RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 13 â€“ 23 / 10 / 2016
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
SPLENDID PALACE KINO BIZE K SUNS
This is the third year of the Riga International Film Festival, or the Riga IFF. The festival was born in 2014 when Riga was the European Capital of Culture and hosted the European Film Academy award ceremony. Next year the festival introduced itself as an independent event, founded a unique for Latvia international film competition and established a sophisticated programming structure that allows our viewers to learn about what happens in the European and world cinema today, as it also provides the organizers with an opportunity to present Latvian productions in an international context. This year the festival runs from October 13th to October 23rd. The festival’s headquarters is still the beautiful Splendid Palace cinema, which will host most of the screenings, while its restaurants Tinto and Film Noir will host lectures, conferences, talks, family and other events. Screenings will also be held in Kino Bize and K Suns. All three movie theatres are located on Elizabetes Street, transforming it into the festival’s central avenue.
CONTENTS RIGA IFF TEAM 3
VITALY MANSKY FREEDOM IS AN AXIOM 13
RIGA IFF EVENTS
SONORA BROKA IS A FILM A STORY?
SHORT RIGA INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION PROGRAMME
RIGA IFF OPENING FILM CLOSE RELATIONS, DIR. VITALY MANSKY 5
SHORT RIGA BALTIC STUDENT COMPETITION PROGRAMME
RIGA IFF COMPETITION PROGRAMME 6
SHORT RIGA BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION PROGRAMME
RIGA IFF SELECTION 8
AGNESE LOGINA THE NEW OLD GENRE 22
DITA RIETUMA THE BEAD GAME 9
KRISTĪNE SIMSONE LEARNING TO READ IMAGES
IN KINO VERITAS
OLAFS MILLERS MAKING SENSE DIFFERENTY 11
LIELAIS KRISTAPS. SELECTION
ZANE BALČUS ENCOUNTERING STREIČS 28
THE RIGA IFF CATALOGUE CREATED BY
EDITOR HENRIETA VERHOUSTINSKA TRANSLATORS ANDRIS KUPRIŠS, SERGEJS TIMOFEJEVS ARTISTS AINIS PERMINS, UNA BERGMANE PRINTING HOUSE POLIGRĀFIJAS GRUPA MŪKUSALA PAPER AVĪŽU UZLABOTAIS PAPĪRS 52 g/m2
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Watching movies has always been a special experience for me. A film as a world to dive in and experience something emotionally different each time. In a festival this experience comes with more: a chance to meet the creators of these worlds; a chance to take part in the birth of one of these worlds. In a festival a movie continues long after the last credits have rolled and the light in the auditorium has come up.
My greatest joy comes from creating an event where people meet. I wish to be able predict how storytellers meet their listeners, how viewers meet their films, how the people in the audience experience an act of art, together. I wish for there to be laugther and tears; I wish people would speak to each other and the world would become a little better.
The visitors of the festival will probably never realize how much I worry as I watch the audience react to a film, and how great is my satisfaction to see that a film has met its viewers.
The other day I had this conversation about how we confuse the concept of “recognisability”. Whether you are recognised often trumps what are you recognised for. It indicates quality more than quantity. This team is about being in the league of our own. We are not simply one of the many events; we are the Riga IFF: a name and a category in their own right.
PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER
CURATOR, KIDS WEEKEND
Personal understanding of cinema is mainly created by the films watched in childhood. The festival’s task is to make sure that this understanding is created as good, unforgettable and positive as it can get, making it possible to to view cinema as an imaginative and horizon-expanding wonder-world which it indeed is.
RIGA IFF DIREKTORE
CURATOR, SHORT RIGA
A short film is a form whose task is to carry away the viewer from the first seconds and then, in the following minutes, feed with stories that will not let them go at least for a few weeks. My team’s and my own joy is to be able to find such wonders in the world, while also bring young talents from the Baltics into the international spotlight.
SONORA BROKA Creative director
ELVISS ZANTS Head of Communications
KRISTĪNE SIMSONE Curator, KIDS WEEKEND
ZANE DZENE Media coordinator
VITĀLIJS MANSKIS Curator, ARTDOCFEST/RIGA
KRISTS KONDRĀTS Website coordinator
ILZE PELNĒNA Curator’s assistant, ARTDOCFEST/ RIGA
HENRIETA VERHOUSTINSKA Catalogue editor
ANNA VEILANDE-KUSTIKOVA Curator, SHORT RIGA AGNESE LOGINA Curator, SHORT RIGA Baltic Music Video Competition
RIGA IFF EXPO 2016 ANDREJS STROKINS Still photographer, exposition author ZIGMĀRS JAUJA Architect, researcher
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
RIGA IFF VIDEOLOG TEAM
CURATOR, RIGA IFF INDUSTRY EVENTS
Cinema is a sport for heavyweights. The Riga IFF is an inspirational point of departure into the discipline – from a timid start through a demanding run up to the victorious finish.
HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
CURATOR, ARTDOCFEST/RIGA The tenth Artdocfest in Russia will take place under the slogan “In the Place of Freedom”. In Riga we want to take a chance to look into the future. For us Latvia is already a place for freedom!
