Tickets & Passes
Latviski / In English
Watch two striking films that represent contemporary Ukrainian cinema and support children affected by the war
Watch two striking films that represent contemporary Ukrainian cinema and support children and families affected by the war. All proceeds from the screening will be donated to the organisation Голоси дітей (Voices of Children). Stop-Zemlia, which won Best Film in the Berlinale Generation 14plus competition, outlines the psychological mood of today's Ukrainian youth in the aftermath of Maidan and the events of 2014. The semi-autobiographical characters  electrify the pale green classrooms, dispel the gloom, seek to understand their parents, fall in love… All of them look forward to new beginnings. Atlantis was the Ukrainian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards. The film follows Sergei, a war veteran suffering from PTSD, as he tries to find his place in Eastern Ukraine in the year 2025. Since the war with Russia, this part of Ukraine has turned into a muddy field pervaded by despair. Katya, an activist dedicated to identifying those who fell in the war, becomes a ray of hope in the veteran's life. Released in 2019, the film imagines the physical and emotional reality that follows warfare with painful precision, something we can plainly see is not just a figment of the imagination. The charity Voices of Children was chosen together with the filmmakers. The charity has been providing psychological support to Ukrainian children since 2015 and during the war has helped Ukrainian families to evacuate. It also provides psychological first aid to those affected by the war. RIGA IFF will donate 100% of the proceeds from the charity screenings, which will take place from 14 to 30 April. For more information about the initiative, please contact
Announcing Open Call for 2022 Competition Sections
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will take place from 13 to 23 October 2022. The festival is opening submissions to its six competition sections on 22 March 2022. Filmmakers can submit their feature-length, short, and children's films and music videos free of charge for the first month, until 22 April. The RIGA IFF International Feature Film Competition brings together directors from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries to compete for the main award, the Golden Rooster, and a cash prize of EUR 4,000. The films in competition are judged on their artistic merit, originality, and topicality by a jury of international film professionals. The festival has a special focus on short films, the film format that is most responsive to artistic innovations and social change. This year, RIGA IFF welcomes entries in a variety of genres and themes to submit to the RIGA IFF National and International Short Film Competitions – the selected films will not only compete for the Silver Grass Snake Award and cash prizes of EUR 1,000 and EUR 2,000, but also for the European Film Academy’s European Short Film 2023 Award candidacy. Filmmakers can submit both feature-length and short children's films to the KIDS' REEL section. These films will be judged by members of the European Children's Film Association (ECFA) and the winners will be added to a shortlist of films nominated for the overall ECFA award. The filmmakers will also compete for a prize awarded by the festival's children's jury – the winning film’s screening rights will be purchased by Latvian Television (LTV). The BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO Competition is returning to the festival's line-up after a year's break! This competition is unique to the region and the screening is a special event that brings together a professional jury, enthusiasts and fans of the genre, and music video creators. The selected works also compete for the Silver Grass Snake Award, which this year comes with a cash prize of EUR 1,000. For more information on submission regulations and deadlines, visit RIGA IFF is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the National Film Centre of Latvia, and the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe.
​​Film Programmers Léo Soesanto and Laurence Reymond Join the RIGA IFF Team
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) is happy to announce that curators Léo Soesanto and Laurence Reymond will be joining the festival's short film programme team this year. Soesanto and Reymond are both seasoned professionals who have worked at several world class film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Toronto International Film Festival. RIGA IFF is excited about the experience and expertise this collaboration will bring to the festival's programme, but the ultimate winners will be the audience. Anna Zača, the Founder and long-time Head Curator of SHORT RIGA, has chosen to leave the festival in order to focus on other creative pursuits. However, she leaves behind her a strong basis on which the festival's short film programme, including both public and industry events, can be further developed. These will continue to be managed by Lauma Kaudzīte, the current RIGA IFF Short Film Coordinator. Léo Soesanto was a member of the SHORT RIGA Competition jury last year and will this year work on both RIGA IFF Short Film Competition programmes – International and National – together with an international selection committee. “Last year, I was a part of the SHORT RIGA jury and felt impressed by what Anna Zača and her selection committee had programmed – it was diverse, challenging, moving… When I received the opportunity to curate this short film programme, I agreed – it’s great to have a space like this to showcase national and international talents and give them exposure. I’d like to treat the audience in Riga to a feast of moods, forms, and genres. Regardless, a film programme shouldn’t be a laundry list; the shorts should tell us something about our world, about the state of cinema,” states Léo. Soesanto is a Paris-based film programmer and journalist who has written for publications such as Libération, Les Inrockuptibles, Vogue Paris, Premiere, and Grazia. He has extensive festival experience having been part of the feature film selection committee for the Critics' Week sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival between 2009 and 2015. He also chaired the short film selection committee from 2017 to 2021. From 2016 to 2020, he was a film programmer at the Rotterdam Film Festival, which is a mecca for auteur cinema. Laurence Reymond will work on the audience favourite Festival Darlings short film section as well as the SHORT RIGA Test Screenings section for the film industry together with Lauma Kaudzīte. She's a film critic, publicist, and film programmer who has been working with publications such as Cinéastes,, and So Film since 2002. She was responsible for the Directors' Fortnight short film programme at the Cannes Film Festival from 2012 to 2018 and curated the Québec City Film Festival in Canada for 7 years. The RIGA IFF Short Film Competition will once again feature short films in a variety of genres from all over the world. They will compete for the RIGA IFF Silver Grass Snake Award and a number of cash prizes, as well as for a nomination to the European Film Academy’s (EFA) European Short Film 2023 Award. Submissions to all short film competitions will open on 22 March on the RIGA IFF website.
RIGA IFF 2021 Awards ceremony and party – as a short film
The eighth Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) took place this year from 14 to 24 October: in 11 days and more than 100 films were screened and five competition held. The jury has picked the winner of the RIGA IFF Award – a bronze cast of the Rooster of Riga and 3000 EUR monetary prize from our supporter, BALTA isurance company. Due to the epidemiological restrictions in place in Latvia, this year’s awards ceremony could not be held in person. The festival has, however, chosen a different way to announce the winners, with a short film through which all participants and guests are able to partake in the celebratory atmosphere! Directed by Liene Linde and filmed by cinematographer Dāvids Smiltiņš, the short portrays an alternative ceremony enacted by actor Gerds Lapoška, actor and composer Toms Auniņš, as well as other surprise guests from the film world. RIGA IFF is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the EU Creative Europe – MEDIA program, the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Riga City Council.
After 11 days of cinema, the eighth Riga International Film Festival draws to a close and announces its winners
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) took place this year from 14 to 24 October, initially in person in Riga, Valmiera and Madona, and simultaneously online throughout Latvia. The festival now closes out its eighth edition by announcing this year’s winners! The winning films were selected from a broad lineup that included more than 100 films across ten sections and competitions. Due to the epidemiological restrictions in place in Latvia, this year’s awards ceremony could not be held in person. The festival has, however, chosen a different way to announce the winners, with a short film through which all participants and guests are able to partake in the celebratory atmosphere! Directed by Liene Linde and filmed by cinematographer Dāvids Smiltiņš, the short portrays an alternative ceremony enacted by actor Gerds Lapoška, actor and composer Toms Auniņš, as well as other surprise guests from the film world. From the nine films in the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition, the main award and the EUR 3,000 prize, provided by the insurance company BALTA, has gone to Andrius Blaževičius' “Runner” – an intense story of a woman racing against time to find her lover. The Feature Competition jury statement reads: "the film stood out in the competition as a remarkable accomplishment and impressive exploration of the relationship between mental health, empathy, and technology through a nail-biting urban journey. Additionally, this film’s complex and layered lead performance will stay with us for a long time”. The festival is screening the winning film one more time on Monday, 25 October at 19:00 in the RIGA IFF online cinema! The jury’s special mention in the Feature Film Competition goes to "Lamb", Valdimar Jóhannsson’s surreal depiction of the nature of family life. The jury characterised the film as an "allegorical and ironical portrayal of humanity (human beings) principally responsible for its ‘lost paradise’ and a place in this world through the prism of myth and reality". The main award in the SHORT RIGA International Short Film Competition and the EUR 2,000 prize, provided by the insurance company BALTA, has this year been awarded to a film that takes a gentle, but determined look at the sexual abuse the filmmaker suffered in her childhood at the hands of a relative – Olga Lucovnicova’s documentary short film "My Uncle Tudor". The jury’s special mention went to Fanny Béguély’s “Pneuma” – an ecological story about the connection between family and nature. RIGA IFF has nominated Joanna Rytel's short film "38" as its candidate for Best Short Film at the 2021 European Film Awards, describing it as a personal, witty and at times even cruel portrait of femininity. The winner of the SHORT RIGA National Short Film Competition is Helen Ora's debut short “Panic”. The jury’s statement reads: “Panic is a punk, crazy and emotionally anxious film. Helen Ora directs it with a very distinct and visually bold style”. The film was awarded a prize of EUR 1,000. The KIDS' REEL competition at RIGA IFF has two award winners. The European Children's Film Association (ECFA) jury has chosen Stefano Cipani's heartfelt “My Brother Chases Dinosaurs” as the winner of the Feature Film Competition and as a candidate for the ECFA Award. The film tells the story of life with a brother that has Down syndrome. Hugo De Faucompret’s “Mum is Pouring Rain" won the Children's Short Film section and was put forward for nomination for the ECFA Short Film Award. The festival also had a children's jury – this year, the films were evaluated by Klāvs Bērziņš, Pauls Bērziņš, Miķelis Kreilis, Ketija Praija Vintere, Hanna Marija Suhanova, Anna Rūta Krieviņa, Guna Eglīte, Krišs Alberts Grīva, Mārtiņš Beika and Robins Elmeris. The jury decided to award its prize to Olivier Pairoux’s film "SpaceBoy", which will be made available to audiences of all ages across Latvia in collaboration with Latvian Television! For the first time this year, the TEST SCREENINGS section of the RIGA IFF FORUM awarded a prize to the most promising film project! The winning film was Sander Joon’s short film "Sierra", which will receive post-production services worth EUR 3,000 from the festival’s sponsor BB Posthouse! RIGA IFF took place from 14 to 24 October in person at Splendid Palace in Riga, in cinemas in Madona and Valmiera, as well as online throughout Latvia. The festival also featured a series of lectures, discussions, and other events. Videos of the events can be found on the festival's YouTube channel. The festival receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, Creative Europe MEDIA, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.
Kokmuiža offers a drink for every RIGA IFF ticket bought to screenings starting 21 October
Kokmuiža Beer drinks have become a great RIGA IFF tradition. To make watching movies special at home, our friends from Kokmuiža offer a drink for every ticket purchased to RIGA IFF screenings satarting October 21 (inclusive)! Choose between RIGA IFF IPA and MATE TEA DRINK with this year's special labels! You can get your drink at: – Valmiermuiža Beer Embassy in Riga; – in the shop next to Valmiermuiža brewery. At the shops, present the festival ticket to verify its code – each ticket is valid once, for one drink, as long as the special drinks are available (but not longer than October 31).
There is always time (for cinema). The 8th Riga International Film Festival has begun
The 8th edition of the Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) opens today, on 14 October, with the Latvian premiere of The Rossellinis! With more than 100 films screening in 10 thematic sections, including several competitions, this year's festival will not only take place at the Splendid Palace cinema, the “home” of RIGA IFF, and at the National Library of Latvia, but also in Madona, Valmiermuiža and online throughout Latvia. Tickets for all RIGA IFF screenings can be found on the festival's website. This year's RIGA IFF slogan, "There is always time", is a reflection of the festival creators’ own ideas and contemplations, as well as of the way that the format of cinema plays with time, a concept that simultaneously anchors reality and is its seemingly most undefinable feature. “Time can be a reason and time can be a promise. Time can fly, and time can drag on. Time is infinite, but there is always too little time. This is the paradox intrinsic to the never-ending nature of time. Time to go see a film. Time for a conversation. Time to wake up. Time to go. Time goes by.  Time can be idle, and it can be filled. Cinema can pause time, slow it down, it can reveal and explain time, but never waste it,” explains Liene Treimane, RIGA IFF Festival Director. Over the festival’s 11 days, film lovers and professionals alike will be able to enjoy a wide programme of films and events – the FESTIVAL SELECTION, FOUND IN BERLINALE and NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS sections will feature acclaimed works from European and international festivals, new films by renowned directors, as well as powerful examples of auteur cinema. These films will have their Latvian premieres at the festival, and they include cult director Wes Anderson's latest film The French Dispatch, the psychedelic musical Annette, which is French cinema legend Leos Carax’s return to the big screen, and The Worst Person in the World by director and festival darling Joachim Trier, who is well-known to local audiences, a film in which a young woman searches for her sense of self. This year, the festival will feature five competitions. The films in the FEATURE FILM COMPETITION will compete for the festival's main award and a cash prize, while works in both the national and international SHORT RIGA competition sections will compete for a prize and the chance to be nominated for the European Film Awards. The children's jury for the KIDS' REEL programme has a special duty – the film they select will screen on Latvian Television after the festival! The Rossellini dynasty is not only featured in the opening screening – this year’s festival retrospective programme THE ROSSELLINIS AND THE CENTURY will offer audiences an opportunity to see this creative family through the various roles they have played on screen over the course of almost a century, combining avantgarde experiments with honest observations about the modern world. RIGA IFF will also host FORUM, a large-scale industry programme where participants will be able to dive deeper into different aspects of cinema. Guests will have the opportunity to ask filmmakers questions, experience AR (augmented reality) works and gain insights into the film industry through various panel discussions. The festival will also feature the national premieres of several works by Latvian auteurs – In the Mirror (Spogulī) is Laila Pakalniņa's satirical take on Snow White set in a gym, the visually expressive Ring of Fire follows the creative process of the Kvadrifrons theatre company, and Baņuta, the first Latvian opera reborn on screen. The conditions must be as safe as possible in order for our guests to be able to enjoy their cinema experience fully – all RIGA IFF live screenings and events will be held at the “green” security level, as outlined by the Cabinet of Ministers. “Green” events can only be attended with: — an interoperable EU digital Covid-19 certificate (with QR code) that proves vaccination or recovery, — a valid ID (passport or eID). IDs and certificates will be verified at the entrance to the venues. See you in the cinema! The full festival programme, tickets, festival passes and more detailed information about events can be found on the festival’s website: RIGA IFF receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, Creative Europe MEDIA, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.
