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Competitions

The professional jury presiding over the festival’s international competitions for feature-length films, short films and music videos salutes uniquely expressive filmmakers and works that communicate new trends and advances in the language of cinema.

RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition

The RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition reflects transitions and recent trends in cinema; by establishing a specific geographical frame, these reflections become even more intriguing as the cinematic works made on various sides of the same sea represent distinctly different schools, traditions, languages and visions. The ten films that are ultimately selected exhibit present-day contemplation about the cinema of tomorrow.

SHORT RIGA International Competition

Whether it’s animation, fiction, documentary, or experimental film, SHORT RIGA seeks auteur cinema and distinct expression in short format film. The festival’s curators select 35 of the most interesting submissions from around the world. From the films screened at both SHORT RIGA International and National Competitions, the jury selects a single candidacy for the award “European Short Film 2021.”

SHORT RIGA National Competition

Whether it’s animation, fiction, documentary, or experimental film, SHORT RIGA seeks auteur cinema and distinct expression in short format film made in Latvia. Not less than 6 short films are selected. From the films screened at both SHORT RIGA International and National Competitions, the jury selects a single candidacy for the award “European Short Film 2021.”

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition

The Baltic Music Video Competition, or BMV, endeavors to uphold the belief that music video is an independent and powerful short format. RIGA IFF curators look for videos that both challenge the audience and push the boundaries of accepted format, content, and artistry.

RIGA IFF 2020 Winners

RIGA IFF 2020 Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Ivan I. Tverdovsky
Monetary prize from
Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Illum Jacobi
People’s Choice Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Andrey A. Tarkovsky
Presented by
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Nadja Andrasev
Monetary prize from
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA National Competition
Alise Zariņa
EFA Short Film Candidate
SHORT RIGA
Gabriel Böhmer
Best Music Video
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Zbanski Kino
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Ignė Narbutaitė, Kabloonak
Best Children's Film
KIDS WEEKEND
Mischa Kamp

FEATURE FILM COMPETITION Jury:

Laila Pakalniņa – director and producer (Latvia); 
Marge Liiske – head of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event at the Black Nights Film Festival (Estonia);
Dmitrij Gluscevskij – European Film Forum Scanorama programmer (Lithuania);
Eva Markovits – Cinémathèque Française programmer (France);
Theo Tsappos – festival manager at Swedish Film Institute (Sweden).

SHORT RIGA National and International Competition Jury:

Wim Vanacker – a member of the Selection Committee for the Official Short Film Competition of the Cannes Film Festival (France);
Signe Birkova – a Director and Co-founder of the Baltic Analog Lab (Latvia);
Mikhail Zheleznikov – an organiser and curator of the experimental film festival Kinodot (Russian Federation) Krievija

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Jury:

Krista Burāne – theatre and cinema director, photographer, dramaturge (Latvia)
Dāvis Eņģelis – musicologist, music reviewer, and programme host on Latvian Radio 3 ‘Klasika’ (Latvia)
Otto Kylmälä – filmmaker, film critic, programmer of the Finnish Film Archive’s cinematheque in Helsinki (Finland);
Zane Onckule – curator and a programme director and curator at Kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga (Latvia)
Etienne Tricard – music curator for Les Arcs Film Festival, music supervisor at My Melody, co-founder of Baguette Publishing (France)

KIDS WEEKEND Jury:

Ketija Praija Vintere;
Miks Mihails Bāliņš;
Kārlis Juška;
Anna Juška;
Rēzija Luīze Skrastiņa;
Miķelis Kreilis;
Stefans Dambergs;
Dāvis Buņķis;
Anna Rūta Krieva.

