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.
Whether they are animated, fiction, documentary, or experimental, SHORT RIGA is looking for short films with a distinct voice made in Latvia. At least 6 short films will be selected.
We welcome short films and audiovisual works with a running time of up to 30 minutes, and with a completion date no earlier than 1 January 2020. This competition accepts works by established professionals and students who are Latvian citizens, or were born in, or are long-term residents of Latvia (at least 2 years). We also consider works that have been produced in Latvia, made by a Latvian director abroad, or films that list Latvia as one of the production countries.
The selected short film titles are evaluated by an international jury consisting of industry experts, filmmakers, and representatives from the international film festival community.
The award – “Silver Grass Snake” (a silver pin featuring the Latvian symbol for the grass snake) – is presented to the film that generates the liveliest discussions and greatest passion about the very essence of cinema. The Awards Ceremony takes place on the second Saturday of the festival.
Candidacy for the European Short Film 2021 award
The jury will select a single candidate for the European Short Film 2021 award from the films screened in the SHORT RIGA International and National Competitions. Directors born in Europe, or with a European passport are eligible (the European Film Academy defines Europe as including both EU and non-EU countries, as well as citizens of Israel and Palestine). The film must have been produced in 2020 or 2021, and cannot exceed a total running time of 30 min.
The call for submissions opens on 17 March 2021 and closes on 30 June 2021. The submission fee per entry is EUR 10 and all submissions are free of charge for one month, until 16 April, 23:59. The results will be announced by 10 September 2021.
Gunhild Enger (1980) belongs to a new generation of Norwegian directors. She has received captive attention from film festivals and was the focus of a retrospective at SHORT RIGA last year. Enger's short films elevate the comedy in everyday events, they possess a sophisticated sense of rhythm and feature people's absurd inability to communicate. She studied visual arts at Edinburgh College of Art and film at Lillehammer University College and the School of Film Directing at the University of Gothenburg. Her 2005 graduation film Bargain was nominated for a BAFTA, and her subsequent short films have been screened worldwide and nominated for the Norwegian Amanda Award. Enger is currently in production on her first feature film.
Alise Ģelze (1980) has been working in film since 2006, with a particular focus on social coming-of-age dramas. She is one of the most significant Latvian producers of the last decade and the Founder and Director of the studio White Picture. Her short and feature films have screened at the Cannes Film Festival, in Berlin, Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Busan and many other international film festivals. Her most successful films include Juris Kursietis' Oleg (2019), which premiered at Director's Fortnight at Cannes, Jānis Nords' Mother, I Love You (2013) and Renārs Vimba's Mellow Mud (2016), which won awards at Berlinale. Ģelze has received recognition from the Latvian Ministry of Culture for her contribution to film production.
Mathieu Janssen (1984) is a Dutch festival curator from Nijmegen. After studying sociology, he became interested in journalism, writing, and organising public debates on the responsibility of art institutions. He is one of the founders of the Deep End Film collective. Since 2018 he is curator and member of the selection committee of Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen. Janssen curates special programmes, explores the features of national cinemas and is one of the initiators of the international This is Short collaboration platform.
Hilla Okkonen is a short film producer and curator at the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy. After graduating from the University of Bologna, she worked in communications and cultural event production in both Finland and Italy. From 2016 to 2020, Okkonen served as the Cultural Attaché at the Finnish Embassy in Rome and co-organised a festival focusing on Nordic cinema. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, cooking Roman cuisine and running marathons.
Léo Soesanto is a prolific film journalist and experienced film curator based in Paris. He studied at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and has published in Libération, Les Inrockuptibles, Premiere, and Vogue. Soesanto published the book L'aéroport mis en scènes this year about the role of airports in cinema. He has been a film curator at the Bordeaux International Independent Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival and now works in the film programming department at the Cannes Film Festival's parallel section Critics' Week. He has curated retrospectives of auteurs such as Olivier Assayas and Denis Côté.