RIGA IFF EVENTS
ANETE EGLĪTE Events coordinator
LIENE HAPANIONEKA Film transport coordinator
AMANDA BOKA Industry Events curator
HĀRDIJS CIBUĻSKIS Film storage manager
VIKTORIJA KASPEROVIČA Curator, Baltic Film Talent Lab AGNESE LOGINA Curator, Riga IFF Critics Meeting MĀRTIŅŠ ŠMITS Events and technical manager DAIGA LIVČĀNE Volunteers manager
RIGA IFF DISTRIBUTION SERGEJS TIMOŅINS SERGEJS MUSATOVS
TRANSLATIONS ASNĀTE VASILJEVA Translation coordinator
EDUARDS LAĶIS KASPARS KURSIŠS ARTŪRS LIEPIŅŠ
SERGEJS TIMOFEJEVS Translator (Russian)
KASPARS KONDRATJUKS Accreditation and information centre manager
ANDRIS KUPRIŠS Translator (English)
JANA PAKALNA Guest service manager ANNIJA KORPA Guest service manager’s assistant
ANNA MIESNIECE Accreditation and information centre manager’s assistant
RIGA IFF EVENTS 13/10/2016 – 23/10/2016 RIGA IFF EXPO 2016 SPLENDID PALACE The photographer Andrejs Strokins has come across an extensive photography archive that documents the Soviet Latvian film theatre Palladium. The architect Zigmārs Jauja goes in the steps of the photographer. 13/10/2016 18.00 THE PREMIERE OF KATRĪNA NEIBURGA’S SHORT FILM GARAGE (26') SPLENDID PALACE. THE SMALL AUDITORIUM The solitary universe of garage co-operatives. Here men are like small children lost in the labyrinths of sheds and their own fictions. For many fiddling with engines or self-made mechanisms is both a hobby as well as a means to survive in the grey area of economics. A pastime as a time capsule in which neoliberalism has locked the post-industrial working classes. Tickets available at rigaiff.lv 14/10/2016 10.00–17.00 RIGA IFF CRITICS MEETING SEMINAR. THE ROLE AND HISTORY OF FILM CRITICISM. MEDIA SPECIFICS. THE POINT OF FILM CRITICISM THE FILM MUSEUM The Riga IFF Critics Meeting is a new platform for revitalizing the role of film criticism and its development in Latvia. For the duration of the entire day the Film Museum will host talks on film criticism, its role and significance, with presentations from field professionals: critics, theorists, media people, members of FIPRESCI, and university tutors. For more information about the Riga IFF Critics Meeting visit critics.rigaiff.lv Working language: English. Free entry 14/10/2016 19.00 RIGA IFF OPENING EVENT SPLENDID PALACE, THE GREAT AUDITORIUM It has become a tradition of Riga IFF to open with a national premiere. This year it is of special significance due to the author of the film being one that has been a member of the festival team since the first year – Vitaly Mansky, president of Artdocfest and curator of the Artdocfest/Riga programme. Vitaly’s second Latvian production – a personal story of his relatives in Ukraine – Rodnye will have its premiere in Latvia after a successful run in festivals. A limited number of tickets are available at rigaiff.lv 15/10/2016 UN 16/10/2016 10.00–15.00 KIDS WEEKEND. THE LONG BREAKFAST SPLENDID PALACE & RESTAURANT TINTO Going to movies can be an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. That is why the festival will have a specially designated children’s play area; plus from 10AM a pancake breakfast for a very special moviegoer’s price! 15/10/2016 13.00–14.30 KIDS WEEKEND DISCUSSION: FILM AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL CAFÉ FILM NOIR By reviewing opinions from film and education professionals the panel hopes to come up with solutions how to facilitate the integration of children’s cinema in the education system. Together with government institutions, teachers and film professionals we invite parents to join the debate about the role of teachers in including film-viewing in school curricula. Free entry 16/10/2016 RIGA IFF CRITICS MEETING BIROJNĪCA (BERGA BAZĀRS) 14.30–16.00 PANEL DISCUSSION I: THE ROLE OF FILM CRITICISM IN THE CONTEMPORARY LATVIAN FILM INDUSTRY 16.15–18.00 PANEL DISCUSSION II: THE ROLE OF FILM CRITICISM TODAY Moderated by Vladan Petkovic (Serbia) and Olaf Miller (Germany). Working language: English. Free entry
16/10/2016 13.00–15.00 ARTDOCFEST/RIGA UN EBERTA FONDS A ROUND TABLE ORGANIZED BY THE MAGAZINE ISKUSSTVO KINO. ‘PATRIOTISM IN DOCUMENTARY FILMS’ CAFÉ FILM NOIR Conceptual radicalism: beyond the boundaries of documentality. Propaganda, censorship, and the creative freedom. Working language: Russian. Free entry 17/10/2016 11.00–13.30 ARTDOCFEST/RIGA AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN LATVIA. A RADIO SVOBODA ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION. WAR AND PEACE. THE UKRAINIAN EXPERIENCE CAFÉ FILM NOIR Documentarists from Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Poland and Russia have their own views on the Ukrainian-Russian conflict and the role mass media play in its coverage. The panel includes the film authors and invited experts. Moderated by the Radio Svoboda commentator and poet Elena Fanailova. Working language: Russian. Free entry 17/10/2016 17.00–18.30 A RIGA IFF ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION. IN KINO VERITAS CAFÉ FILM NOIR A round-table discussion with the guests Olaf Miller (film theorist, Germany), Vladan Petkovic (Serbia) and Latvian film theorists and critics. A talk about the narrative building in films and various techniques of story-telling. Free entry 18/10/2016 11.00–13.30 ARTDOCFEST/RIGA. A RADIO SVOBODA ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSION. NATIONALISM: FROM HITLER’S GERMANY TO PUTIN’S RUSSIA CAFÉ FILM NOIR The Nazi concentration camps, which after the WWII