Riga International Film Festival announces full lineup
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) invites audiences in Riga and throughout Latvia to join the festival’s eighth edition on 14-24 October this year. Over 100 films will screen in 10 thematic sections, including 5 competition programmes. Tickets for all RIGA IFF screenings are on sale now on the festival's website. In-person screenings will be held at the "green” epidemiological security level, which means that in-person screenings and events will only be accessible with an interoperable COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate. Screenings will take place at the Splendid Palace cinema, and at the Ziedonis Hall in the National Library of Latvia. Most of the programme will be available online to all festival guests from anywhere in Latvia. For the first time in the festival's history, there will be several in-person screenings at RIGA IFF branches outside the capital: in Madona and Valmiera. This year's festival slogan is "There is always time.", which is also reflected in the programmers’ choice of films. The sections include films that masterfully play with the past and the future, with interpretations about the present, with that which might have happened and with visions of the future. "Time has no objective boundaries. It is absolute, but simultaneously unpredictable in form and content. What matters is how we fill time. Cinema can pause time, slow it down, it can reveal and explain time, but never waste it. Dedicate 11 days in October to experience the festival. Expand your consciousness and sharpen your mind – collectively or individually. We will provide you with both options, so you can choose which experience suits you best," explains RIGA IFF Director Liene Treimane. The festival will open on 14 October with The Rossellinis, a film that brings together Latvian filmmakers and a legendary cinema dynasty (it is co-produced by VFS Films, co-written by Dāvis Sīmanis, and filmed by cinematographer Valdis Celmiņš). The director of the documentary is Alessandro Rossellini, the grandson of the influential Italian neorealist director Roberto Rossellini. In the film, he traces nearly 100 years of creativity under the influence of this "artistic patriarch", while also shining a light into the shadows that accompany the heirs to his fame. A part of the film's international team will be attending the festival’s Opening Night and there will be an opportunity to attend an in-person conversation with them on the following day, 15 October. The opening screening also introduces the festival’s retrospective programme – THE ROSSELLINIS AND THE CENTURY. This year, cinephiles will be particularly excited about FESTIVAL SELECTION. This section includes 16 films that have screened at acclaimed European and international festivals. Among them is renowned French director Leos Carax’s Annette, a psychedelic and operatic musical starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, which opened this year's Cannes Film Festival and won the award for Best Director. Fans will also be excited to see The French Dispatch, the latest film from audience and critics’ darling, Wes Anderson, while enfant terrible Gaspar Noé will once again test the limits of the cinematic format with his visually striking Lux Æterna starring Charlotte Gainsbourg (she also appears playing a very different role in the delicately constructed chamber drama Suzanne Andler). The section NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS is a favourite with local audiences. Here you can enjoy the best of Nordic cinema – the 10-film programme includes the darkly existential comedy Riders of Justice, starring Mads Mikkelsen who plays a war veteran whose grief has turned to anger, and Pleasure, which is a provocative look at the trajectory of one woman's career in the porn industry. This year, the festival has a particularly broad selection of local film premieres. These are best represented in the HOME MADE Premieres section, but also in the main competition, RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition, with Laila Pakalniņa's In the Mirror, which uses the selfie aesthetic to reimagine the story of Snow White for a narcissistic and image-obsessed generation.  Rebecca Lamarche-Vadels’ and Dāvis Sīmanis’ and suddenly it all blossoms, a journey through the Riga International Art Biennial, RIBOCA 2, will also screen at the festival as will several other strong feature debuts by Latvian filmmakers. The eighth RIGA IFF will pay special attention to the youngest audiences – the festival's children's film programme KIDS' REEL will this year not only take place over both RIGA IFF weekends, but also boasts two competitions that will be easily accessible online throughout Latvia. This year, the festival's SHORT RIGA section will continue to highlight the latest in cinematic art with its International Short Film Competition that is split into six screenings, while the National Competition will feature both acclaimed filmmakers and newcomers with distinct points of view competing for the prize. The RIGA IFF FORUM for film industry professionals will take place alongside the public film programme. Here local and international film professionals will have the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge with one another. For the full festival programme, tickets, passes and more detailed information about the festival visit The festival receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, Creative Europe MEDIA, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.
RIGA IFF Announces Feature Film Competition Lineup and Jury
The eighth Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF), which will take place 14-24 October, is announcing its feature film lineup and the jury for its main competition, the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition. The films in this section will be screened both in person at the Splendid Palace cinema and online throughout Latvia. The winner of the festival’s main award and the 3,000 EUR prize money given by the BALTA insurance company, will be chosen by an international jury of film professionals. All films in competition will have their Latvian premieres at RIGA IFF. "Primordial mythological beings, vampire capitalists, sorceresses that control time, poisoned apples, radioactive snow and mad dictators – everything is out of proportion, everything is excessively far from the mundane, swimming carelessly among symbols and archetypes. But perhaps the extravagance, the generous layers of meaning and the stench of peeling, mouldy wallpaper remind us once again that cinema is capable of anything – even immersing viewers in magical realism, the absurdity of Slavic wonder tales or in a haze of folk horror. Audiences will be enthralled until they lose their breaths and fill their lungs with real, unadulterated cinematic pleasure instead of oxygen," is how Sonora Broka, RIGA IFF Artistic Director, describes the films programmed for the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition. The RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition 2021 lineup: Lamb (Dýrið), Valdimar Jóhannsson, IS, SE,  PL, 2021, 90' In the Mirror (Spogulī), Laila Pakalniņa, LV, LT, 2020, 90', lv The Year Before the War (Gads pirms kara), Dāvis Sīmanis, LV, LT, CZ, 2021, 95' Natural Light (Természetes fény), Dénes Nagy, HU, LV, FR, DE, 2021, 103' Tzarevna Scaling (Дочь Рыбака), Uldus Bakhtiozina, RU, 2021, 70’ The North Wind (Северный ветер), Renata Litvinova, Russia, 2021, 122’ Bloodsuckers - A Marxist Vampire Comedy (Blutsauger), Julian Radlmaijer, Germany, 2021, 125’ Never Gonna Snow Again (Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie), Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert, Poland, Germany, 2020, 113’ Runner (Bėgikė), Andrius Blaževičius, Lithuania, Czech Republic, 2021, 87’ The selected films will be judged by an experienced jury that includes film theorist and historian Viktors Freibergs, Jenni Domingo, the International Promotion Coordinator at the Finnish Film Foundation, Belarusian film curator and critic Igor Soukmanov, Ana Souza, Manager of the Programming department and Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as Swedish filmmaker Anna Eborn. The winning film will receive the RIGA IFF main prize – a bronze rooster statuette, created in collaboration with artist Ervīns Broks. The statuette consists of eight parts that the winning director is free to hand out to members of the film’s crew. The winner of the feature film competition will also receive a cash prize of 3,000 EUR, courtesy of the BALTA insurance company. The full RIGA IFF lineup will be announced on Tuesday, 15 September. For more information about the festival’s programme, events, and screenings, please visit the RIGA IFF website: The festival receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, Creative Europe MEDIA, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council. 
“Bergman Island”, premiered in Cannes, on sale!
Leisurely intellectual games and a married couple's rivalry on the backdrop of scenery engraved in the history of cinema. Just premiered in Cannes, Bergman Island casually operates with cultural references, geometry of emotions and subtleties of acting. Tickets for 15 October screenings in cinema and online are on sale now! "How can I not feel like a failure?" asks Chris, comparing herself to Ingmar Bergman. Her film career is just taking off and she can’t wrap her head around the Swedish director's five marriages and nine children. Her husband Tony, on the other hand, has become an established art house director, but considers The Seventh Seal (1957) to be overrated. Arriving on the island of Fårö in the Baltic Sea, where Bergman lived and worked, the pair start writing new screenplays. Unexpectedly, the island with its harmless jellyfish, limestone blocks, or rauks, its sheep and tourist buses offers a new scenario. It seems that Bergman himself is the co-writer: enigmatically, as in a mirror. French director Mia Hansen-Løve's dramedy exudes a sense of mild self-irony and sleepy existentialism, but the director views Bergman's persona (1918–2007) and those who are cinema's enchanted as splintered, disoriented creatures. When Hansen-Løve went to work on Fårö, she had to put herself in the same state of confusing catharsis and creative healing as the characters portrayed by Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth. Bergman filmed a total of two documentaries, one film for television and five feature films on Fårö, north-east of the island of Gotland. Among them Persona (1966), which, according to the director, saved him from his own demons.
RIGA IFF Will Open with a Personal Look Behind the Scenes of the Legendary Rossellini Dynasty
RIGA IFF will take place from 14 to 24 October this year. The festival’s eighth edition will open with The Rossellinis by Alessandro Rossellini. The director is the grandson of legendary Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, and his film offers a unique take on the lives and a look behind the scenes of the fame of the international cinema dynasty. The guests who will attend opening night will have the exclusive opportunity to experience the Baltic premiere together with the film’s international production team. Tickets are on sale from 14 July. Latvian industry professionals were also involved in making the film – it was co-produced by VFS Films, co-written by acclaimed director Dāvis Sīmanis, and the film’s main cinematographer is award-winning Valdis Celmiņš. The film will screen on the opening night of RIGA IFF both in person at the Splendid Palace cinema as well as be available online throughout Latvia. Dāvis Sīmanis emphasises that this film reveals Roberto Rossellini (Rome, Open City, 1945), who was known for being a dandy and enjoyed being the centre of attention, as a much more complex and contradictory personality. This is made possible largely due to the director's exclusive access to the Rossellini family, and their archives; most of this unique material will be shown to the public for the first time. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and features Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman's daughter, actress and director Isabella Rossellini, as well as film producer Renzo Rossellini and other members of the dynasty. "Neorealism is inextricably linked to Roberto Rossellini and will through this documentary gain new significance in the way in which the family's artificial and staged façade is dismantled to reveal the individuals’ real lives and true thoughts," says Sīmanis. The Rossellinis will also launch this year's retrospective programme, THE ROSSELLINIS AND THE CENTURY, which will take a closer look at the lives and work of the influential Rossellini-Bergman clan over the course of several decades. The first tickets for the festival programme will go on sale on 20 July. This year’s lineup includes the darkly ironic comedy Riders of Justice, starring Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, the documentary Aalto about the pioneers of Scandinavian design, and films that have yet to be announced, but which audiences will already have heard of from their successful screenings at several A-list film festivals. Tickets for screenings in cinemas and online throughout Latvia are available on the festival's website – Attending in-person screenings will only be possible with a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate and in accordance with the epidemiological safety regulations in effect at the time. The films that have been announced so far are only a small part of the festival’s full lineup. The programme will regularly be updated with high quality films until October. The most convenient way to keep up to date with the latest news and receive a monthly selection of the films that have been announced, is by signing up to the Festival's newly launched mailing list. Subscribe by visiting The festival receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council. For further information: RIGA IFF Communications Department  
RIGA IFF launches its visual identity and announces the first films
The eighth Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will take place on 14-24 October this year. The festival invites audiences and filmmakers to a carefully curated selection of exceptional and current films, and continues to enhance the northern European cultural space by developing an internationally recognised cinema event in Latvia. This year’s festival slogan is "There is always time". Liene Treimane, Director of RIGA IFF, elaborates: ‘'I like to think that it's never too late or too early, and that everything happens in its time, for time is eternal. Time is a reason and a promise. Time flies, and time lasts forever – this is its intrinsic paradox. It's infinite, but there's always too little of it. However, time is always there. Time for a conversation. Time to wonder. Time for a film. Time to reconsider. Time to start all over. Time to go. Time to let go. Time can be empty, and it can be filled. Cinema can pause time, slow it down, it can reveal and explain time, but never waste it.’’ In an attempt to visualise time, the festival's designers have come up with the outline of an uneven circle - everything that happens inside it blends together, takes on the most vibrant shades, spills over the edges and is washed over with white. As usual, the festival’s programme will include an impressive selection from the biggest international festivals, including director Dominik Graf's Berlinale darling Fabian oder Der Gang vor die Hunde (Fabian – Going to the Dogs) and Természetes fény (Natural Light), which won Best Director at Berlinale and was co-produced by the Latvian company Mistrus Media. In October, RIGA IFF audiences will have the chance to see award-winning actor Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round) play an unusual role in Riders of Justice, which opened this year's Rotterdam Film Festival, while living legend of French cinema and musician Charlotte Gainsbourg can be seen in a powerful role in Benoit Jacquot's Suzanne Andler. The Rossellinis, which premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival, will open this year's festival retrospective programme that will look back at decades of cinematic works by the notable Rossellini clan. The film, which was co-produced by the Latvian company VFS Films, has boldly been called “the best documentary of the year” by Rolling Stone magazine. The films that have been announced so far are only a fraction of the full festival programme and new high-quality films will continually be added until October. A limited number of 10-ticket packages will go on sale from 2 June! This year's RIGA IFF will continue the hybrid format that has already been tried and tested to great success – films will be available in cinemas in Riga, and online throughout Latvia. The best way to receive reminders about the early bird campaign on 2 June and to get monthly updates about the film lineup is to sign up to the festival's newly launched mailing list. Subscribe by visiting RIGA IFF receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, the EU Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.  
