture of drama, thriller, black comedy and elements of farce. It touches, it horrifies, it entertains, it shames, but it does not preach. I am certain this film will spark many thrilling, challenging discussions after its screening at the festival,” notes Liene Treimane, director of RIGA IFF. [screening] Parasite is a story of the relationship between two Korean families – one rich, one poor. The life of modern urban elite flourish in a pretentious edifice designed by a famous architect, while a family troubled by poverty and misfortune struggles to overcome its dead-end situation in a squalid semi-basement flat. When the life paths of such different people cross, the scale of potential gains and destruction is impossible to predict. In this film, the director shows how the caste system, the hierarchy of classes in contemporary society is hypocritically disguised and out of sight, treated as if it were a relic of the past, but the reality is that strict boundaries remain in place – and the symbiotic coexistence of people from vastly different social strata proves impossible. Parasite is another pick for the section FESTIVAL SELECTION, which will feature pictures that have gained critical acclaim at international film festivals – including Sorry, We Missed You (2019) by British social drama master Ken Loach, Non-Fiction (Doubles vies, 2018), a self-ironic work by French director and screenwriter Olivier Assayas, and the largely autobiographical dramedy Synonyms (Synonymes, 2019) by Israeli director Nadav Lapid, winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear. The RIGA IFF festival programme is still being developed – it will include over 100 screenings of fiction, documentaries and short films from around the world. Right now, the EARLY BIRD ticket packs are available to anyone who wants to have a wonderful time at the cinema this autumn. This limited offer of one hundred exclusive ten-ticket packs is valid for all festival screenings! Just €40 buys you a set of 10 tickets – valid for any screening, suitable for groups of viewers! For more information about tickets, please visit tickets.rigaiff.lv. https://youtu.be/Ej1Mzq1kCkA
100 EARLY BIRD ticket packs on sale!
RIGA IFF launches the sales of one hundred EARLY BIRD ticket packs from May 29, 10:00. This limited offer is a unique opportunity to spend a lot less on the festival attendance – just 40 € for 10 tickets! As soon as the individual tickets go on sale, the pack holders are welcome to book and collect 10 tickets for any film screening or screenings of RIGA IFF. [buttons] The programme of RIGA IFF will comprise feature films, documentaries and short films from all over the world in more than 100 screenings. The following three films have just been added to the section FESTIVAL SELECTION! Sorry, We Missed You (2019) by the British social drama master Ken Loach, nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, will touch a cord with those shaken by the dark side of globalization. The self-ironic Non-Fiction (Doubles vies, 2018) by the French director and screenwriter Olivier Assayas, one of the contenders for the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival, will make you smile about the twists and turns of careers and love lives of contemporary high society as well as problems and hopes brought by global digitalization. Probably, the most unexpected surprise will be the partially autobiographical tragicomedy Synonyms (Synonymes, 2019) by the Israeli director Nadav Lapid, telling a story about the ability and disability to break free from one’s national identity. The film received the Golden Bear of the Berlin Film Festival and the prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfJvnE4ZsrU&feature=youtu.be
IN TECHNO VERITAS – Back to the Future
A special technological ambiance will await the audience of RIGA IFF, as the festival's section of retrospective and research IN TECHNO VERITAS is focusing on the interaction between society and technologies in the selected works of classic filmmakers this year. The guest curator – film expert Viktors Freibergs – invites to explore the cinematic marvels that have amazed and inspired several generations of cinefiles and film professionals already. Two of these films from 1980s depict concerns and issues that have gained major importance since the time of their making. Two other films were shot during the period of Cold War when it seemed that the related international tension and fear will never decrease. Cinema offered to confront these fears head-on or to escape in hopeful visions. Mankind made its first notable steps in space exploration and the interest in science and science fiction flourished. Videodrome (1983) – a techno-surreal provocation with violence and brainwashing by David Paul Cronenberg, the famous innovator of forms and language. It stars Debbie Harry, the ultimate pop-rock diva – lead singer of the new wave band Blondie. Andy Warhol, the key figure in Pop Art and master of media manipulation, as well as Harry's friend and author of her iconic portraits, described Videodrome as A Clockwork Orange (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1971) of the 80s. Brazil (1985) – Terry Gilliam's Orwellian dystopia with political satire. The featured retro-futuristic world vibrates with the variations of Brazil, the well-known samba melody composed by Ary Barroso. With academic background in political science and frustrated by the brutality of law enforcement authorities in the USA, the director moved to Great Britain and joined the surreal comedy group Monthy Python. He sees an alternative to the world-view imposed by state power and media in the magic realism. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – a film directed by Robert Wise about an important message that may affect the entire human race. Based on the Harry Bates’ science fiction short story Farewell to the Master (1940), the screenplay was written by Edmund Hall North, a former army officer, in response to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. An alien visitor says brilliant words in this work: “I’m impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.” One more proof of the timeless impact of this film is that there was a remake released in 2008 starring Keanu Reeves. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick's legendary film symphony is based on a short story written by the co-writer Arthur C. Clarke. There are mysterious monoliths that play a crucial role in the evolution of mankind and a sentient computer HAL 9000 that reveals human weaknesses way more spectacular than any person in the space mission. The director has stated: “If the film stirs the emotions and penetrates the subconscious of the viewer, if it stimulates, however inchoately, mythological and religious yearnings and impulses, then it has succeeded.” https://youtu.be/-jesODifW1c Please note that the annual EARLY BIRD ticket sales will be launched on May 29! This limited offer of one hundred exclusive ten-ticket packs is your chance to spend a lot less on the RIGA IFF attendance in autumn. The ticket packs will be available at our ticket section!  
FESTIVAL SELECTION film ‘Non-Fiction’ – relationships in the technological era
Olivier Assayas, the director of 'Non-Fiction' included in FESTIVAL SELECTION, invites to meet a small company of Parisian intellectuals. The sophistication of the usual talks and manners turns out to be just a cover for existential anxiety, banal cheating, frustration, and confusion.The story revolves around two couples connected with the world of literature. Their professional life and relationships are strongly affected by the rapid advancement of digital technology. The smooth flow of the film, the themes depicted, humour, and the outstanding performance of the cast will guarantee you an excellent evening. The director particularly praises the spirit of freedom, the rich imagination and the unstoppable energy brought to the set by Juliette Binoche. Their first encounter was 30 years ago when Binoche starred in the erotic drama 'Rendez-vous' (1985) directed by André Téchiné and co-written by Assayas. 'Non-Fiction' marks 10 years since her first appearance in a film directed by Assayas himself. Such films are three now: 'Summer Hours' (L’heure d’été, 2008), 'Clouds of Sils Maria' (2014) and 'Non-Fiction' (Doubles vies, 2018). https://youtu.be/iflRs_B5Krc 'Non-Fiction' was mainly shot with a compact 16mm film camera to ensure free movement and intimacy with actors. The works of Assayas have won numerous nominations and awards at many international film festivals. We remind you that the annual EARLY BIRD ticket sales will be launched on May 29. The limited offer of one hundred exclusive ten-ticket packs is your chance to spend a lot less on the festival attendance in autumn. The ticket packs will be available at our ticket section!