shocked the public and embodied the horror, have now become tourist attractions. Meanwhile in the modern Russia the government employs nationalists as a tool to maintain tension in the society. Working language: Russian. Free entry 19/10/2016 10.00–12.00 BALTIC FILM TALENT LAB LECTURE AND WORKSHOP. CHARLOTTE MUNCK. ŠARLOTE MUNKA. TRANSFORMING VISION TO SCREEN ZIRGU PASTS This is most commonly the ‘end’ and ‘beginning’: actor and director/screenwriter. What does all the before, in between and after consist of? What is important for us to bring out in the open, to share with a public? Munck works as a script consultant for both writers and directors and has been teaching actors at various educational workshops for the last 7 years. Currently Charlotte is developing her own TV series, a monologue for theatre and working with theatre group FELT. More information available at bflt.rigaiff.lv. Working language: English. Free entry 20/10/2016 11.00–17.00 JĀNIS STREIČS. HIS FILMS AND THE SIGNS OF THE AGE: A CONFERENCE CAFÉ FILM NOIR Researching the work and life of the Latvian film director and screenwriter Jānis Streičs, as part of the Streičs’ anniversary year. The event is financially supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation. Free entry 20/10/2016 18.00–19.30 SHORT RIGA AND NORDIC SHORT FILM FESTIVALS NETWORK PANEL DISCUSSION: WHAT CONSTITUTES A FILM FESTIVAL TODAY? CAFÉ FILM NOIR With new film festivals of different kinds emerging and dying off ever so dynamically an international panel will present and discuss a means to acknowledge the boundaries of what is seen as one and how to break through a developing clutter. Working language: English. Free entry
21/10/2016 10.00–16.00 RIGA IFF FORUM. PROJECT PRESENTATIONS CAFÉ FILM NOIR As part of the first Riga film market, presentations of Latvian feature and documentary film projects that are set to be completed before the end of 2018. Working language: English 21/10/2016 16.00–18.00 RIGA IFF FORUM WORKSHOP: MICHAEL GUBBINS. HOW TO BUILD AUDIENCE FOR EUROPEAN FILMS IN THE DIGITAL ERA CAFÉ FILM NOIR Audience behaviour in the oversupplied on-demand market; how the film professionals can find audiences for their films making use of social networks and the chances supplied by the internet and social networks; how to be creative in the marketing activities. Michael Gubbins is an experienced journalist, analyst and consultant, working in film, entertainment and media industries, with a particular expertise in on-demand and digital change. Working language: English 21/10/2016 16.00–18.00 SHORT RIGA: THE WIP KINO BIZE Presentations of yet unfinished short films in which to express their views on the seen films we will invite their viewers. Working language: English 21/10/2016 21.00 SHORT RIGA SCREENING-SLASH-PARTY. BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION PROGRAMME CAFÉ FILM NOIR The contemporary music video, like the short film, offers a chance to experiment with the cinematographic form, story design and style. The exclusive screening is also a chance to meet the authors behind the videos, directors, musicians, and – of course – to party! Tickets available at rigaiff.lv 22/10/2016 10.00–12.00 RIGA IFF FORUM PANEL DISCUSSION. CHILDREN’S CINEMA. SIGNIFICANCE. STATISTICS. EXPERIENCE. OBSERVATIONS. CONCLUSIONS CAFÉ FILM NOIR A talk about the current situation in children’s cinema on an international scale in with the aim to better understand children audiences in the age of the internet, smart technology and other channels of audio-visual entertainment. Working language: English. Free entry 22/10/2016 12.00–18.00 RIGA IFF FORUM. EUROPEAN CHILDREN FILMS. PRESENTATION OF PROJECTS IN PROGRESS CAFÉ FILM NOIR Presentations of feature projects (for audiences under 13 years) to be completed before the end of 2018. Working language: English 23/10/2016 10.00–14.00 EUROPEAN SCRIPT MEETING SEMINAR: IAN LONG. OVERLAPPING GENRES. LOW-BUDGET SCI-FI CAFÉ FILM NOIR Long is a writer, teacher, script editor and story consultant. Ian heads Euroscript’s Feedback and Consultancy services and teaches Genre workshops in Horror, Science Fiction and Thrillers with a special side order of Creating Fear in Cinema, as well as a course in Script Reading and Assessment. More on the European Script Meeting: esm.rigaiff.lv Working language: English. Free entry 23/10/2016 14.30–18.00 EUROPEAN SCRIPT MEETING WORKSHOP: JIMMY KARLSSON. SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY CAFÉ FILM NOIR Karlsson works as a screenwriter and script consultant. Having directed his own feature and developed two TV series, most of his body of work is feature scripts produced in Sweden and Finland. More on the European Script Meeting: esm.rigaiff.lv Working language: English. Free entry
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
IS A FILM A STORY? A misty morning; only closer objects have clear outlines. A gentle whiteness envelops willows, shrubs and houses; a jogger’s figure disappears into the sports ground. This is not unlike a film in which the outlines of the narrative are clearly visible, while some actors have only episodic roles, and the depth of field only appears in one specific point. The viewer forgives all, provided there is one rule – the storyline can be easily followed. Why are we so demanding when it comes to film, and why art, music, or dance can follow a looser line? The answer perhaps comes from the early years of cinema when its role was mainly to entertain. Without doubt, a film or a book that decides to question the principles of story-building and continuity risks losing some of its readers/viewers, because it demands a much more intensive involvement and mental activity. The viewer becomes a decoder, an observer, or gives in to the