RIGA IFF Announces Open Call for Competition Sections
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) is opening submissions for features, shorts, and music videos to its six competition sections. All submissions will be free of charge for one month, until 17 April. The festival will take place this autumn from 14 to 24 October.   The festival’s main award The RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition is the festival's central event. This year, it will once again bring together current, artistically outstanding films from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries that expand the language of cinema. A jury of international film professionals will award the winner of this competition with the RIGA IFF “Rooster”, a bronze statuette in eight parts as well as a cash prize.   A wider film programme for the youngest audience members The popular KIDS WEEKEND section has now become KIDS' REEL. It has not only outgrown its weekend slot, but now also incorporates two international competitions. The films selected for the feature and the short competition will be judged by members of the European Children's Film Association (ECFA), and the winners will be nominated for ECFA awards. The nomination gives these films the chance to win the award for best European short or feature film.   SHORT RIGA – creative short films from around the world The eighth RIGA IFF continues to look for brilliant and creative short films for the SHORT RIGA International, National and Baltic Music Video competitions. Films selected for the SHORT RIGA International and National competitions will also compete to receive a nomination for a European award. This section of the festival is looking for short films in different genres from all over the world that will not only compete for the RIGA IFF “Silver Grass Snake” award and a cash prize, but also for a nomination for the European Film Academy’s (EFA) European Short Film 2021 award. The BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO Competition (BMV) section is unique in the region and continues to prove that music videos are an independent, exciting and creative format in their own right. The section will feature works that broaden the understanding of the language and possibilities of music videos. The competition screening will be attended by filmmakers, an international jury and audience members who will weigh in on the winner of the third RIGA IFF "Silver Grass Snake" award. Further information about submission regulations and deadlines can be found on The Riga International Film Festival will take place for the eighth time in 2021. Over the years, it has become one of the most important international film events in Latvia and the Baltic region, with broad, high-quality programming intended for both audiences and film professionals. RIGA IFF is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Riga City Council.
RIGA IFF Announces Internship Positions
The Riga International Film Festival, which will take place from 14 to 24 October this year, announces that applications for internships are now open. There are internship positions in various areas of the festival such as in the Communications Department, Audience & Guest Services, as well as positions to assist the festival’s curators. Working in an internship position at the festival is versatile and interdisciplinary, and interns gain insight into a variety of fields. The internships are aimed both at students in culture-related fields as well as for students in other fields. The internships will be adapted to the current epidemiological situation and trends in the job market making it possible to carry out all tasks remotely. Last year’s festival shows that working remotely is not an obstacle to becoming a fully integrated team member, or to executing all internship duties. The internship will take place in two cycles – from April to July and from August to October. Applications for internship positions are open until 28 March . Applications will be considered and responded to during the first week of April. Interviews will be arranged with the selected applicants. More information about the internship periods in various RIGA IFF departments, requirements and the skills that can be acquired through the internship can be found on the festival website: (Latvian only).
RIGA IFF announces 2021 dates and publishes video archive
Events at RIGA IFF 2020 brought together many film industry professionals, experts and cinema-goers - both in person and online. As of today, video recordings of the most engaging public discussions, lectures and interviews have been compiled into an archive that can be found on the festival website. In the autumn of 2021, the festival will once again invite audiences to enjoy an extensive program dedicated to both cinema lovers and industry professionals from 14 to 24 October. To round off a season characterised by the ability to identify and accept the unknown, an overview of the 2020 festival has also been published alongside video recordings of the festival’s events. In the 2020 video archive you can, amongst others, view the following: A masterclass by Director Gints Zilbalodis, director of the internationally acclaimed feature film “Away”; Inspirational lectures by international augmented reality professionals, which were a part of RIGA IFF GOES XR; ARCHITECT'S CUT Guest Curator Viesturs Celmiņš’ discussion with Architects Sintija Vaivadis and Evelīna Ozola; A discussion on climate change organised in cooperation with the Latvian Fund for Nature that took place after the screening of the film “Aniara”; Interviews with a total of 25 directors who participated in the SHORT RIGA program; Green Charter For Film Festivals – a lecture series about sustainable filmmaking and organising environmentally friendly cinema events. You can access the archive at RIGA IFF is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the EU Creative Europe – MEDIA program, the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Riga City Council.  
33rd European Film Awards Presented Virtually From 8 to 12 December
Today marks the beginning of the 33rd European Film Awards (EFA) which will be presented as a series of virtual events every evening at 21:00 (Latvia time) from 8 to 12 December. Riga International Film Festival is an official livestream partner of the EFA and all events can be watched below.  The ceremony honours the achievements of European cinema in various categories and welcomes outstanding European filmmakers. Among the nominees (explore the full list here) a host of films screened during RIGA IFF 2020 can be found – Undine, Martin Eden, Berlin Alexanderplatz, to name a few.  Perhaps most importantly, Regina Pessoa's Uncle Thomas, Accounting For The Days is the European Short Film Award candidate selected at RIGA IFF 2019 and the winner will be announced on Thursday, 10 December. The programme kicks off on Tuesday, 8 December, with a discussion dedicated to the re-structuring, re-engineering and re-aligning the European film industry – “From Survival to Revival: Building the Post-Covid Future” (with Mark Cousins, Agnieszka Holland, Kirsten Niehuus and Thomas Vinterberg).  From 9 to 11 December during the “EFAs at Eight” various awards will be presented, save for the main EFA categories. On 12 December the awards in Film, Documentary, Discovery, Director, Actress, Actor, Screenwriter, Innovative Storytelling categories will be presented. Full programme can be explored at the European Film Awards website. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }
A Celebration of Cinema in Person and Online across Latvia – the Seventh Riga International Film Festival Concludes and Announces the Winners
The seventh Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) ended on Sunday 25 October. This year, the festival lineup consisted of 129 films in 10 thematic programs and was presented in a new format – films were available for viewing in person as well as online across Latvia. Viewers in Riga, Jurmala, Ogre, Liepaja and Valmiera used the festival's online screenings most frequently. Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s drama Conference (Konferentsiya, Russia), a film about overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder over the course of many years and coming to terms with a tragic event, won the festival's feature film competition's main prize. In their statement, the jury describes the film as “tackling the complicated issues of memory, fear and guilt in a very precise and restricted fashion. It manages to strike an impressive balance between perfectionistic aesthetics and a portraiture of characters that are fundamentally human in their moral imperfection”. It has to be mentioned that this is not the first time that the director receives an award at RIGA IFF – in 2016, Tverdovsky's Zoology became an audience favourite. Working remotely this year, the jury commented on their festival experience in videos that are available below. Videos of the competition winners' speeches as well as speeches by other directors whose films screened at RIGA IFF this year can also be seen on the website. Liene Treimane, the Director of RIGA IFF: "This year has proven that a festival can be different. Cinephiles can still come together despite having to watch films on screens in their homes and having to distance and observe the multiple restrictions that have been imposed on cinemas. This year, we created a festival like none of us had ever experienced before: it was made up of 129 films in 66 in-person and 50 online screenings, and countless online meetings with film professionals from around the world. I would like to extend a special thank you to the festival’s daring team, including the over 100 tireless volunteers, as well as to all of our viewers.” The FEATURE FILM COMPETITION programme included eight films from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries. This programme combined outstanding narrative and documentary features, as well as the long-awaited national premiere of the surreal tragicomedy What Silent Gerda Knows (Ko zina Klusā Gerda, Latvia). The feature films were judged by an international jury – director and producer Laila Pakalniņa, Marge Liiske, Head of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event at the Black Nights Film Festival, Dmitrij Gluscevskij, a Programmer at the European Film Forum Scanorama in Lithuania, Eva Markovits a Film Programmer at the legendary Cinémathèque Française, and Theo Tsappos from the Swedish Film Institute. The main prize at RIGA IFF is the festival’s symbol – a bronze cast of the Rooster of Riga created by artist Ervins Broks. The prize is made up of 8 parts as a reminder that a film can only be created as a collaboration. The director of the winning feature will also receive a cash prize of 2,000 euros, generously supplied by the insurance company BALTA. The jury’s special mention goes to director Illum Jacobi’s reflection on philosopher Edmund Burke, in The Trouble with Nature (Denmark, France) – a subtle satire, under the guise of a costume drama, on humans’ relationship with the wildness of flora and fauna. Nadja Andrasev's animated short film Symbiosis (France) won the International Competition of the short film section SHORT RIGA, which tells the story of a deceived woman who begins to investigate her husband's lovers. Alise Zariņa's short film II Lines (Divas strīpiņas, Latvia) won the SHORT RIGA National Competition, a film in which six male actors relive 12 women’s personal stories about abortion. The winners of both competitions were selected by Wim Vanacker, a member of the Selection Committee for the Official Short Film Competition of the Cannes Film Festival, Signe Birkova, a Director and Co-founder of the Baltic Analog Lab, and Mikhail Zheleznikov, an organiser and curator of the experimental film festival Kinodot. The winners of both SHORT RIGA competitions will receive the prize Zalktis created by artist Maija Vītola. The winner of the international competition will additionally receive a cash prize of 1,000 euros supplied by the insurance company BALTA. Since 2019 Riga International Film Festival and the SHORT RIGA section are one of 24 film institutions in the world who are able to put forward candidates for the prestigious European Film Awards nomination. This year's RIGA IFF Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards is Gabriel Böhmer’s Push This Button if You Begin to Panic (UK) – using experimental animation techniques, the film tells the story of a person reconciling with their illness. For the sixth year in a row, the Baltic Music Video Competition took place as part of the SHORT RIGA section – this competition is unique to the Baltic States and offers viewers a professional overview of this specific artistic genre. The main prize of this competition, and the third SHORT RIGA Zalktis, was awarded to the video Kapapuu by the group Puuluup made by Zbanski Kino, while special jury mention was given to Bruises On Her Legs directed by Igne Narbutaite and Kabloonak, performed by Kabloonak. The Splendid Palace cinema presented the Audience Award to director Andrey A. Tarkovsky Jr.’s documentary reflection on his father, legendary film director Andrey Tarkovsky. Viewers will be able to watch Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer (Italy, Russia, Sweden) again at a special screening at Splendid Palace on 31 October at 15:30. The children's jury also selected their favourite out of the RIGA IFF family film competition KIDS WEEKEND. The young experts presented their main award to Mischa Kamp's Romy's Salon (Kapsalon Romy, Netherlands), a film about the relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter. This year’s RIGA IFF FORUM – a series of events dedicated to both professionals and newcomers to the film industry – took place entirely online for the first time and brought together participants from all over the world. A discussion about the opportunities that “alternative” realities could bring to education and a 28-hour hackathon took place at RIGA IFF GOES XR, and professionals from the Baltic Sea Region and the Nordic countries could study the production of television series in depth at MAGNETIC SERIES. At a discussion about the GREEN CHARTER initiative, solutions for sustainable and climate-friendly cinema were looked at, and creative short film projects were presented at the SHORT RIGA Test Screenings, whereas the BALTIC ANIMATION MEET-UP provided participants with an opportunity to network and expand their knowledge of the field of animation. RIGA IFF took place from 15 to 25 October in person at the Splendid Palace cinema and the National Library of Latvia, and was available online throughout Latvia. A number of lectures, discussions and other events were also available for viewing during the festival, the recordings of which are available for viewing on the festival's YouTube channel. RIGA IFF is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the EU Creative Europe – MEDIA program, the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Riga City Council.
RIGA IFF 2020: Owning the Unknown
Changes affect everyone, and significant changes can rarely be neatly planned in advance, or pencilled in on kitchen calendars. Although unforeseen things happen regularly, almost everyone has had to face this fact of life in the last few months. What can a film festival do in the current circumstances? How should festival creators, spectators, and filmmakers respond? You can identify the unknown, accept it and make it your own. You can recognise that whatever plans you make, anything else might happen instead. One planned scenario is replaced by the next. And they are all ours, both those that have happened and those that are still to come. Through art, we long to experience the unusual and the unexpected. We empathise with and live through others. We are captivated by watching protagonists and the medium of film itself stand in front of the unknown, confidently take the first step and somehow find the right path. We have a choice to perceive the world’s complexities and changes in a variety of ways – with exasperation, suspicion, or serenity. We can also choose to perceive the world with confidence, with a knowledge that we are not captives of the current circumstances, but rather that this experience belongs to us. And that we can do whatever we want with it. It is with this confidence that RIGA IFF announces that it will take place for the seventh time this year, from 15-25 October. The festival will gather viewers, filmmakers and film professionals to  once more face the unknown and make it their own. We invite our audiences to awaken their desire for adventure and discovery, because this year will be rich in innovations. Innovations will weave through the programming as well as the format – the festival is ready to take place both in person and online, depending on what the unknown future will bring. One thing is clear – the festival will take place and will further its mission without compromising on quality.     RIGA IFF 2020 will open sales for 10-ticket packages on 19 May. This is a great opportunity for enthusiasts to secure tickets early at a good price thereby reserving a place at this year’s festival where they will be able to encounter bold, new forms of cinema and storytelling and expand the boundaries of their perception. The unknown surrounds us, in cinema as in life. Let’s observe, let’s allow for the unknown to reveal itself, let’s adjust and let’s be brave. Let there be an even better and fuller life. Let the festival take place again and let it be re-invented. RIGA IFF 2020, 15-25 October.
