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Films from the Baltic Sea Region

With the aim to promote auteur cinema and development of its cinematic language by recognizing innovations and distinct artistic expression, this section showcases up to 10 films from the Baltic Sea region. There are no genre or style restrictions – films may fall into documentary, fiction, animation, or any cross-genre category.

Surprisingly different schools, traditions and vision can been discovered within the geographical context of this competition.

Sponsor of the Monetary Prize



Rhidian Davis
Curator and writer, United Kingdom

He manages the cultural programme of the British Film Institute (BFI). He has marshalled the forces behind some of the BFI’s biggest cross-platform UK-wide seasons of retrospective film and TV. He has programmed seasons, talks, events and educational programmes across a wide range of film and media subjects at BFI Southbank; has written for a range of publications, and can occasionally be found enthusing about film for broadcast.

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Filmmaker, theatre director and artist, Lithuania

In her creative practice, Rugilė explores the gap between objective and imagined realities and challenges an anthropocentric way of thinking in a playful way. Her recent full-length documentary film-essay Acid Forest was awarded at the Locarno International Film Festival. She is one of the three artists representing Lithuania at the Venice Biennale of Arts with the performance-installation Sun & Sea (Marina), which won a Golden Lion for the best national pavilion this year.

Paolo Bertolin
Film programmer, writer and producer, Italy

In 2008, he joined the programming team of the Venice International Film Festival. This year, he also joined the selection committee of Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. He has worked for several international festivals and institutions, including the IFF Rotterdam, the Doha Film Institute, Locarno Open Doors, Nyon Visions du Réel, Mumbai IFF, Beijing IFF, IFF Bratislava, etc. He ventured into production with a string of Asian films, all entries in the Berlinale Competition.

Gints Grūbe
Producer, film director and screenwriter, Latvia

He graduated in philosophy and political science. Gints possess deep knowledge in history and cinema. Has a diverse work experience in the field of media. Since founding Mistrus Media, one of the leading film companies in Latvia, he has been involved in producing such documentaries as Escaping Riga, Over the Roads, Over the River, Chronicles of Melanie, To be Continued, The Mover. Director of Larger than life, co-director of Sound that Sun makes, My Father the Spy.

Kristi Porila
Distributor, Estonia

Since 2013, she is working at arthouse cinema Sõprus in Tallinn as Head of Distribution and Acquisitions of Baltic region. She also helps to organize the documentary film festival DocPoint Tallinn and comedy film festival Wilkom in Viljandi. One of the founders of Estonian Islands Film Fund (Saarte Filmifond). Kristi lives on island Saaremaa, where she works from a distance. She is a co-founder of Edukontor, a creative co-working space in the very heart of Kuressaare, island of Saaremaa.

FIPRESCI* Latvian Section Jury

Ieva Augstkalna
Film critic; member of the 2017 Riga International Film Festival Youth Jury; has been selected to represent the Latvian Academy of Culture as a member of the European University Film Awards (EUFA) jury to evaluate the best European films of 2018.
Šarlote Līduma
Grew up in an artistic environment and early found out that the main passion is cinema. From 1996 to 2011 has regularly written for various newspapers and magazines. From 2005 to 2012 has worked for RIFF Arsenals, mainly as a programmer.
Anita Uzulniece
Has studied German Philology at the University of Latvia and film theory at Moscow Film Institute. Doctor of Arts. A member of several ecumenic and FIPRESCI juries of international film festivals. An organiser of the film forum And the Word Became Film. Teaches film history at RISEBA and the University of Economics and Culture. She writes film and festival reviews.
Elīna Reitere
Film critic; co-editor of Kino Raksti magazine. Reitere’s doctoral dissertation studied narration in slow cinema. Her interests include European arthouse cinema, current trends in film theory development, and life in intercultural spaces. Nominated for the Normunds Naumanis Award for Art Criticism in 2019.
Ieva Viese-Vigula
Film critic; often writes for the magazines Kino Raksti and Satori. Is especially interested in the phenomenon of auteur animation in the Latvian cinema scene, and a large part of her research has focused on the history of Latvian animation. An active member of the Latvian Animation Association.