visual flow as if it were a melody – this is how one should approach a film, at least according to Lewis Klahr, the American director whose "Sixty-Six" is one of the films included in the programme In Kino Veritas. If last year the programme discussed the relationship between the documentary and reality, this year we focus on the story and the many ways to tell it. Or avoid telling it. This question has always been on the table, especially today when the viewer turns out to be unable to “read” non-narrative cinema. The Canadian director Guy Maddin talks about it in his documentary “1000 Eyes of Doctor Maddin”, as does David Lynch. (“You may say that people look for meaning in everything, but they don’t. They’ve got life going on around them, but they don’t look for meaning there. They look for meaning when they go to a movie. I don’t know why people expect art to make sense when they accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense”). Or Béla Tarr. (“I really don’t think when you do a movie that you have to think about the story. The film isn’t the story. It’s mostly picture, sound, a lot of emotions.”) During the ten days in October the festival will take you on a journey through international cinema, to find your own story or discover you can go without it, appreciate the national cinema in an international context, meet the filmmakers, learn about projects in progress, develop screenplays, or sharpen your critical skills. The third year is not a coincidence; it’s a serious claim to become a tradition.
And one of our traditions is to open the festival with a premiere of a Latvian production. In 2014, the festival began with Hercs Frank and Maria Kravchenko’s “The Limit of Fear”. In 2015, it was Uģis Olte’s deeply personal portrait of Georgia, “Double Strangers”. This year the festival opens with Vitaly Mansky’s family album slash a cross-section of Ukrainian politics in “Close Relations”. The film, which was internationally premiered at Karlovi Vari, besides the political angle has also a very personal layer. It is a topical social investigation in which we can also find references to our own situation, our own families. “Close Relations” is a special film for our festival: its director, internationally recognized documentarist Mansky has been part of our team since the festival began in 2014. Our tradition to open the festival with a local production is our confession of love to the Latvian cinema. It’s a sign of our faith in it. See you at the movies!
SONORA BROKA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF THE FESTIVAL, CURATOR OF RIGA IFF SELECTION, NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS, IN KINO VERITAS, LIELAIS KRISTAPS. SELECTION
OPENING EVENT SCREENING
CLOSE RELATIONS Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine / 2016 / 112' / documentary
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
DIR., SCRIPT Vitaly Mansky, CAM. Alexandra Ivanova, MUSIC Harmo Kallaste, Mikael Tariverdiev, PROD. Guntis Trekteris, Simone Baumann, Natalya Manskaya, Marianna Kaat, COMP. Ego Media (Latvia), Saxonia Entertainment (Germany), Vertov (Latvia), Baltic Film Production (Estonia), 435 Films (Ukraine), SALES Deckert Distribution Russian citizen and Soviet-born Ukrainian native Vitaly Mansky crisscrosses Ukraine to explore Ukrainian society after the Maidan revolution as mirrored within his own large Ukrainian family. They live scattered all across the country: in Lviv, Odessa, the separatist area
in Donbass, and Sevastopol on Crimea. The film is looking for reasons of the conflict after which citizens of a single country found themselves on a different sides of barricades including director’s own family. The main narrative takes place in the here and now, starting with the turning point of ex-president Victor Yanukovych’s flight to Russia. But below the main narrative there is a strong historical undercurrent, because the lives of protagonists of the film are marked by history on every step they take. This undercurrent will carry information about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict’s deep roots in centuries of close ties between the two countries.
Norway / 2016 / 98' / feature SCRIPT Bjørn Olaf Johannessen, CAM. Gösta Reiland, CAST Per Frisch, Agnes Kittelsen, Trond Nilssen, PROD. Aage Aaberge, Edward a. Dreyer, John Einar Hagen, Simon Ofenloch, COMP. Glør Film AS, Neue Road Movies, ZDF/Arte, SALES Trustnordisk Flames light up the darkness of a peaceful village. A pyromaniac ignites his first fire. More fires break out and the community panics. An inferno lurks under the surface as a local policeman uncovers the unthinkable truth, the pyromaniac isn´t a stranger, he´s a village fireman. Dag is a loved and wanted child. He came into this world when his parents thought it was too late and it now is just the three of them – a fragile little family. Dag has recently returned after a year of military service. His parents notice a vague darkness has been cast upon him, but no-one talks about it. Things start to fall apart and Dag disappears more and more into himself. A silent pain is pushing into the family. Then the fires begin.