RIGA IFF Invites You to the Film Programme and Exhibition PIONEERING WOMEN IN FILM
At this year's festival, as part of the project PIONEERING WOMEN IN FILM, the Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF), in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden in Latvia, the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Film Institute, will pay special attention to the works and significance of female directors in the history of film. The PIONEERING WOMEN IN FILM programme includes three films in different styles and genres that showcase the directors' unique styles and viewpoints. The films will be accompanied by an exhibition in the courtyard of the Splendid Palace cinema at 61 Elizabetes iela, which will be on view for the duration of the festival. At the exhibition, you will be able to acquaint yourself with several outstanding personalities in cinema history, including Alice Guy-Blaché, a contemporary of the Lumière brothers and the first female filmmaker in the world. The programme includes the following films: On Saturday, 17 October, at 13:00, Mai Zetterling’s Loving Couples (1964) will screen at the Splendid Palace cinema and online simultaneously. Loving Couples is a story about three women in a maternity ward at the beginning of the 20th century. The film daringly touches on many topics that are still considered controversial today. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or in 1965 and sparked a small scandal at the Cannes Film Festival with scenes that were considered too provocative at the time. On Monday, 19 October at 18:00 director Karin Swanström's film Girl in Tails (1926) will screen at Splendid Palace and online simultaneously. The film is one of the best examples of Swedish silent cinema, and the last film that Swanström (1873–1942) directed. The director herself plays the widow of a venerable clergyman who acts as a spiteful moral arbiter in the local community, where young women behave "even more shamelessly than during the Renaissance". The director continued her acting career and became the creative director and leading producer at Sweden's largest film studio, Svensk Filmindustri, and thus the most influential woman in the nation’s film industry. On Thursday, 22 October at 19:00 the futuristic film Aniara by directors Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja will screen in Ziedonis Hall at the National Library of Latvia and online simultaneously. In the film, people flee their self-made natural disasters on Earth by relocating to Mars, but end up going off course. Ultimately they even lose the support of the artificial intelligence device MIMA, which enables the travellers to watch their own memories of Earth in virtual reality. Find out more about the festival’s programme, upcoming events and individual films on the RIGA IFF website: All national security requirements will be ensured at every in-person screening.
Riga International Film Festival Announces Full Lineup and Opens Box Office
Spanning eleven days and featuring 129 films presented in ten thematic programs – the seventh Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will take place this year between 15 and 25 October. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy films that have played at prestigious international film festivals, get acquainted with expressive and bold viewpoints from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries, as well as experience strong directorial debuts and long-awaited domestic films. Tickets for all RIGA IFF screenings can be purchased as of today – screenings will be taking place both in cinemas and online this year in response to the ongoing health crisis in the world. This year's festival will open with a unique experience – the cine-concert Where is the Truth?! that will be available for viewing world-wide. At the event, the recently restored Where is the Truth?!, which is the oldest surviving feature film made on Latvian territory, will be accompanied by original music composed by Artūrs Liepiņš and Jēkabs Nīmanis. It will be possible to attend the cine-concert in person as well, but tickets are limited. The 13 carefully curated films screening in FESTIVAL SELECTION can be described as the cream of the crop. One of the section’s standouts is DAU. Natasha that premiered at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. The film is one of the works produced as part of the 12-year-long DAU project at Europe's largest film set and caused a scandal both because of its scope and ethical duality. The festival will also feature The Book of Vision produced by the legendary Terrence Malick – a glorious reflection on time, illness and death, in which a surreal, fantastic costume drama intertwines with an intense story about a woman's struggle. Agnieszka Holland, a favourite among cinéastes, participates in this section with Charlatan – a story about Jan Mikolašek, a controversial personality in Czech history. Mikolašek was a healer and herbalist who could count representatives of two authoritarian states among his “patients”. Rare Beasts, the directorial debut of popular actress Billie Piper, asks questions about the relentless, but ultimately hollow, struggle for eternal satisfaction and happiness. This year, eight works from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries will compete for the main prize in RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition. Yevgeni Pashkevich's What Silent Gerda Knows will have its national premiere in competition – it is an absurdly tragicomic story about a frenzy at a boarding house caused by its residents and the summer heat starring a selection of outstanding Latvian actors and brilliant talents from the neighbouring countries. Ivan I. Tverdovsky's The Conference takes a closer look at a tragic chapter in Russian history – the terrorist attack at the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow on October 23, 2002, where almost a thousand people were captured during the musical Nord-Ost and held hostage for three days. The drama tells the story of Natalia, a woman who escaped, but lost her son. The film asks how you can endure family hatred and the scars created by incomprehensibly cruel situations. FOUND IN BERLINALE is a section created in cooperation with the Goethe Institute in Riga. The films featured here are a selection from Germany's largest film event – the Berlin International Film Festival. The festival not only defines the strength and scope of the German film industry, but also identifies new trends and debuts bright talents to the world. The section opens on 20 October with Undine, a love story by Christian Petzold. The film, which is based on a folk tale, is about a water nymph, an industrial diver and a once divided city merging into one. Highly anticipated, one of the most talked about films from the previous Berlinale is also part of this section – the over three-hour-long, monumental Berlin, Alexanderplatz. The section NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS features the most outstanding films from the Nordic countries. The section covers everything from a review of the history of Swedish cinema seen through the work of outstanding female directors – Girl in Tails and Loving Couples – to a reflection on contemporary society through several documentaries – Photographer of War, The Raft, and the unusual, deeply personal film essay Själö – Island of Souls. The section’s opening film will be the film The Garden by Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason (Children, Parents, Metalhead), a black comedy with a toxic mother-son relationship at the center that delivers a witty criticism of legislative excess. This year, the section HOME MADE, which usually focuses on the international achievements of Latvian production studios, features several prominent Lithuanian films: In the Dusk, by well-known Lithuanian film director Šarunas Bartas that was included in the official competition of this year's Cannes Film Festival; director Ignas Jonynas’ (The Gambler) latest film Invisible; Motherland, by Tomas Vengris, touches on a topic that the director is no stranger to himself having grown up in a Lithuanian immigrant family in the United States – a young woman returns to newly independent Lithuania with her teenage son hoping to privatise the estate that belonged to her parents who were deported and died in exile. The first weekend of RIGA IFF is traditionally dedicated to families and children with the KIDS WEEKEND section. International films that the whole family can enjoy together will be available online, as well the latest instalments in the beloved animated series about the Shammies. For the third year in a row the architectural film program ARCHITECT'S CUT will take place in cooperation with the National Library of Latvia. This year the programme was created by a guest curator – the social anthropologist and urban planner Viesturs Celmiņš. As usual, the SHORT RIGA section will provide a broad and innovative overview of the cinema landscape by presenting gems from various international short film festivals, bold new local shorts, as well as artistically innovative music videos. The 41 shorts in the lineup will not only compete for the title of Best Short Film in the international and national SHORT RIGA competition, but as of this year, RIGA IFF joins 24 other festivals that can nominate films for the prestigious European Short Film category of the European Film Academy Awards. The competitions will feature 7 world- and 9 national premieres. The FESTIVAL DARLINGS section, dedicated to the most popular shorts from 2019 and 2020, includes the films The Fall and Nimic by world-renowned directors Jonathan Glazer and Yorgos Lanthimos. The section IN KINO VERITAS, curated by director Pēteris Krilovs, will offer an insight of one of the most significant movements in cinema history – the Czech New Wave. The section will feature Juraj Herz’s darkly ironic The Cremator and Milos Forman's social satire The Firemen’s Ball. A screening of Jan Nemec's Diamonds of the Night will be a special highlight. Newly restored, the film will appear on the silver screen in Latvia for the first time. The festival will also feature an extensive online program for industry professionals featuring educational and inspirational lectures and a 28-hour hackathon. At the conclusion of RIGA IFF, the winners of the feature film, short film and music video competitions will be awarded. The online screenings this year will allow viewers across Latvia, not just in Riga, to enjoy the festival without having to leave their homes. Tickets for all screenings can be purchased on the festival website and at Biļešu Serviss box offices. Instructions for how to redeem your ticket can be found at It should be noted that all online screenings, as well as the in-person screenings, will have a set start and end time. Please make sure to plan your attendance at the festival carefully. The full festival lineup and tickets to all screenings are available on the festival’s website: RIGA IFF is organised with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, the European Commission’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.
Riga IFF Announces Films in Festival’s Main Competition
This autumn, the seventh Riga International Film Festival will take place 15 – 25 October. One of the most important sections of the festival is the feature film competition. Eight distinct, innovative and artistically challenging films from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries have been selected for the competition this year. Films could be submitted without genre restrictions. The works included in the Feature Film Competition will be judged by an international jury of film professionals – Dmitry Gluscevskij, European Film Forum SCANORAMA, Sophie Mirouze (La Rochelle IFF), Marge Liiske (Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event/POFF), critically acclaimed film director Laila Pakalniņa, and Teo Tsappos (Swedish Film Institute). The winner of the competition will receive the main prize at RIGA IFF – a bronze figurine of a rooster created in collaboration with artist Ervins Broks. It consists of eight parts, which the director of the winning film can hand out to the film’s crew. The winner of the competition also receives a cash prize of 2,000 euros. Sonora Broka, the festival’s Creative Director, explains that "cinema is a mirror-like medium. It is the most reflective of the arts, showing us echoes of the world as it is now. In this set of eight films, the mirror images have acquired another expressive layer of meaning – the auteur’s vision. This vision, although different in each film, reaffirms the need for cinema that represents a space for free thought and artistic expression.” Viewers will only have the opportunity to enjoy the feature competition in person. Both films about brilliant personalities from cinema history, such as Andrey Tarkovsky junior’s film Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer, as well as exceptional directorial debuts, such as Jurģis Matulevičius' film Isaac and Eva Marie Rødbro’s I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die, which premiered at IDFA. Other highly anticipated films that have screened at major international film festivals include – The Trouble With Nature, that screened in the Bright Future competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival, In Deep Sleep, that was included in the Berlinale Forum, and Conference by Ivan I. Tverdovsky (known to Riga IFF viewers for Zoology, 2016), which is currently screening in the Venice Film Festival. Daniel Borgman, whose film Loving Pia competed in this competition in 2017, has also returned with the film Resin. It is especially noteworthy that the long-awaited film What Silent Gerda Knows will have its national premiere in competition this year. Feature competition films: The Trouble With Nature, dir: Illum Jacobi, 2020, Denmark In Deep Sleep, dir: Maria Ignatenko, 2020, Russia Isaac (Izaokas), dir: Jurģis Matulevičius, 2019, Lithuania Resin (Harpiks), dir: Daniel Borgman, 2019, Denmark The Conference (Konferentsiya), dir: Ivan I. Tverdovsky, 2020, Russia, Estonia, UK, Italy What Silent Gerda Knows (Ko zina Klusā Gerda), dir: Yevgeni Pashkevich, 2020, Latvia I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die, dir: Eva Marie Rødbro, 2019, Denmark Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer, dir: Andrey A. Tarkovsky, 2019, Italy, Russia, Sweden This year, the festival will take place over 11 days, from October 15 to 25. The festival’s motto "Owning the Unknown" is a response to the current epidemiological situation in the world and the challenges this poses. The festival will take place both in person and online this year. In total, 129 films make up this year's festival programme and are divided into ten thematic sections. In addition to these, the festival is comprised of a Baltic music video competition and a series of events dedicated to discussing relevant industry issues and the latest film technologies. The full RIGA IFF programme will be announced on Tuesday, 15 September, and tickets to the cinema as well as for the online screenings will go on sale the same day. Further information about the festival programme and events can be found on the festival’s website, RIGA IFF is organised with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, the European Commission’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.  