 

Award winners 2019

RIGA IFF Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Karolis Kaupinis
Monetary prize from
Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Aistė Žegulytė
FIPRESCI Latvian Section Jury Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Martti Helde
People’s Choice Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Martti Helde
Presented by
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Regina Pessoa
EFA Short Film Candidate
SHORT RIGA
Regina Pessoa
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Vytautas Katkus
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner
Best Music Video
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Titas Sūdžius
Special mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Taavi Arus
Best Children's Film
KIDS WEEKEND
Katja Benrath
Grand Prix
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
Ksenia Okhapkina
Best Director
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
Maxim Shved
Jury award
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
Alina Rudnitskaya
Special mention
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
Masha Novikova
Special mention
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
Sergei Loznitsa

Feature Film Competition Jury:
Rhidian Davis – Curator and writer (United Kingdom); Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė – Filmmaker, theatre director and artist (Lithuania); Paolo Bertolin – Film programmer, writer and producer (Italy); Gints Grūbe – Producer, film director and screenwriter (Latvia); Kristi Porila – Distributor (Estonia)

FIPRESCI* Latvian Section Jury:
Ieva Augstkalna; Šarlote Līduma; Anita Uzulniece; Elīna Reitere; Ieva Viese-Vigula

SHORT RIGA International Competition Jury:
Miguel Dias – Short film producer and programmer (Portugal); Edmunds Jansons – Film director and artist (Latvia); Emilia Mazik – Festival Director (Poland); Rich Warren – Festival Director (United Kingdom); Alise Zariņa – Film director and film critic (Latvia)

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Jury:
Lee Chapman – Musician (United Kingdom/Latvia); Christoph Etzlsdorfer – Programme Curator (Austria); Adriāna Roze – Director (Latvia); Una Rozenbauma – Director (Latvia); Cai Trefor – Music journalist (United Kingdom)

RIGA IFF Children’s Jury:
Braiens Martinsons; Emīls Miķelsons; Rēzija Roze Rāzna; Austra Agate Priedīte; Vilis Kristlībs; Tālis Indāns; Līva Curika; Sofija Curika; Žanete Sīpola; Maximillian Hahn; Gundega Anna Antonio

Award winners 2018

RIGA IFF Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Natalia Meshchaninova
Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen
FIPRESCI Latvian Section Jury Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Jesper Ganslandt
Youth Matters! Diploma – Best Film
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Aleksey Fedorchenko
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Weiser Herwig
Special Mention – Live Action
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Arkesh Ajay
Special Mention – Animation
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Martina Scarpelli
Special Mention – Documentary
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Corina Schwingruber Ilic
Best Music Video
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Zane Zelmene
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Pēteris Tenisons
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Pijus Vėberis
Best Children’s Film
KIDS WEEKEND
Christian Lo

Feature Film Competition Jury:
Rainer Sarnet – Theatre and film director (Estonia); Barbora Ligasová – Representative of the Czech film centre (Czech Republic); Dorota Lech – Representative of the Toronto International Film Festival (Canada); Anna Möttölä – CEO of the Love and Anarchy Helsinki International Film Festival (Finland); Roberts Vinovskis – Film producer (Latvia)

SHORT RIGA International Competition Jury:
Per Fikse – Director of Minimalen Short Film Festival (Norway); Chintis Lundgren – Animator and artist (Estonia, Croatia); Jānis Putniņš – Director of the National Film School of the Latvian Academy of Culture (Latvia); Ieva Viese-Vigula – Writer and film critic (Latvia); Enrico Vannucci – Short film advisor for the Venice and Quebec City Film Festivals (Italy)

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Jury:
Jessica Manstetten – Curator of the MuVi Prize competition programme and MuVi International programme at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany); Juris Simanovičs – Musician, composer (Latvia); Inese Vēriņa-Lubiņa (INA VARE) – Audiovisual media artist, VJ, Teacher of the Advertising Design programme at the Riga School of Design and Art (Latvia); Cai Trefor – Editor of the music webzine Gigwise (Great Britain); Kristine Kebbinau – Producer of music events (Estonia)

RIGA IFF Youth Jury:
Alberts Roze; Elza Marta Ruža; Pauls Rubens; Anete Dance

RIGA IFF Children’s Jury:
Arvena Lote Kravčenko; Jēkabs Blanks; Nils Klaverī; Krista Kušķe; Linda Saviča; Žanete Blanka; Ieva Bille; Kate Štāla