WOLF AND SHEEP
МИЛЫЙ ХАНС, ДОРОГОЙ ПЕТР
Afghanistan, Denmark, France, Sweden / 2016 / 86' / feature
Russia, Germany, UK / 2015 / 124' / feature
SCRIPT Shahrbanoo Sadat, CAM. Virginie Surdej, CAST Sediqa, Qodrat, Amina, Sahar, Masuma, Mohammad Amin, Zekria, Qorban Ali, Ali Khan, PROD. Katja Adomeit, COMP. Adomeit Film (Denmark) in co-production with La Fabrica Nocturna Productions (France), Zentropa Sweden (Sweden), Film Väst (Sweden), Wolf Pictures (Afghanistan), SALES Alpha Violet In rural Afghanistan, people believe in the stories they invent to explain the mysteries of the world they don’t understand. Even though there are no grownups around, the kids know the rules very well; the main one is that boys and girls are not allowed together. The boys practice with their slings to fight the wolves should they attack the flock. The girls smoke dried branches of wheat and secretly play wedding, dreaming of getting a husband soon. Sediqa picks up her sheep and goats every morning and drops them in the owner’s house every evening. She dreams of having a sling and learning to swing it like the boys. Qodrat, 11, becomes the gossip topic of everyone after his mother marries an old man with two wives. He prefers to be alone in the most isolated parts of the mountains. This is where he meets Sediqa and they become friends until Qodrat’s mother has to send him away. Film was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Art Cinema Award.
MY GOOD HANS
SCRIPT Alexander Mindadze, CAM. Oleg Mutu, CAST Jacob Diehl, Birgit Minichmayr, Mark Waschke, Roza Khairulina, Marc Hosemann, Andryus Daryala, Anna Skidanova, Svetlana Kosolapova, MUSIC Valery Siver, PROD. Alexander Mindadze, Liza Antonova, Valery Kharkov, Andrei Annenski, Heino Deckert, Len Blavatnik, COMP. Passenger Film Studio (Russia), ma.ja.de. (Germany), Ai Films (UK), SALES Passenger Film Studio Spring 1941. Shortly before Nazi Germany’s invasion of Russia, with economic cooperation between the two countries still in full swing, a delegation of German engineers including Hans (Jakob Diehl) travel to the Soviet Union to work on the development of optical lenses in a glass factory. War is in the air and the atmosphere is tense. When Hans accidentally causes the oven to explode and several people lose their lives, the situation escalates. Lieber Hans is an exciting historical drama with a star ensemble of German acting talent, featuring Jakob Diehl, Birgit Minichmayr, Mark Waschke and Marc Hosemann. AWARDS: The Golden Eagle Award from the National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Russia for the best screenplay (2016), The Nika Award from the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts and Science for the best screenplay and for the best film (2016), The White Elephant Award from the Russian Guild of Film Critics for the best film, for the best screenplay, for the best director, for the best cinematography (Oleg Mutu) and for the best actor (Jakob Diehl) (2016). This movie received the Best Narrative Feature (Antonioni) Award, Best Cinematographer Award (Oleg Mutu) and Best Actor Award (Jakob Diehl) at Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival Blow-up.
RIGA IFF COMPETITION
The Riga IFF International feature film competition, which began last year, presents eight films from various countries from the shores of the Baltic Sea. Together with their viewers, the films will be judged by an international jury of film professionals who before the Saturday night will have to choose one film – this year’s laureate of the Riga IFF International Competition Award. Taking into account the diverse potential and powerful tradition of the documentary and animated cinema from the Baltic Sea region, the Competition has set neither stylistic nor genre restrictions. The selected films are united by their outstanding authorship – a feature that distinguishes the films that we remember from the films we forget about right after we’ve seen them. Their directors are personalities. Often these films serve as a sign of its age, a time capsule of sorts. This year’s programme includes a truly Nordic feature with animated episodes, a poetic and personal documentary in which its director witnesses her own children grow up, several visually impressive movies in which it seems impossible to see the line between what is real and what is imagined. This selection is the festival’s chance to express its own view on the essential processes of the contemporary film. SONORA BROKA, THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF THE FESTIVAL
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MÄKI
Norway / 2015 / 100' / documentary
Finland, Sweden, Germany / 2016 / 92' / feature
SCRIPT, CAM. Aslaug Holm, MUSIC John Erik Kaada, COMP. Fenris Film AS, SALES NFI
SCRIPTS Mikko Myllylahti, Juho Kuosmanen, CAM. Jani-Petteri Passi, CAST Jarkko Lahti, Oona Airola, Eero Milonoff, PROD. Jussi Rantamäki, COMP. Elokuvayhtiö Aamu, One Two Films, Film Väst, Tre Vänner, SALES Must Kaasi
Two brothers, Markus and Lukas, live in an old townhouse in the middle of Oslo. The river runs close to their home. A paradise in a big city. And then there’s Smola, where their mother grew up and where summer vacations are spent. We watch them grow up and their dreams and expectations shape. The documentary Brothers was filmed by the Dir.and cinematographer Aslaug Holm, the boys’ mother, over a period of eight years. Brothers received a lot of awards – The Golden Chair Award for Best Documentary in Norwegian Short Film Festival (2015), National Film Award Amanda (Norway) for Best Dir.(2015), Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival Award for Best International Documentary (2016), Grand Prix in Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival: International Competition (2016)
Summer 1962, Olli Mäki has a shot at the world championship title in featherweight boxing. From the Finnish countryside to the bright lights of Helsinki, everything has been prepared for his fame and fortune. All Olli has to do is lose weight and concentrate. But there is a problem – he has fallen in love with Raija. He was the first Finn ever to fight for the world champion title, but lost the match humiliatingly in the second round by knockout. He calls it the best day of his life. The film’s world premiere was in Cannes Film Festival 2016, where it wins top Un Certain Regard prize.
