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Short films and experimental cinema

In the world of cinema, short film is the bravest and most explicit mirror of our times. To help you navigate through this wide range of short films, we’ll be curating selections in which each work is like a tiny kernel of corn that, once projected onto the screen, warms up and explodes into a popcorn-like cloud of reflection, emotions, laughter or tears. No one will be left untouched, guaranteed!

In this section

The SHORT RIGA International Competition looks for new auteur films of various genres and techniques from all over the world. This is one of 24 international short film competitions that presents a selected film with a candidacy in the short film category of the European Film Awards. The curator and selection committee evaluate submissions, individually look for works in the programmes of other film festivals as well as film and art schools, and reach out to independent makers of short films. There are as many films as there are opinions, and as many authors as there are stories. The only things the selected films have in common is a maximum running time of 30 minutes and the presence of a strong personality. Audience members are guaranteed to quarrel, laugh, or even shed a tear or two – often in the presence of the filmmakers themselves!
In the category of short film, the local film scene is particularly dynamic. For the national short film competition, we select works of various genres and forms that have been made within the last two years. The competition is judged by an international jury to ensure acknowledgement of the unique features of Latvian-made films from a broader perspective. In the opinion of RIGA IFF, however, every film included in the selection is already a winner.  
The most popular short films of 2020 and 2021. These films have been presented in so many different festivals around the world and enchanted so many audiences and professionals that you must see them too!
To emphasise SHORT RIGA’s interest in auteur cinema, it is now an annual tradition to introduce audiences to a world-famous short filmmaker by inviting them to participate in a retrospective of their work. This year’s Persona section is dedicated to world-famous Latvian animation director Vladimir Leshchiov (1970). The way in which Leschiov explores new avenues and universal themes has attracted a large audience internationally, which now even exceeds his local audience. The director’s animated shorts exude a familiar warmth and with his characteristic attention to detail he creates symbolic strands of narrative. Leschiov usually works with classical animation techniques using watercolours and sometimes even experiments with coffee and tea. He does, however, also use digital techniques. Like each of his films, each scene tells an independent story; every frame is at the same time a small work of art and a universe of its own.

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