Award winners 2017

RIGA IFF Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
November
Rainer Sarnet
Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
From the Balcony
Ole Giæver
Youth Matters! Diploma – Best Film
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
November
Rainer Sarnet
Youth Matters! diploms – Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
The Fairytale of Empty Space
Krista Burāne
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Retract
Itonje Søimer Guttormsen
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Man
Maja Borg
Best Music Video
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Oh No
Maria Reinup
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
No Regrets
Saulius Baradinskas
Audience Award
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
Woman and the Glacier
Audrius Stonys
Special Mention – Best producer’s work
ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
The Last Waltz (directed by Yulia Bobkova)
Stanislav Ershov (producer)
Best Children’s Film
KIDS WEEKEND
Room 213
Emelie Lindblom

Feature Film Competition Jury:
Timo Malmi – Movie critic, Artistic Director of Midnight Sun Film Festival (Finland); Bernd Buder – Film journalist and curator, Programme Director of the Film Festival Cottbus (Germany); Dovilė Butnoriūtė – Head of Department of Film Promotion, Information and Heritage at the Lithuanian Film Centre (Lithuania); Dāvis Sīmanis – Filmmaker, professor, and theorist (Latvia); Lenka Tyrpáková – Representative of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Prague Short Film Festival (Czech Republic)

SHORT RIGA International Competition Jury:
Antra Gaile – Producer (Latvia); Christian Stark – Short film curator, lecturer, member of the Selection Committee of the Swiss Competition at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (Switzerland); Dan Angelescu – Festival manager and associate curator of the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (Romania); Joanna Rytel – Artist (Sweden); Maija Kurševa – Artist, lecturer at the Art Academy of Latvia, founder of the gallery LOW (Latvia)

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Jury:
Kamil Horodecki – Head of Music Video at the International Film Festival Camerimage (Poland); Liisa Lahtmets – Programme and marketing manager of the Tallinn’s Kultuuriklubi Kelm, works at Raadio 2 and is the City Stage programme manager at Tallinn Music Week (Estonia); Karolis Vyšniauskas – Music and culture journalist, co-founder of Music Video Competition at Vilnius Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (Lithuania); Uģis Olte – Film director (Latvia); Nadja Sayej – Journalist, raps under the stage name Snowe White (Germany)

RIGA IFF Children’s Jury:
Aleksis Avots; Alisone Mae Brīniņa; Sofija Derringa; Kristiāns Freibergs; Linda Ivanova; Orests Knite; Iļja Potapovs; Marians Zandersons; Tomass Zandersons

RIGA IFF Youth Jury:
Linda Elīna Austruma; Roberts Pavlovskis; Ieva Augstkalna; Rita Buša; Kristiāna Tabiņa; Kristians Fukss; Elza Elīza Bicāne; Petra Alma Peta

Award winners 2016

RIGA IFF Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Exiled
Dāvis Sīmanis
Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Pyromaniac (directed by Erik Skjoldbaerg)
Trond Nielsen (actor)
Youth Matters! Diploma – Best Film
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Zoology
Ivan Tverdovsky
Best Children’s Feature Film
KIDS WEEKEND
The Little Gangster
Arne Toonen
Best Children’s Short Film
KIDS WEEKEND
Lili Brushes Her Teeth
Siri Melchior
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Moms On Fire
Joanna Rytel
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Ascension
Pedro Peralta
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA Baltic Student Competition
Visi pasiilgo Prano Ivanausko
Vygantas Bachmackij
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Student Competition
Warm Silence
Rinalds Zelts
Best Music Video
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Winaloto
Tommy Cash
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Lietuvos istorijos repas
Šventinis Bankuchenas, Andrius Alčiauskas, Aistė Papartytė

Feature Film Competition Jury:
Dita Rietuma – Film critic, film theorist and lecturer, Head of the National Film Centre of Latvia (Latvia); Øystein Egge – Film critic, film theorist, and programme curator (Norway); Kaarel Kuurmaa – Film and theatre journalist, festival programmer at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) and DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (Estonia); Peter Shepotinnik – Film critic, programmer at the Moscow International Film Festival (Russia); Roberto Cueto – Professor of Audiovisual Communication at the Carlos III University in Madrid, a member of the Selection Committee at the San Sebastián International Film Festival (Spain).

SHORT RIGA International Competition Jury:
Liene Linde – Film director, film critic (Latvia); Aigars Ceplītis – Creative director of the Audiovisual Media Arts Department at RISEBA (Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration) (Latvia); Pela del Álamo – Director of Curtocircuíto International Short Film Festival (Spain); Andrea Wink – Co-founder and director of Exground Filmfest (Germany).