GRANNY’S DANCING ON THE TABLE
Sweden / 2015 / 85’ / feature SCRIPT Hanna Sköld, CAM. Ita Zbroniec Zajt, CAST Blanca Engström, Lennart Jähkel, ANIM. Daniel Svensson, Hanna Sköld, MUSIC Giorgio Giampà, PROD. Helene Granqvist, COMP. Nordic Factory Sweden, SALES Film Republic Eini grows up isolated from society in the woods together with her controlling, violent and abusive father, a man afraid of the world and who keeps Eini very close. Stories about her granny and Eini’s invincible fantasy enable her to create a world within from which she can draw her strength to survive. ”If you’re looking for quiet entertainment on a rainy day, look no further than Granny’s Dancing on the Table.” Film-book.com DAVIS SIMANIS
PELNU SANATORIJA EXILED
THE SHOW OF SHOWS
Latvia, Lithuania / 2016 / 100' / feature
Russia, France, Germany / 2016 / 88' / feature SCRIPT Ivan Tverdovsky, CAM. Alexander Mikeladze, CAST Natalia Pavlenkova, Dmitri Groshev, Irina Chipizhenko, Maria Tokareva, PROD. Natalia Mokritskaya, Mila Rozanova, Uliana Savelieva, COMP. Arizona Films, Moviebrats Films & Animation, New People Film Company, SALES Kino Bize Natasha, a middle-aged zoo worker, still lives with her mother in a small coastal town. She is stuck and it seems that life has no surprises for her until one day... she grows a tail and turns her life around.
Iceland, UK / 2015 / 76' / documentary MUSIC Georg Holm, Orri Páll Dýrason (Sigur Rós), Örn Hilmarsson, Kjartan Dagur Holm, PROD. Margret Jónasdóttir, Mark Atkin, Heather Croall, Vanessa Toulmin, COMP. Sagafilm, Crossover with the BBC, SALES Dogwoof This film is a story of itinerant circus performers, cabaret acts and vaudeville and fairground attractions. Circus freak shows, variety performances, music hall and seaside entertainment are chronicled from the 19th and 20th century accompanied by an original score from Sigur Ros. Director Benedikt Erlingsson takes us back to the days when the most outlandish, skillful and breathtaking acts traveled the world.
SCRIPT Davis Simanis, Tabita Rudzate, CAM. Andrejs Rudzats, CAST Ulrich Matthes, Agnese Cirule, Dmitrijs Jaldovs, Leonids Lencs, Toms Liepajnieks, Marina Janaus, Peteris Liepins, MUSIC Andris Dzenitis, PROD. Roberts Vinovskis, Uljana Kim, COMP. Lokomotive Productions, Studio Uljana Kim, SALES Reel Suspects The final year of the WWI. A German army surgeon is sent to inspect a remote convalescent home for shell-shocked patients. The strange world he encounters in which reality appears more like fiction is quite challenging for his cold rational mind. His fruitless efforts to remodel the place and an unexpected attachment to a mysterious savage boy from the surrounding woods lead Ulrich to discover his one true self. Very soon this turned-out sanctuary will have to make its last stand against the approaching madness of the war.
ROBERTO CUETO Professor of Audiovisual Communication at the Carlos III University in Madrid. A member of the San Sebastian Film Festival Selection Committee RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
PETER SHEPOTINNIK Film critic, programme manager at the Moscow International Film Festival
ØYSTEIN EGGE A programmer and curator, most recently for New Nordic Films Market (The Norwegian International Film Festival Haugesund).
DITA RIETUMA Film critic and theorist, PhD; the president of the Latvian National Film Centre
KAAREL KUURMAA Festival programmer at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) since 2006. From 2009 programming for Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival.
USA / 2016 / 126' / feature / colour SCRIPT John Romano, NOVEL Philip Roth, CAM. Martin Ruhe, CAST Ewan Mcgregor, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans, Valorie Curry, MUSIC Alexandre Desplat, PROD. Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, COMP. Lakeshore Entertainment, SALES Acme
JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE
Canada, France / 97' / feature
Iran, France / 2016 / 126' / feature
SCRIPT Xavier Dolan, Jean-Luc Lagarce, CAM. André Turpin, CAST Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel, MUSIC Gabriel Yared, PROD. Xavier Dolan, Sylvain Corbeil, Nancy Grant, Nathanaël Karmitz, Michel Merkt, COMP. Sons Of Manual, Mk2 Productions, Téléfilm Canada, SALES Spektrs
SCRIPT Asghar Farhadi, CAM. Hossein Jafarian, CAST Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini, Babak Karimi, MUSIC Sattar Oraki, COMP. Arte France Cinéma, Farhadi Film Production, Memento Films Production, SALES Riga IFF
IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD
After the 12 years of absence, a script goes back to his hometown planning on announcing his upcoming death to his family. As resentment soon rewrites the course of the afternoon fits and feuds unfold, fuelled by loneliness and doubt, while all attempts of empathy are sabotaged by people’s incapacity to listen and love. The film won Grand Prix of the Jury and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury in Cannes Film Festival (2016)
Forushande (The Salesman) is the story of a couple whose relationship begins to turn sour during their performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighboring building, Emad and Rana move into a new flat in the centre of Tehran. An incident linked to the previous tenant will dramatically change the young couple’s life. The film received two awards in Cannes Film Festival (2016) – for best actor (Shahab Hosseini) and for best screenplay.