RIGA IFF Opening Cine-Concert “Where Is The Truth?!” Will Be Streamed Worldwide
A concert created especially for the opening of the Riga International Film Festival will take place at Splendid Palace on 15 October. It will accompany the oldest feature film made in the territory of Latvia, Where is the Truth?! (Kur patiesība?!, 1913). The original music has been co-created and will be performed by musicians Artūrs Liepiņš and Jēkabs Nīmanis. Only 100 tickets are available to attend the cine-concert in person, but viewers from all over the world will be able to watch the event free of charge online. RIGA IFF will take place from 15 to 25 October and tickets for all festival screenings will go on sale soon. On the evening of 15 October, the Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will open with a cine-concert that will take the audience back 107 years, with a sound spanning across time. Musicians Artūrs Liepiņš and Jēkabs Nīmanis will perform an original score they composed together, while the oldest preserved feature film shot in the territory of Latvia will play on screen – the tragic love story Where Is The Truth?! This year, RIGA IFF encourages audiences to explore the unknown – both in terms of the changes affecting us at the moment, as well as looking back in time. The first "cinematic dramas" were shot in Riga in 1913 with the participation of not only local artists, but also of artists from Berlin and Moscow. The "picture houses" of the time tried to meet modern technical standards: the halls were equipped with a recently invented device that prevented the image from shaking, or catching on fire, and in some places a "silver screen" made up of glass pearls was even put up to help the image come to life. Short films that had used gramophone records to ensure synchronous sound went out of fashion. Live accompaniment by individual musicians, or whole orchestras, or less frequently, by actors’ recitations, became the voice of silent cinema at that time. Both musicians giving the opening of the festival's seventh iteration its voice have experience in cinema. Artūrs Liepiņš created the soundtrack for the German silent film People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag, 1930), an important film in European cinema history, commissioned by the Les Arcs Film Festival. He also created the soundtracks for Paradise '89 (Paradīze ’89, 2018), All My Friends Are Dead (Visi mani draugi miruši, 2019) and Fable (2019). The musician is an audio artist for RIGA IFF and is known in other parts of the world, especially in Francophone countries, for his musical alter-ego project Domenique Dumont. The other half of the creative tandem is Jēkabs Nīmanis who has created film soundtracks since 2008 and received the Lielais Kristaps national film award for the music for the film Māra (2014). Since 2010 he has been creating the sound for the children's favourite animated short film series Shammies (Lupatiņi). He additionally composes for theatre, actively performs at concerts in Latvia and works with sound installation and audio-visual design. The silent film Where is the Truth?! that was shot in Riga and Ventspils reached audiences in 1913, thanks to Siegfried Mintus – a producer, owner of film theatres and distributor of motion pictures and cinema equipment. The screenplay is based on a play by Abraham S. Schomer, a lawyer, writer and author of the idea for the World Jewish Congress, On the Sea and Ellis Island (Afn yam un Ellis Island), which has been filmed and staged for the theatre many times. It is the story of a Jewish orphan who was forced to register as a prostitute in order to stay in the city where her lover lives. Being accused of robbery and consequently being imprisoned awakens unbearably painful memories from the past for the woman. In 2020, the film was restored by the studio Locomotive Classics at the initiative of the Riga Film Museum, and with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation. The cine-concert will be available for free worldwide. Tickets will go on sale for those wishing to witness the premiere of the composition and the restored version of Where Is the Truth?! in person. This will take place in the cinema Splendid Palace, which was inaugurated 10 years after this film was made.  100 tickets to the cine-concert in the Great Hall of Splendid Palace on 15 October at 19:00 are now available on the festival’s website – – for 15 euros. Closer to the event, information about the free live broadcast will be published on the festival’s website and Facebook page. RIGA IFF is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, the EU Creative Europe – MEDIA program, the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Riga City Council.
Lend a hand and become part of the festival
RIGA IFF is to enlisting voluntary help and offers a peek into the backstage. Applications are open until September 20. Voluntary work at cultural events is a chance to gain experience within the particular field, to grow in communication and working with other people as well as to be a part of the growth of a society. But the film festival is special — it is also a chance to enjoy great cinema! Anyone over the age of 16 can become a volunteer at RIGA IFF. You should be ready to devote at least 25 hours of your time. After filling out the submission form candidates are selected in face-to-face interviews (many tasks will involve training). In case of any queries, please contact us at
The latest shorts in the popular animated series Shammies will premiere at RIGA IFF
We are pleased to announce that three short films from the animated series Shammies will premiere in the children’s film programme KIDS WEEKEND at the Riga International Film Festival. The films, made by animation studio Atom Art and directed by Edmunds Jansons, will screen on Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 October. 10-ticket packages to RIGA IFF are currently available. The films How Shammies Travelled, How Shammies Had Breakfast and How Shammies Told Time, were made by the animation studio Atom Art and directed by Edmunds Jansons. The films bring their young viewers along on the latest adventures of the main characters – four small and curious creatures Sockie, Mitten, Pillow and Hankie – as they navigate the house with their eyes closed, eat breakfast together and learn to count seconds and minutes. And as always, wise Mr. Cat is beside them to offer help and guidance! It's been a decade since the first short in the series, How Shammies Bathed, was released. Since then the shorts, which are based on screenplays by Inese Zandere, have become beloved by cinemagoers both in Latvia, and internationally. The short films have been screened in cinemas across France, in cooperation with distributor Dandelooo, and been included in the ARTE Boutique DVD series. Some of the films from the series have also been accepted into more than 70 film festivals around the world. The shammies’ adventures are many Latvian children’s first interaction with domestic cinema. As director Edmunds Jansons says: “It has always been easy and fun to make the films thanks to the audience’s enthusiastic response. Generations have changed, so it will be very interesting to see how the shammies’ relationship with new viewers will develop. The first Shammies audiences are already teenagers by now, but Sockie, Mitten, Hankie and Pillow remain their mischievous selves. This is where the magic of animation lies, that the film's protagonists never grow older and wait for still more children to discover them, like Peter Pan in Neverland." The series includes nine short films and two online episodes. Five shorts premiered in the children's program at the 2015 RIGA IFF – How Shammies Built a House, How Shammies Got Well, How Shammies Were Getting Married, How Shammies Played Hide and Seek, and How Shammies Tidied-Up. The Shammies films will premiere on Saturday, 17 October, and this screening will also feature a series of shorts from previous years. The newest films will also be available on Sunday, 18 October, when they will be screened as part of the KIDS WEEKEND selection of animated European short films. Shammies has received support from the Latvian National Film Centre and Latvian Television. The films were made by the Atom Art animation studio and were created by a team of well-known Latvian artists and filmmakers: director Edmunds Jansons, artist Reinis Pētersons, screenwriter Inese Zandere, composer Jēkabs Nīmanis, sound director Ģirts Bišs, head animator Mārtiņš Dūmiņš, and producer Sabīne Andersone. We remind you that RIGA IFF is currently giving the most faithful cinemagoers the opportunity to purchase packages of 10 tickets at a good price. With this package you can secure a place at this year’s festival and enjoy stories that expand the boundaries of perception in bold new forms. We invite viewers to become participants in creating this film event by purchasing tickets. The price for the special 10-ticket package is €45. As soon as individual tickets go on sale, package holders will be able to redeem 10 tickets to any screening from the festival programme. More information about tickets is available at RIGA IFF is organised with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, the European Commission’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme, the National Film Centre and Riga City Council.
RIGA IFF Seeks Baltic and Nordic Feature Debuts and International Shorts
Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) welcomes submissions to its four competition programmes: the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition and three SHORT RIGA competitions – the international and national short film competitions, and the Baltic Music Video Competition (BMV). The festival's competitions are especially opportune for debuting directors seeing that RIGA IFF juries include a considerable number of programme organisers for other international film festivals. The seventh edition of RIGA IFF will take place October 15 to 25, 2020. At a moment when so many film events, unfortunately, get cancelled or have to seek novel forms of reaching their audiences, we hope that autumn will come with recovery, rejuvenation and new strength – both within the industry and elsewhere. The RIGA IFF dates remain as planned – in October, when we can meet again in the most beautiful cinema halls of Riga. All competitions are judged by international jury panels composed of members from the professional international film community. Winners of past editions and the respective juries can be found on our  Previously section. The call for submissions opens on 19 March 2020. Submissions are accepted through FilmFreeway and must adhere to the following deadlines: • RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition – July 1 • SHORT RIGA International Competition – July 1 • SHORT RIGA National Competition – July 1 • SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition – August 7 The selected works will be announced by September 10, 2020. More detailed information about rules, regulations, closing dates and awards can be found on Competitions section. Features From the Baltic Sea Region and the Nordic Countries The RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition reflects transitions and recent trends in cinema. Its geographical frame – the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries and their associated territories – represents the distinctly different film schools, traditions, languages and visions on various sides of the same sea. There are no genre restrictions – films may fall into documentary, fiction, animation, or any cross-genre category. The submitted films must have been completed after July 1st, 2019, and the Latvian premiere of international submissions must take place during RIGA IFF. Short film competitions and EFA Candidacy In 2019 SHORT RIGA became part of the network of 24 film festivals that qualifies films for the European Film Awards (EFA) short film nomination. This network focuses on both selection and promotion of the 24 best short films made by European directors. This year, SHORT RIGA is expanding its competition by adding a National Competition for short film next to its international counterpart. The SHORT RIGA National Competition’s aim is to promote Latvian short films and talents, and selects at least six films to feature. The SHORT RIGA International Competition will select 35 works that display distinct auteur expression regardless of genre – animation, fiction, documentary, and experimental film are all admissible. The international jury will then select one single EFA candidate from the eligible films selected for both competitions. Scouting the Baltic Music Video Scene The SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition (BMV) seeks music videos that are daring, innovative and experimental. The music videos themselves must have been produced in either Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania; the country of origin in terms of the music is not a factor in selection. Only official music video clips are accepted. Prizes The Feature Film Competition’s winning director will receive the special RIGA IFF Award – an eight-piece figurine of a rooster poured in bronze, and a monetary prize of €2,000. In the three SHORT RIGA competitions, the winning directors will receive the Silver Grass-snake – a silver pin featuring the Latvian symbol for a grass-snake; the winner of the International Competition will receive an additional monetary prize of €1,000. A single candidate from the eligible national and international competitions will be selected for the “European Short Film 2021” award. About the festival The Riga International Film Festival was established in 2014, and has quickly become one of Latvia’s premier cultural events. It is a celebration of cinema that introduces the international film industry to the current body of work coming out of the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries, and in turn, introduces local audiences to the latest happenings in world cinema. The festival advances public interest in current events taking place in the contemporary cinema landscape, and encourages dialogue between viewers and filmmakers. The mission of RIGA IFF is to create an internationally recognised cinema event that promotes Riga, enriches the northern European cultural space, and advocates for the development of an intelligent, open and active society. RIGA IFF is organised with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation, the European Commission’s programme ‘Creative Europe – MEDIA’, the National Film Centre of Latvia, and the Riga City Council.
Video: Yet another year that’s better than the last one!
Join us as we look back at the sixth edition of RIGA IFF that attracted a record number of visitors. RIGA IFF 2020 will take place from October 15 to 25. But now, for a limited time only, there's a special holiday deal Super Early Bird 10-Ticket Pack and Festival Pass. Both of these are a unique chance to take care of the best present for yourself and dearest ones during the holiday season. Offer available until December 22! Super early bird 10-Ticket Pack (EUR 30,-) Enjoy our special offer! 100 exclusive 10-ticket packs allow for more affordable RIGA IFF. The RIGA IFF will showcase more than 100 screenings of feature films, documentaries, and short films from around the globe. As soon as the individual tickets go on sale, the pack holders are welcome to book 10 tickets for screenings of their choice, excluding the Opening Night. Multiple tickets per screening can be used. Super early bird festival pass (EUR 99,-) It doesn’t get more affordable than this. With the festival pass you have it all, including the Opening Night! It’s the best gift during the holiday season to the festival fans. It’s a personalised ID card that allows you to attend any of more than 100 of the festival’s screenings.
32nd European Film Awards ceremony – livestream on December 7
RIGA IFF in cooperation with the European Film Academy invites everyone to watch the live broadcast of the 32nd European Film Awards (EFA) on December 7 starting from 18:00 (Latvia time). 18:00 – the red carpet 20:00 – the award ceremony Among the nominees there's a number of films screened during RIGA IFF and all the nominations can be found here. EFA take place outside Berlin every other year and in 2014 the ceremony was hosted in Riga – a partnership with the freshly founded RIGA IFF. This year’s ceremony honours the achievements of European cinema in 24 categories and welcomes outstanding European film makers such as Werner Herzog, recipient of the 2019 EFA Lifetime Achievement Award, and Juliette Binoche, who will be awarded with the Achievement in World Cinema award, together with many other protagonists of European cinema such as Wim Wenders and Agnieszka Holland. Riga International Film Festival is an official live stream partner of the European Film Awards. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }
RIGA IFF 2020 dates and SUPER EARLY BIRD tickets!
We are happy to announce that Riga International Film festival will take place from October 15 to 25 in year 2020! We celebrate this with a special holiday deal – Super Early Bird 10-Ticket Pack and Festival Pass. Both of these are a unique chance to take care of the best present for yourself and dearest ones during the holiday season. Offer available until December 22! Super early bird 10-Ticket Pack (EUR 30,-) Enjoy our special offer! 100 exclusive 10-ticket packs allow for more affordable RIGA IFF. The RIGA IFF will showcase more than 100 screenings of feature films, documentaries, and short films from around the globe. As soon as the individual tickets go on sale, the pack holders are welcome to book 10 tickets for screenings of their choice, excluding the Opening Night. Multiple tickets per screening can be used. Super early bird festival pass (EUR 99,-) It doesn't get more affordable than this. With the festival pass you have it all, including the Opening Night! It's the best gift during the holiday season to the festival fans. It’s a personalised ID card that allows you to attend any of more than 100 of the festival’s screenings.
