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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.


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.