USA / UK / 2016 / 163' / feature
Romania, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia / 2016/ 173' / feature
USA, New Zealand, UK / 2016 / 126' / feature
In the 1960s, a successful businessman (Ewan McGregor) tries to find his missing daughter (Dakota Fanning) after police accuse her of a violent bombing. A man watches his seemingly perfect life fall apart as his daughter’s new political affiliation threatens to destroy their family. The film is the directorial debut for Ewan McGregor and it is based on the novel by Philip Roth.
SCRIPT Andrea Arnold, CAM. Robbie Ryan, CAST Sasha Lane, Shia Labeouf, Riley Keough, PROD. Thomas Benski, Allison Rose Carter, Marisa Clifford, Rose Garnett, Melissa Hook, COMP. Parts and Labor, British Film Institute (BFI), FILM4, SALES FC A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits. American Honey received Jury Prize in Cannes Film Festival (2016).
SCRIPT Cristi Puiu, CAM. Barbu Balasoiu, Cast Mimi Cornel Branescu, Mirela Apostu, Eugenia Bosânceanu, PROD. Sabina Brankovic, Zdenka Gold, Anca Puiu, COMP. Mandragora, Production 2006, Studioul de Creatie Cinematografica al Ministerului Culturii, SALES KINO PAVASARIS Distribution Three days after the terrorist attack on the offices of Parisian weekly Charlie Hebdo and fourty days after the death of his father, Lary, a doctor in his forties is about to spend the Saturday at a family gathering to commemorate the deceased. But the occasion does not go according to expectations. Forced to confront his fears and his past, to rethink the place he holds within the family, Lary finds himself constraint to tell his version of the truth.
RIGA IFF SELECTION
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS
SCRIPT Derek Cianfrance, NOVEL M.L. Stedman, CAM. Adam Arkapaw, CAST Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, MUSIC Alexandre Desplat, PROD. Rosie Alison, Jeffrey Clifford, Tom Karnowski, Jonathan King, Jeff Skoll, COMP. Heyday Films, LBO Productions (II), Dreamworks SKG, SALES Acme The film is based on the M.L. Stedman’s novel The Light Between Oceans. A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. “I’ve essentially made exploring relationships and families my life’s work to this point,” director says. “I feel as if my mission as a filmmaker is to explore the most intimate relationships in both private and expansive ways.”
Riga IFF Selection is the crown of our festival in which many gems of the biggest European film festivals shine, be them notable films, recognized directors and actors, gripping stories or splendid cinematic aesthetics. Those are the nights when together we celebrate cinema. The selection contains the most important of what has happened in the European and world cinema this year – films which already are, or bound to become, the laureates of this year’s most prestigious prizes. Names to be talked about; topics to be discussed. This is the programme with which one surely can begin exploring the terrain of the festival cinema. Admittedly, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, but which nevertheless can ignite a burning desire for a new audio-visual experience. It’s all here – whether it’s Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, Xavier Dolan, who brings together a cast of the best French actors, Andrea Arnold with an explosive duo, the surprising and many-faceted debutant Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf, or the unsurpassed genius of the Romanian New Wave Kristi Puiu, whose Sierra Nevada is heading for the Oscars. SONORA BROKA, CURATOR, RIGA IFF SELECTION
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER
UK, Hungary, France / 2015 / 116' / 35mm / feature SCRIPT Brady Corbet, Mona Fastvold, CAST Bérénice Bejo, Robert Pattinson, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, CAM. Lol Crawley, MUSIC Scott Walker, PROD. Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Chris Coen, Ron Curtis, Helena Danielsson, COMP. Bow and Arrow Entertainment, Bron Capital Partners, Filmteam, SALES Protagonist Pictures The film is based on The Childhood of a Leader – short story by Jean-Paul Sartre (1939) and John Fowles 1965 novel The Magus. A child’s angelic face conceals a budding sociopath in the audacious, senses-shattering feature debut from actor Brady Corbet. A powerhouse international cast led by Robert Pattinson and Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) headlines this dark domestic nightmare. Set amidst the turmoil of World War I and its aftermath, it follows the young son of an American diplomat living in France as he learns to manipulate the adults around him-a monstrous coming of age that ominously parallels the rising tide of Fascism in Europe. A stylistically fearless tour-de-force, The Childhood of a Leader reaches fever-pitch delirium thanks to ravishing cinematography and a thunderous score by legendary, boundary-pushing musician Scott Walker. The movie received Venice Horizons Award for best director and Luigi De Laurentiis Award in Venice Film Festival (2015). It won TAP Revelation Award in Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival (2015) and Special Prize of the Jury in Istanbul International Film Festival (2016).