RIGA IFF announces its 2019 winners
The sixth annual Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) attracted a record number of visitors and came to a close as the winners of the festival's competition programmes were awarded. FEATURE FILM COMPETITION RIGA IFF Award Nova Lituania, dir. Karolis Kaupinis Special Mention Animus Animalis (A story about people, animals and things), dir. Aistė Žegulytė FIPRESCI Latvian Section Jury Award: Scandinavian Silence, dir. Martti Helde Splendid Palace People’s Choice award 7 Billion Years Before the End of the World, rež. Jānis Ābele SHORT RIGA International Competition Best Short Film Uncle Thomas, accounting for the days, dir. Regina Pessoa RIGA IFF European Film Academy Short Film Candidate Uncle Thomas, accounting for the days, dir. Regina Pessoa Special Mention Community Gardens, dir. Vytautas Katkus Special Mention Operation Jane Walk, dir. Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition Best Music Video Garbanotas Liūdnos akys, dir. Titas Sūdžius Special mention Puuluup Kasekesed, dir. Taavi Arus KIDS WEEKEND Feature Film Competition RIGA IFF Children’s Jury Diploma – Best Film Rocca Changes the World, dir. Katja Benrath ARTDOCFEST/RIGA Grand Prix Immortal, dir. Ksenia Okhapkina Best Director Maxim Shved, Pure Art Jury award School of Seduction, dir. Alina Rudnitskaya Special mention Daymohk, dir. Masha Novikova Special mention State Funeral, dir. Sergei Loznitsa   Awards ceremony live-stream
RIGA IFF has kicked off
On Thursday, October 17, the legendary cinema Splendid Palace hosted the opening of one of the largest Baltic film festivals – Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF). It commenced with a screening of 3D animation film Away, made by the local filmmaker and animator Gints Zilbalodis. The guests were addressed by RIGA IFF Director Liene Treimane, Artistic Director Sonora Broka, National Film Centre of Latvia Director Dita Rietuma, and Gints Zilbalodis, the author of Away. The speakers highlighted the significant role that RIGA IFF plays in creating the image of the capital of Latvia. This marvellous event is also an opportunity to pay tribute to the world's cinema. The 6th edition of the RIGA IFF will be held until Sunday, October 27. More than 140 films in 11 separate thematic sections will be screened at various cultural venues, such as Splendid Palace, K.Suns, Kino Bize, Cafe Film Noir, the National Library of Latvia, and others.
Baltic Music Video Competition and the Festival’s Biggest Party
The SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video (BMV) Competition and Party will mark the festival’s second and last Friday evening. This event of the year for music video creators from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will take place at Villa C.C. fon Stritzky, where the works will be screened in their most fitting format. The competition screenings will take place in an informal party atmosphere with the filmmakers and musicians in the audience; afterwards, the party will hit full throttle as DJs from Riga, Moscow and Amsterdam spin tunes until dawn. The evening will start at 20:00 as the works selected for the BMV Competition demonstrate that the music video is a powerful short format in its own right. The programme’s curators spent a whole year searching for works that challenge audiences by extending the accepted boundaries of the music video format, content, and even art in general – and now they are ready to present what they’ve found. An integral part of the evening will be the meet and greet with music video makers, musicians, curators, and the competition’s international jury. As soon as the screening finishes, the lights will go dim and the dance floor will open to the evening’s performers and you – our guests. Artūrs Liepiņš (Riga) As a DJ, Artūrs rarely plays music created by others because he spends most of his time composing original works. He has been part of the projects Dun Dun and ELVI/DUNIAN, has written music for the films Paradise 89, All My Friends are Dead and Fabula, and is working on creating the audiovisual identity of RIGA IFF. He is currently working on the project Domenique Dumont, a collaboration with a mysterious French artist that begun in 2013. The music of Domenique Dumont has been released by the record labels Antinote, International Feel and Record Makers, and has attracted the attention of various international media outlets (Resident Advisor, Pitchfork, NME). Domenique Dumont’s music has also been featured at a number of festivals and on international broadcasts, including BBC Radio, NTS, Radio Nova, and FIP FM. As Liepiņš himself says: ‘I’ll be playing a variety of both contemporary and 20th-century music that has been either ripped from dusty hard drives and flash drives, has been mailed to me, I’ve found on the street in other countries, or has been recommended to me by friends or algorithms.’ JAVYBZ (Moscow) Javybz (Anya Karmanova and Julia Rodionova) is a Moscow-based duo. They are also residents at the London radio station NTS, where they host the monthly show  All Styles All Smiles. Anya and Julia recently celebrated ten years on the radio (the show originally debuted at another London radio station – Deep Frequency). They've also done shows for Red Light, Worldwide FM, David Byrne and The Lot Radio. Both artists focus on rare grooves, classics, new productions and obscurities with a worldwide perspective. Together and independently they've been involved in various music projects such as organising parties and vinyl markets, curating festivals, and curating music for an exhibition at the Tate Modern. JEN Z (Amsterdam) JEN Z, aka Žanete Skarule, has a master’s degree in Film/Video from the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) and is an experienced director who made her debut at RIGA IFF in 2017 with the film Flying Monks Temple and the project Sound We See: Riga. This year, she is participating with the short film Fabula. Alongside her professional career, JEN Z skillfully leads crowd scenes on the dance floor.
All Films Go on Sale and Curators Offer Their Insights!
The RIGA IFF 2019 programme is indeed ready! 148 films in 11 days and 11 thematic sections including competition programmes – these are the numbers of the sixth Riga International Film Festival. You can find our curators' insights by most of the film descriptions on this site - a chance to see the  film from the curators' point of view! Again, contemporary cinema will meet the classics and work of renowned directors will be screened alongside courageous debuts. There's no shortage of films in the programme, but we have made sure that one can navigate them easily and that the most treasured finds can be saved for later. Do that with “❤”! Head over to the calendar view or the alphabetical index and pick your favourites.
Albert Serra’s Adult Libertine Fairy Tale Explores The Limits of Hedonism (18+)
The Spanish writer-director challenges the audience with his latest work Liberté. Adapted from his play which debuted at Berlin in 2018 and having had its premiere in Cannes, it – typically to Serra’s work – strictly parts the audience in those that do or do not accept to follow the director’s vision. The RIGA IFF screening will take place on the evening of October 23. The film – spanning more than 2 hours in duration – not only challenges the audience to immerse itself in the challenging territory of boundless satisfaction of the pleasure, but also to indulge in the multilayered message and lack of emotion characteristic of Marquis de Sade. Shortly before the French Revolution, the aristocrats expelled from the puritanical court of Louis XVI seek the support of the legendary Duc de Walchen, German seducer and freethinker. They aim to export libertinage – an extreme hedonism that rejects moral boundaries and authorities. But moreover – to find a safe place to pursue their errant games, where the quest for pleasure no longer obeys any laws. And they find themselves in a dark forest clearing... Bodies, impulses, desire. The libertines craved liberty. The film is asking what it is that this liberty leads to, which absence? And is this absence bearable? Serra wants the film to physically impact the viewer and produce the type of stunned state you can be in when you walk out of a night club in the early hours of the morning. When you can no longer distinguish what you’ve seen from what you’ve heard or what you’ve imagined.
Roy Andersson’s Divine Comedy Covers The Tragicomic Nature Of Life
Roy Andersson – characterised by his well-developed style of narration and aesthetics – returns to RIGA IFF. His latest film About Endlessness – the first since A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, with multiple festival's screenings in 2014 – is as odd and as alluring as the previous. It will be screened as a part of NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS on October 18 and 22. About Endlessness is a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendour and banality. We wander, dreamlike, gently guided by a Scheherazade-esque narrator. Inconsequential moments take on the same significance as historical events: a couple floats over a war-torn Cologne; on the way to a birthday party, a father stops to tie his daughter’s shoelaces in the pouring rain; teenage girls dance outside a cafe; a defeated army marches to a prisoner-of-war camp. The director has developed such a genuinely distinctive and original way of making films that his works qualify as a genre of their own. Simultaneously an ode and a lament, this film presents a kaleidoscope of all that is eternally human, an infinite story of the vulnerability of existence.
Xavier Dolan’s reflection on the private life of celebrities in the eyes of the public
As a part of the festival's section New Canadian Cinema – dedicated to the latest films from Canada – audiences will have the opportunity to see the latest film by Xavier Dolan titled The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. The polarising Canadian-born director's film – the production of which spanned several years – was premiered in Toronto International Film Festival, but the RIGA IFF screening will take place on October 24, at cinema Splendid Palace. A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor Rupert reminisces the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on their lives. Rupert Turner reveals all he knows about John's troubled life, what compromises John made for fame — and how John's tenderness and generosity inspired that little boy who was desperate to connect with the man he idolized. The film condemns the cruelty and prejudices that thwarted John's too-short life while celebrating the depth of his connection to those who truly loved him. Xavier Dolan’s seventh feature and first in English is a summation of key themes the Montreal writer and director often explores: gay alienation and shame, suburban resentment and fraught mother-son relationships. Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Kit Harington and Kathy Bates all star in major roles! Various biographical details of the director's life have been woven into the story.
The World premiere of the Kamēr… choir’s journey to the European Grand Prix
As part of the RIGA IFF programme, a special screening will feature the World premiere of Emīls Alps’ film Choir. Conductor. Kamēr… on the famous youth choir’s journey to the Tolosa Choral Competition, at which the grand prize had to be won to qualify for the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. Created by a member of the choir, the film offers unprecedented insight into the singers’ passion for music, loyalty among friends, and the overcoming of difficulties. The film will be screened on October 18 at the Splendid Palace cinema. Emīls Alps emphasises that this is his life's work. As the film’s director, his artistic style and creative vision have been strongly influenced by singing in choirs and vocal ensembles from an early age. This life-long experience has made it possible for him to capture moments that are usually never seen by outsiders. Aivis Greters had just taken on the position of chief conductor and artistic director of the world-renowned choir in 2018, and this year the choir Kamēr... has, for the third time in its history, triumphed at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing.
Media accreditation is now open for the RIGA IFF 2019 (apply by September 20)
Media representatives are invited to apply for accreditation at the Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF), allowing them to attend the festival's film screenings and industry events.  All applications can be made here until September 20, 2019. Every accreditation application will be assessed individually and the decision will be made known to all the applicants by no later than October 4.  In case of questions, please contact Inita Sila by emailing or calling +371 2 9103354‬. RIGA IFF will run from October 17-27 at cinemas Splendid Palace, KSuns, Kino Bize as well as the National Library of Latvia and Kanepes Culture Centre. The festival will feature over 100 film screenings, 11 film programmes as well as lectures, discussions and other special events.  
‘Beanpole’ Depicts a Devasted Postwar Leningrad Through the Eyes of a Woman
Leningrad in autumn of 1945. World War II has devastated the city, demolishing its buildings and leaving its citizens in tatters, physically and mentally. Although the siege – one of the worst in history – is finally over, life and death continue their battle in the wreckage that remains. Two young women search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. It was important for the director to show the consequences of war through people’s faces, eyes, physiques, bodies, not just through abandoned or destroyed buildings. His main inspiration for Beanpole was the book The Unwomanly Face of War by the Nobel prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich. The producer believes that Balagov’s true strength comes from his realization of the drama and cruelty of life and his deep affection and empathy towards the people who are trying to overcome terrible obstacles. The film is being screened as part of Festival Selection.
Plastic spoon as a symbol of our times in the latest feature by Laila Pakalniņa
Laila Pakalnina, the Latvian auteur praised for her documentary work, finds splendour in the ordinary, everyday presence of a plastic spoon. The national premiere of Spoon will take place within the Riga IFF Feature Film Competition on October 24. The film is both a lament and a satire: Spoon exposes the amount of waste that goes into the creation of something that will inevitably be disposed of shortly after the use, while also portraying how psychologically affected humans are by the process of creating something so ordinary. Her works being selected for almost all A-class film festivals in the world, Pakalniņa remarks that this feature is not so much about spoons, as it is about what she defines as a real film. Cinematographer Gints Berzins emphasises that film was black and white from the very outset, considering the black oil and white plastic as its subject matter. From extraction of oil and processing it into plastic, to casting it into its final shape – Spoon takes something so small and insignificant, and imbues it with a life and meaning far beyond its intended use. The single-use plastic utensil being a global phenomenon, the Spoon has the widest location coverage that Pakalinina has done to date – Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Azerbaijan, China, and Hong Kong.
Pattinson and Dafoe in the psychological horror drama ‘The Lighthouse’
As part of the FESTIVAL SELECTION, curated to showcase the most spectacular cinema of Europe and the whole world, the audience will get a chance to see the writer-director Robert Eggers' second feature The Lighthouse. This film starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson will be screened on Sunday, October 20, at 19:00. Robert Eggers secures his position as one of cinema’s most exciting contemporary auteurs. His second feature The Lighthouse is as mesmerizing as it is otherworldly. Lighthouse examines the dark impulses of hardscrabble men embroiled in a complex game of power dynamics. “Nothing good can happen when two men are left alone in a giant phallus,” Eggers remarks. The film won the FIPRESCI Cannes Film Festival critics’ award for best first or second features in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week. Following The Witch’s smash debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the instant horror classic catapulted Eggers to the front ranks of American auteurs. After winning the Directing Prize at Sundance, it was released to glowing reviews, terrifying audiences around the world.
RIGA IFF short film programme will open with six dazzling premieres
The short film programme SHORT RIGA will see its opening on October 22 with a celebration of six national premieres of Latvian productions, among which there will be works by the recognised authors Lizete Upīte, Žanete Skarule and Nils Skapāns, as well as three student shorts. The special screening will host Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. “On this evening six works of different genre, temper and message will see their premieres, all united by the fact that these are all auteur works” Anna Zača, curator of SHORT RIGA emphasises. Lizete Upīte will participate with a Latvian-French co-production Riga’s Lilac, whereas Žanete Skarule – with a poetry film Fable (developed as a part of the project Motionpoems), in which the main heroine is portrayed by the charming actress Emma Bobrova Lourié. The result of an unprecedented creative collaboration will be seen in the VFS Films produced puppet animation short All My Friends Are Dead. Its creator is the debutant Anna Zača, but the film’s second director and animator is the Latvian animation heavyweight Nils Skapāns. This screening will also premiere three student works: Tīna Zariņa’s short film Eastern-European Spiderwoman, an animated short Night Shift by the Art Academy of Latvia graduate Linda Stūre and to conclude - her coursemate’s Kerija Arne’s witty animated short work Dramatic Ending. This year is going to be special for the festival’s SHORT RIGA section, because its competition programme has provided RIGA IFF a qualifying status for the exclusive European Film Academy Awards - next to prominent film festivals like the Berlinale, Venice Film Festival and Karlovy Vary.  