SHORT RIGA Baltic Student Competition Jury:
Renārs Vimba – Film director (Latvia); Charlotte Munck – Actress, teaching actors at various educational workshops (Denmark); Anna Purkrabkova – Representative of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic); Jing Haase – Representative of Nordisk Panorama – Nordic Short and Documentary Film Festival (Sweden); Marija Razgutė – Film producer, representative of the International Short Film Festival Vilnius Film Shorts (Lithuania).

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Jury:
Raitis Ābele – Filmmaker, musician (Latvia); Aiga Leitholde – Music manager and journalist (Latvia); Mārtiņš Grauds – Filmmaker and photographer (Latvia); Saulius Baradinskas – Independent filmmaker and music video director (Lithuania); Torunn Nyen – Film curator, representative of the Norwegian Short Film Festival and the Movies on War film festival (Norway)

RIGA IFF Children’s Jury:
Gregors Jānis Putniņš, Alise Samīte, Evelīna Zīle, Edvards Pavļuts, Viesturs Oliņš, Ume Zēberga, Madara Tivuma, Kārlis Jānis Krastiņš, and Katrīna Anna Krastiņa.

RIGA IFF Youth Jury:
Karlīna Marta Zvirbule, Luīze Lote Nežberte, Diāna Sutugina, Andrejs Poikāns, and Laura Tuča.

Award winners 2015

RIGA IFF Award
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
The Event
Sergei Loznitsa
Special Mention
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Rams
Grímur Hákonarson
Best Short Film
SHORT RIGA International Competition
Home
Agnieszka Borowa
Best Music Video
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
ProRapSuperstar
Sander Joon, Mikk Mägi
Special Mention
SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
Unity
Saulius Baradinskas
Best Children's film
KIDS WEEKEND Feature Film Competition
Operation Arctic
Grethe Bøe-Waal
Youth Matters! Diploma – Best Film
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Louder Than Bombs
Joachim Trier

Feature Film Competition Jury:
Jānis Putniņš – Film director and cinephile, director of commercials at Film Angels Studio (Latvia); Mariëtte Rissenbeek – Managing Director of German Films Service + Marketing GmbH – the national information and advisory center for the promotion of German films (Germany); Kirsi Tykkyläinen – Actress, former Managing Director of the Finnish Film Foundation (Finland); Zara Abdullaeva – Film historian and critic, long-standing collaborator of the main Russian film magazine Isskustvo kino (Film Art) (Russia); Santa Lingevičiūtė – Film critic, Artistic Director of the Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (Lithuania).

SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Jury:
Mārtiņš Ratniks – Artist, lecturer at the Department of Visual Communication of the Art Academy of Latvia (Latvia) – Marta Grigale, Artist, musician, media personality (Latvia), Armands Začs – Film director and film editor (Latvia).

SHORT RIGA Baltic Student Competition Jury:
Jukka-Pekka Laakso – Director of Tampere Film Festival – one of the most important European short film festivals (Finland); Niels Erik Tolne Fonseca – Film and television script editor and lecturer, assessor for the film funding bodies, as well as commissioning editor and development producer (Denmark); Wouter Jansen – Head of programming at the International Short Film Festival Go Short, founder of an indie distribution company Some Shorts (Netherlands).

SHORT RIGA International Competition Jury:
Laurence Boyce – Freelance journalist (specialising in cinema, books, music and culture in general), working as a cinema/festival programmer and in film PR (Great Britain, Estonia); Pēteris Krilovs – Film and stage director, professor at the Latvian Academy of Culture (Latvia); Jukka-Pekka Laakso – Director of Tampere Film Festival – one of the most important European short film festivals (Finland).

RIGA IFF Youth Jury:
Patrīcija Keiša, Anete Ance Tomsone, and Kristofers Buks.

RIGA IFF Children’s Jury:
Matīss Jauja, Augusts Kārlis Kristlībs, Dāvids Asaris, Egija Fišere, Morics Menģelsons, and Arsēnijs Pahomovs.