ARTDOCFEST RIGA opening film documents seduction of wealthy men
The ambitious, thought-provoking and multifaceted RIGA IFF competition of documentaries ARTDOCFEST/RIGA will open with a Latvian premiere of the tragicomic documentary School of Seduction on October 21. All ARTDOCFEST/RIGA screenings, including the opening film, will host Q&A sessions with the filmmakers. In a society where for women there are no easy ways to get ahead, the shortest ride to the top is a wealthy man. Psychologist Vladimir Rakovsky has an easy solution. He is a tutor of his own “School of Seduction” and runs highly priced courses, simply titled: “How to seduce rich men”. In School of Seduction we witness Rakovsky teaching three young women how to seduce a man, and just as importantly – how to keep him. It’s not easy. Seven years of recordings by the filmmaker Alina Rudnitskaya paint a sometimes tragicomic picture of gender roles and femininity in Putin's Russia. ARTDOCFEST/RIGA is curated by Artdocfest, the largest documentary film festival in Russia that has cut the state support for this significant event.
BERLINALE 2019 RIGA opening – a System Crasher’s longing for home
BERLINALE 2019 RIGA hosts a selection of films from Germany's most important cinema event Berlinale, depicting its strong influence on the trend developments in film art. This selection will see its opening on October 23 with the stellar debut film “System Crasher” directed by Nora Fingscheidt. “System Crasher” is the laureate of Berlinale's Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. It depicts 9-year-old Benni on her wild quest for a home. This film is a result of a research spanning over many years, following the director's first encounter with the unofficial term system crasher. The story focuses on Benni’s point of view: the confusing number of “homes”, the changing guardians and the constant and dizzying disruption of relationships. The director reflects: “Children’s violence is a cry for help. Always.” BERLINALE 2019 RIGA is not just a unique opportunity to see these films on big screens in Riga, it can be regarded as a present-day reflection of the German society and culture life. BERLINALE 2019 RIGA is made in partnership with the Goethe Institute in Riga.
New Canadian cinema – a film about the supernatural in a Quebec smalltown
Searching for new film horizons, RIGA IFF looks across the ocean and presents a NEW CANADIAN CINEMA selection in collaboration with the Montreal International Film Festival Festival du nouveau cinéma. The first from this programme to be announced is a screening of Ghost Town Anthology on October 23, 18.00, with participation of the director Denis Côté himself. Ghost Town Anthology begins with a death of a young man in an isolated Quebec smalltown. Mourning locals are reluctant to discuss the circumstances of the accident, while the mayor suddenly has new troubles to deal with – the return of the dead. Spiked with tragic humour and straddling the line between social realism and the supernatural, Ghost Town Anthology was shot on 16 mm film and is based on a novel by writer and photographer Laurence Olivier. The charismatic Denis Côté is among the most exciting and internationally renowned Québécois film directors and willl be available for a Q&A session after the screening. A true cinefile himself, he is keenly interested in exploring the possibilities of the language of film.
RIGA IFF children’s film programme – with the best European film of the year
The first weekend of RIGA IFF – October 19 and 20 – will also be a KIDS WEEKEND, with screenings of its children's film programme, including the latest animated shorts and European feature films that rarely reach local cinema screens. “KIDS WEEKEND films have been selected in collaboration with children's film festivals all around the world. With respect and consideration for the main audience – children – RIGA IFF brings a breath of the world to its viewers, expanding their horizons and encouraging conversation. This year's films for kids aged from 3 to 13 all carry a message: to make the world better you don't have to wait for mythical superheroes – each of us can do more good than we think,” KIDS WEEKEND curator Kristīne Simsone highlights. This weekend full of cinematic adventures will include 'Supa Modo', a Kenyan and German co-production that was awarded the Best European Children’s Film prize by the European Children's Film Association in 2018. Its main character, the nine year old Jo, is fighting a terminal illness, and dreams to become the kind of a superhero she sees in adventure films. The lighthearted German adventure comedy 'Rocca Changes the World' ponders what Pippi Longstocking, the famous character by Astrid Lindgren, would be like in our time. A Nordic presence in this RIGA IFF selection is the Icelandic football drama 'The Falcons', offering a look at scenic Icelandic landscapes, a gripping tale of rivalry, and a reassurance that fair play can be applied to everyday situations off the pitch. And another Nordic film, the Danish thriller 'Hacker', is an excellent fast-paced technology story. The youngest viewers and their parents are welcome to specially programmed animated short screenings. This hour-long selection, featuring work by the most renowned studios in Europe, is always an audience favourite and among the most attended events at the festival. KIDS WEEKEND will take place at Splendid Palace cinema from 11.00 to 16.00, and the viewers are welcome to spend the time between the screenings in the playhouse by interior design store MOKKA, also hosting book readings arranged by “Liels un mazs” (Big And Small) publishing house.
Valmieras vasaras teātra festivāla laikā RIGA IFF piedāvās brīvdabas kino vakarus
Valmieras vasaras teātra festivāls šogad norisināsies no 2. līdz 4.augustam. Ar devīzi Dzīvā pilsēta tas aicinās mesties piedzīvojumos bērnus, jauniešus un viņu vecākus. Līdztekus deviņām izrādēm, kuras tiks izrādītas teātrim neierastās vietās, izrāžu apmeklētājiem, valmieriešiem un pilsētas viesiem tiks piedāvāta plaša paralēlā programma, kas ļaus izdzīvot piedzīvojumus arī ārpus izrāžu norises vietām. Gaidīts notikums lieliem un maziem ir brīvdabas kino vakari, kuri tapuši sadarbībā ar Rīgas Starptautisko kino festivālu. Kino programma piemērota visu vecumu skatītājiem, bet jo īpaši bērniem un jauniešiem. Kompaktajā trīs filmu izlasē iekļautie darbi ir aizvadīto gadu RIGA IFF bērnu filmu programmas Kids Weekend lielākās veiksmes - bērnu žūrijas laureātes un skatītāju iemīļotas filmas. Tie ir aizrautīgi un sirsnīgi piedzīvojumu stāsti, kas savos vēstījumos patīkami atšķiras no tā, ko esam pieraduši redzēt uz lielajiem ekrāniem. Visas filmas tik demonstrētas ar subtitriem latviešu valodā un to sākums plkst. 22.00, pavisam neilgi pēc saules rieta. Kino skatīšanās notiks Festivāla centrā, Vecpuišu parkā, Valmierā. Brīvdabas kino seansi apmeklētājiem bez maksas. SKATĀMĀS FILMAS 2. augustā/ 213. ISTABA / rež. Emēlija Lindbloma / Zviedrija / 2017 Filma stāstīs par istabu ar numuru 213, kurā negaidītu notikumu dēļ tiek izmitinātas meitenes. Te neiztikt bez mīklainiem notikumiem, kas neviļus noved pie jautājuma – vai leģenda par nometnē mājojošo spoku ir patiesa? Filma 2017. gadā saņēmusi RIGA IFF bērnu žūrijas balvu. Filmas izrādīšanu atbalsta Ziemeļu Ministru padomes birojs Latvijā. Ieteicamā auditorija: 9+ 3. augustā/ LOS BANDO / rež. Kristians Lo / Norvēģija, Zviedrija / 2018 Stāsts par rokgrupu Los Bando Immortale, kurai ir lieli sapņi, bet trūkst basģitārista, un….Aksels īsti neprot dziedāt. Viss mainās, kad grupai pievienojās deviņgadīgā čelliste Tilda un vietējais sacīkšu braucējs Martins negaidīti piekrīt grupu vest līdz Trumsē, kur notiks Norvēģijas roka čempionāts. Filma 2018. gadā saņēmusi RIGA IFF bērnu žūrijas balvu. Filmas izrādīšanu atbalsta Norvēģijas Karalistes vēstniecība Latvijā. Ieteicamā auditorija: 7+ 4. augustā / GĀJPUTNI / rež. Olivjē Ranžē / Beļģija, Francija / 2015 Filma stāsta par Keitiju, kuras dzimšanas diena ir 29. februārī. Tēvs viņai uzdāvina savādu dāvanu – olu, no kuras jāizšķiļas putnēnam. Turpat blakus ir arī Margo, kura nogurusi no ķīviņiem ar vecākiem. Taču brīdī, kad noslēpumainā ola beidzot šķiļas, abas meitenes tiek ierautas neaizmirstamā ceļojumā. Filma atzītā kā labākā Eiropas bērnu filmu asociācijas (ECFA) balsojumā. Ieteicamā auditorija: 7+ Ilggadējā sadarbība abu festivālu starpā ir lieliska iespēja papildināt viena festivāla programmu un  atzīmēt otra festivāla tuvošanos – Rīgas Starptautiskais kino festivāls šogad notiks no 17. līdz 27. oktobrim. Visas Valmieras vasaras teātra festivāla dienas Vecpuišu parkā darbosies Festivāla centrs. Tas tiks iekārtots sadarbībā ar Biznesa, mākslas un tehnoloģiju augstskolas RISEBA rīkoto starptautisko vasaras skolu FestivaL’and 2.0. Jaunievedums šajā gadā - centrā būs īpaši iekārtota pop - up radio studija, kurā ikviens varēs līdzdarboties -  ieklausoties un rosinot sarunas ar režisoriem, aktieriem un interesantiem cilvēkiem. Savukārt sestdien Latvijas Laikmetīgās mākslas centrs piedāvās dažādu mākslinieku praktiskas meistardarbnīcas bērniem un jauniešiem, ļaujot izglītoties un pašu spēkiem veidot ieskatu mākslas pasaulē. Visas aktivitātes Festivāla centrā apmeklētājiem bez maksas. Biļetes uz festivāla izrādēm iespējams iegādāties visās Biļešu paradīzes kasēs, Valmieras Drāmas teātrī, kā arī internetā, un Valmieras vasaras teātra festivāls notiks ceturto reizi, līdz šim ik gadu pulcējot vairāk nekā 5000 apmeklētāju. Festivālu rīko Valmieras teātris sadarbībā ar Valmieras pilsētas pašvaldību un Valsts kultūrkapitāla fonda finansiālo atbalstu.
IN TECHNO VERITAS opening screening: Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
The retrospective and research section of RIGA IFF – IN TECHNO VERITAS, created with the help of guest curator Viktors Freibergs – will be opened with a very special one-off screening of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on October 22, 20:30, at the Large hall of ‘Splendid Palace’ cinema. ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968), the legendary film symphony made by the extraordinary visionary and great director Stanley Kubrick was something completely unexpected for the entire film industry – its special effects of unprecedented quality and unconventional narrative made it a turning point in the development of sci-fi genre. It inspired a whole generation of directors, including George Lucas (‘Star Wars’), who has said that the appearance of this film attracted an adult audience to science fiction film, offering more than just entertainment. Read more about IN TECHNO VERITAS section and other films on its list in our May announcement!
SHORT RIGA: Tests Screenings — call for Baltic talents to springboard onto the festival circuit
Don't miss the opportunity to have your films analysed by an international panel of experts. SHORT RIGA: Test Screenings provide invaluable feedback from the professionals, helping you to further the development of your film. Riga International Film Festival’s (RIGA IFF) SHORT RIGA: Test Screenings look for the Baltic short film projects that are recently finished or undergo their final stages of production (rough cut – up to 40min; finished films – up to 30min). Ten selected entries will be presented to the expert panel members and a special audience at RIGA IFF 2019. Test Screenings will take place October 24 – 25, 2019, and ubmission are open till 16th of August (23:59 CET). Participation is free of charge and we will take care of your stay in Riga. No presentation or pitch necessary, but attendance of the director is mandatory. The event is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia.
FESTIVAL SELECTION filmā – Tilda Svintone un viņas meita Onora Svintone Bērna (biļetes tirdzniecībā!)
In an exclusive screening, FESTIVAL SELECTION will feature the british auteur Joanna Hogg's film ‘The Souvenir’ – an enigmatic and deeply personal story taking place on the backdrop of London in the early 1980s. The leading roles are played by Tilda Swinton, the world-famous diva with androgynous image, and her daughter Honor Swinton Byrne, this being her on-screen debut. The film received the prestigious Sundance World Cinema Dramatic prize. The partly–autobiographical work, depicting the Swinton Byrne's Julie starting her studies at a film school, emphasises the female gaze and portrays how complicated the nature of relationships is. Quoting Tom Burke's Anthony, the film invites the audience to “see life as it is experienced.” This is the fourth feature film from the celebrated and multi-award-winning British auteur Joanna Hogg. One of the film's executive producers is Martin Scorsese. As a reminder, tickets are on sale for the only screening of the Cannes '72 winner ‘Parasite’, Gints Zilbalodis sensational Annecy's Contrachamp winner ‘Away’, as well as Latvia–shot ‘Dogs Don't Wear Pants’, revealing the protagonist's complicated interrelation with BDSM.
RIGA IFF presents a film shot in Latvia about the protagonist’s interrelation with BDSM (tickets on sale!)
The opening of the RIGA IFF’s film section NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS will take place on October 18. It will be marked with a screening of ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ by J-P Valkeapää – a daring story on how a man seeks to cope with the death of his wife through exploring the limits of his pain and endurance in BDSM sessions. The film was shot in Latvia – with members of the Riga BDSM community as background actors – and had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. “The Finnish cinema – so close to us in regard to its emotional temperature – continues to surprise. Inspired by the films of Kaurismäki and Bergman, J-P Valkeapää, one of Finland’s most interesting directors of auteur cinema, has created a bold, extravagant and very personal story about the acceptance of loss. It portrays the life of contemporary society hidden from daylight and the eyes of strangers, where pleasure can’t be separated from pain,” explains Sonora Broka, the Programme Director of RIGA IFF. ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ was produced by Finland’s ‘Helsinki-filmi’, and was co-produced by the Latvian production company ‘Tasse Film’. The co-production was supported by the Latvian National Film Centre and Riga Film Fund.
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. 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 already! The soundtrack by Gints Zilbalodis is available on Spotify, Apple Music iTunes, Google Play Music and Amazon. Reminder: head over to our tickets section to find out what other titles are already on sale for RIGA IFF 2019!
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. 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
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. 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).
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.” 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). '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!
KIDS WEEKEND film “Supa Modo” – the power of hope and jokes in sorrow
The cinema 'Splendid Palace' will be filled with children joyfully chatting again on the first weekend of RIGA IFF. Two day long, this event will bring together families! KIDS WEEKEND invites to attend both the special short film screenings for the youngest audience and four feature films for older children. The first one we would like to announce is 'Supa Modo' – a story that tells how it may take just a village to make a dream come true. Bright gowns, an unfamiliar environment, and hope alternating with joy. Jo, a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life. Her only comfort during these dull times are her dreams of being a Superhero. Inspired by her older sister, the villagers persuade Jo she really has special powers and cast her as the star of her very own movie! Alongside with telling the story about Jo and the villagers, this film helps the world expand their understanding of the ‘African’ story – it shows a small town in Kenya as a true reflection of the place the filmmakers grew up in. 'Supa Modo' reveals the power of hope and jokes in times of sorrow – it does not wallow in sadness but encourage to find the strength to overcome it. The impact of the film is priceless – its crew has received emails and calls from people telling that because of watching 'Supa Modo' they are able to talk about death with their kids. The co-screenwriter Silas Miami points out that the story shows circumstances in which we do what we need to do to make our lives and the lives of those whom we love just a little better. In turn, we find value in who we are. This is Likarion Wainaina's debut as a feature film director and Stycie Wawaru's (Jo) debut as an actress. “Supa Modo' has won the Award for Best European Children's Film presented by the European Children's Film Association (ECFA) and was Kenya's submission to the 91st Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film. The German co-producer of this work is Tom Tykwer, director of the famous film 'Run Lola Run' (Lola rennt, 1998) and founder of the production company 'One Fine Day Films'. Movie writer David Opie (magazine 'Little White Lies') says about the film: "A love letter to the power of escapism, a devastating portrayal of grief and a Kenyan family drama that defies stereotypes, 'Supa Modo' serves as an important reminder that even when heroes die, they can continue to inspire others long after they're gone." This film is recommended for children ages 9 and older. The screening of ‘Supa Modo’ within the framework of RIGA IFF is supported by Goethe-Institut Riga. 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!
SHORT RIGA Opening will feature “Riga’s Lilac” – a short on bad smells
The opening of SHORT RIGA section will host a number of national premieres by Latvian authors. We are happy to announce that Lizete Upīte's short film “Riga's Lilac” will be one of the works featured. The hand-drawn animation film captures the social impact that a bad smell of another person can cause. The interviews conducted in Riga and the audio recordings by Ģirts Bišs reveal the capital city in a tragicomic manner, constituting what can be conceptualised as “documentary fiction.” “Night Walks,” Upīte’s first film made in Latvia, was nominated in five categories at the Latvian National Film Awards “Lielais Kristaps” 2018. Upīte received award as the best animation artist and Ģirts Bišs was awarded for the best sound design. “Night Walks” has also received high appraisal in one of the oldest and most prominent Northern European film festivals – the Grand Prix of the Fredrikstad Animation Festival. The short films of Lizete Upīte reflect on the depicted environment and center around everyday experiences that often go unnoticed. Her works show direct influences of the cities she has resided in when elaborating them. Thus, the depiction of Riga is special not only in subject matter but also with regard to the overall atmosphere. “Riga's Lilac” has been drawn in Vendome, France, while participating in the creative residency "Ciclic Animation", and is produced by Papy3D (France) and Atom Art (Latvia). You can find out more about the SHORT RIGA section here. We remind you that on May 29 a limited offer of one hundred exclusive ten-ticket packs will be launched. It is your chance to spend a lot less on the festival attendance or make a nice present for someone special! The ticket packs will be available at our ticket section!
FESTIVAL SELECTION to feature Ken Loach’s film
This is the first day of the Cannes Film Festival and we are announcing the first film of RIGA IFF 2019! We are happy to announce that we will be screening a film presented in the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival - the newest work Sorry We Missed You by the outstanding director Ken Loach. The film focuses on one of the many families stuck in debts caused by the financial crisis of 2008 and forced to work their way out. An opportunity arises when Ricky gets hold of a shiny new van and has the chance to run a franchise as a self-employed delivery driver. Both Ricky and his wife, a carer, work hard. The family unit is strong but when both are pulled in different directions everything comes to breaking point. Being one of the few directors awarded with two Golden Palms and having received many other awards, Ken Loach is the most successful director in the history of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. He has won lifetime achievement awards in both Cannes and Berlinale: the Honorary Golden Lion in 1994 and the Honorary Golden Bear in 2014. At 82, Loach is reluctant to say whether this is his last work. Dolan, Almodovar, Dardenne brothers – these are only some of the directors that participate in this year’s Cannes Official Selection. We remind you that on May 29 a limited offer of one hundred exclusive ten-ticket packs will be launched. It is your chance to spend a lot less on the festival attendance or make a nice present for someone special! The ticket packs will be available at our ticket section!
EARLY BIRD ticket packs on sale from May 29!
The Riga International Film Festival will launch the annual EARLY BIRDS ticket sales 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 or make a nice present for someone special! More than 100 screenings of feature films, documentaries and short films from all over the world will await the audience of film lovers this year. 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. The ticket packs will be available at our ticket section!
RIGA IFF calls for entries
The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) announces calls for submissions to its three competition programmes: the Feature Film Competition, the SHORT RIGA International Competition, and the SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition (BMV). The sixth edition of RIGA IFF will take place from October 17 to 27, 2019. RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition seeks innovative cinematic language and auteur expression being created within the Baltic Sea region (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden). This programme reflects transitions and recent trends in cinema. There are no genre restrictions – films may fall into documentary, fiction, animation, or any cross-genre category. The 10 films that are ultimately selected exhibit present-day contemplation about the cinema of tomorrow. SHORT RIGA International Competition looks for distinct expression in short format film – whether it’s animation, fiction, documentary, or experimental production. The festival's curators select 35 of the most interesting submissions from around the world. SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition (BMV) endeavors to uphold the belief that music video is an independent and powerful short format. BMV appreciates videos that both challenge the audience and push the boundaries of accepted format, content, and artistry. The screening of this programme is designed as a special event: a lively meeting between music video-makers, musicians and composers, curators, the international jury members, and the audience. Calls for entries open on March 19. More detailed information about the rules, regulations, closing dates, and awards can be found at The festival consists of three competition programmes, various special sections, diverse industry events, and thought-provoking public discussions. RIGA IFF is organised with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation, the European Commission’s programme ‘Creative Europe – MEDIA’, the National Film Centre of Latvia, and the Riga City Council.
We know our dates! Even though RIGA IFF 2018 is still fresh in our memories and barely saved on our hard drives, we can proudly share the dates for the next one to come! RIGA IFF 2019 will take place from October 17 – 27! Save the dates and catch up with the latest updates on our social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Core of the World takes the RIGA IFF Best Film Award 2018
On Saturday the 27th of October, Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) announced this year's winners, presenting the 2018 Best Film Award from the FEATURE FILM COMPETITION programme to Natalia Meshchaninova's Core of the World - a film that according to the international jury boasts complete vision, exceptional execution and nuanced storytelling. The Special Mention for “exceptional cinematography, whimsical storytelling and moving sound design” was given to the Norwegian director Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen's feature, Valley of Shadows. The FEATURE FILM COMPETITION comprises films from the Baltic Sea region. The award is an eight-part sculpture that has been designed in cooperation with artist Ervins Broks which interprets the festival’s symbol as one of collaboration in filmmaking, and also an emblem of the city of Riga - a rooster. The award along with a 2000€ cash prize is made possible with the support of the festival's partner, BALTA. This year, the jury members were Rainer Sarnet, the winner of the 2017 RIGA IFF Best Film Award, Barbora Ligasova, the representative of the Czech film centre, Dorota Lech, Toronto International Film Festival programmer, Anna Motola, Head of the Love and Anarchy Helsinki International Film Festival as well as film producer Roberts Vinovskis. FIPRESCI Latvian Section Jury gave their award to director Jesper Ganslandt's feature film Jimmie, the story of 4-year-old Jimmie and “the chaos he is witness to, characterised by emotional close-up shots and non-linear narrative”. The RIGA IFF Youth Jury also announced their picks on Saturday, granting the Youth Matters award to Anna's War by Russian director Aleksey Fedorchenko. The members of the festival’s Youth Jury this year were Alberts Roze, Elza Marta Ruža, Pauls Rubens and Anete Dance. The festival venue partner's award - Splendid Palace People's Choice - went to 7 Billion Years Before the End of the World, the debut feature from Latvian director Jānis Ābele, while the Creamcredit Special Award - a monetary award for a film in the RIGA IFF HOME MADE programme, was granted to To Be Continued -  a documentary by Ivars Seleckis, with the aim of supporting the making of the film's sequel. The film was previously also selected as the Latvian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. The main award of the international competition within the framework of the festival’s short film, experimental cinema and music video programme SHORT RIGA was awarded to Government House by Weiser Herwig. The international jury unanimously agreed: “The award deserved to be given to this socially motivated film that uses genre stylemes in a very peculiar and artistic way, always avoiding cliches. For being a socially motivated abstract horror film blending together performance art with a spooky sound design and a very accurate and extreme research on the mise en scène through an hypnotic light setting, the award goes to a picture that, in our opinion, is all what an experimental film should be, really experimental.” There were also three Special Mentions - The Linden tree (dir. Arkesh Ajay) in the Live Action, Egg (dir. Martina Scarpelli) in the Animation and All Inclusive (dir. Corina Schwingruber Ilic) in the Documentary category. The members of the SHORT RIGA International Jury were Per Fikse, the director of Minimalen Short Film Festival in Trondheim, Norway, Chintis Lundgren, animator and Chintis Lundgreni Animatsioonistuudio co-founder, Jānis Putniņš, director of the National Film School of the Latvian Academy of Culture, Ieva Viese-Vigula, Latvian writer and film critic as well as Enrico Vannucci, Short film advisor for the Venice and Quebec City Film Festivals. The SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition (BMV) award was given to Zane Zelmene's music video Space Hammer made for the band Kodek. According to the jury, “Zane Zelmene's visceral, romantic portrayal of Latvia's mystical Pokaini forest, shot in black-and-white with frenetic lightning effects fits the modular techno Kodek (real name Raivo Vainovskis) beautifully. The location is a superb choice - with much of Europe's native forest demolished it's a stark reminder of how vital and beautiful these places are and why we should keep them. It also serves to enhance the appeal of Kodek, and Zelmene stands out as a promising visual artist in her own right.” The two Special Mention prizes went to Ir baigi apjaust, ka esi šeit directed by Pēteris Tenisons for the Latvian musician Imants Daksis and All About Love, directed by Pijus Vėberis for the band Daddy Was A Milkman. The BMV Jury members were Jessica Manstetten, curator of the MuVi Prize competition programme and MuVi International programme at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, musician Juris Simanovičs, audiovisual media artist, VJ INA VARE, teacher of the Advertising Design programme at the Riga School of Design and Art, Inese Vēriņa-Lubiņa, editor of the music webzine Gigwise, Cai Trefor and Intsikurmu producer Kristine Kebbinau. The RIGA IFF Children's Jury gave the Kids Jury Award prize to Christian Lo's Los Bando. When asked to back her choice, 11-year-old jury member Krista says: “I want to thank the Norwegian film-making crew for making a film as nice as Los Bando, a film filled with music, that takes you on a journey throughout the whole of Norway. The film inspired me to have the courage to dream and to not be afraid to make those dreams come true. After watching Los Bando, I realized that it takes certain skills to develop a friendship and that you always have to be honest with your friends, because if not with them, then who else?” The festival has also acquired rights for the film's theatrical release in Latvia. This year’s Children's Jury members were Arvena Lote Kravčenko, Jēkabs Blanks, Nils Klaverī, Krista Kušķe, Linda Saviča, Žanete Blanka, Ieva Bille, Kate Štāla. The fifth edition of RIGA IFF is taking place from October 18 - 31. The festival consists of twelve film programmes, diverse industry events and a selection of thought provoking public discussions. The RIGA IFF is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia, the European Commission’s programme Creative Europe – MEDIA, the National Film Centre of Latvia, and the Riga City Council.  
RIGA IFF 2018 first week | Video diary Nr. 3
RIGA IFF pirmā nedēļa tūdaļ noslēgusies, bet festivāls vēl turpinās! Šonedēļ Baltijas pirmizrādi RIGA IFF piedzīvoja režisora Vitālija Manska dokumentālā filma “Putina liecinieki”. Filma ir detalizēts Krievijas prezidenta un to cilvēku portretējums, kuri nodrošināja viņa