THE BEAD GAME The Riga IFF selection has gathered films whose authors are not unknown newcomers – they are acclaimed auteurs of cinema whose films are often featured on the competition programmes of various international film festivals. To conceptualize the selection principles at work at Riga IFF, I can say the festival organizers wished to return – with a new perspective, this time without haste and hysteria of the Cannes festival competition – to the latest works by world-class directors and, of course, show these to the viewers in Riga. Perhaps these principles were dictated by the opportunity to experience the childlike joy of play and experiment, like having to dive again into a treasure box of colourful beads and pieces of glass in order to create, in a different place and time, utterly different textures and patterns (of meaning). Let us hope. What to expect from the Riga IFF selection? The extravagant Xavier Dolan’s film It’s Only the End of the World, which received one of the big awards at this year’s festival in Cannes (as the best director). The 27-year-old Canadian directorial prodigy (with six features under his belt) has created a powerful adaptation of a theatrical play and made its principles the film’s special strengths. A lost son returns to his family to announce something extremely important. Amidst the family’s hysterical reaction the important part will be left untold, RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THINGS TO COME
CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR
France, Germany /104' / feature / colour SCRIPT Mia Hansen-Løve, CAM. Denis Lenoir, CAST Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, PROD. Charles Gillibert, Rémi Burah, Fabian Gasmia, Olivier Père, COMP. CG Cinéma, Detailfilm, Arte France Cinéma, SALES Riga IFF Nathalie teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris. She is passionate about her job and particularly enjoys passing on the pleasure of thinking. Married with two children, she divides her time between her family, former students and her very possessive mother. One day, Nathalie’s husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. With freedom thrust upon her, Nathalie must reinvent her life. Mia Hansen-Løve’s fifth feature marks a departure from the topic of youth; instead she has chosen to explore the onset of age in a powerful yet also ironic portrait of a woman. The film revolves around questions of happiness, of having a vocation and the value or folly of established ways of living. It depicts not only one individual’s search for new avenues, it also asks if – and to what extent – philosophy can be applied to our everyday life. Director of Things To Come - Mia HansenLøve - received Silver Berlin Bear for the best director in Berlin International Film Festival (2016) and Bucharest International Film Festival award for best director (2016).
but it is worth seeing how Dolan captures it. A drama played out in a tight and stuffy space characterizes two other films from the selection: the Romanian film Sieranevada (dir. Cristi Puiu), examines a family drama as it unfold in a small flat, almost as if reflecting the Romanian society of today, and the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s Salesman. It, too, is a family drama that shows how one character’s wish to avenge an assault on his wife becomes a destructive obsession. The film’s characters are actors who participate in staging Arthur Miller’s play The Death of a Salesman. The director’s virtuosity and the relationship between life and the theatre confirms: Asghar Farhadi is one of today’s most powerful directors in Iran or the world (the film is an Iranian and French co-production). An absolute alternative to the closed space and the presence of theatrical elements offered by these three films is the talented British director Andrea Arnold’s road movie American Honey (this film, too, earned an award from the Cannes festival in 2016). The film’s plot is rather loose, and more important than what happens to a young American girl who joins a bunch of traveling salespeople are emotions: life as motion, sensual experience without a certain ambition or a supertask. The film’s special feature and an essential element is its soundtrack. The excellent Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film Cemetery of Splendor comes with a different tone to the selection. Weerasethakul is the most famous Thai director in the world; an author who received Palm d’Or at the Cannes festival in 2010. Weerasethakul’s films are unhurried and slow journeys and worldly inquiries rooted in Buddhist traditions and worldviews. In his latest movie there exist no boundary between reality, sleep and dream: for him, all these realities are equally essential. Cemetery of Splendor, which premiered at this year’s Cannes festival, tells about a bizarre sleeping condition, a lethargic state, that befalls a group of soldiers. Weerasethakul has
RAK TI KHON KAEN
Thailand, UK, Germany, France, Malaysia, South Korea, Mexico, USA, Norway / 2015 / 122' / feature DIR., SCRIPT Apichatpong Weerasethakul, CAM. Diego García, CAST Jenjira Pongpas, Banlop Lomnoi, Jarinpattra Rueangram, COMP. Kick The Machine, Anna Sanders Films, Match Factory Productions, SALES KINO PAVASARIS Distribution A group of soldiers in a small town on the Mekong River in northern Thailand are struck with a bizarre sleeping illness. In 2010, the Thai film director and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s (1970) film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival. Ironically, the director has failed to become recognized in his own country where quicker and funnier films are more in favour. Today Weerasethakul has become one of the most well-known Thai directors, but is still unknown in his homeland. The film received Online Film Critics Society Awards (2015), International Cinephile Society Awards (2016) and Asia Pacific Screen Awards for best films (2015). The film received Online Film Critics Society Awards (2015), International Cinephile Society Awards (2016) and Asia Pacific Screen Awards for best films (2015).
always made radical films without compromise. The frailest of this company of experienced authors is perhaps the French director Mia Hansen-Løve whose film, Things to Come, is a wise drama that centres around a character of a strong woman, a middle-aged problem-stricken philosophy teacher, played by the French actress Isabelle Huppert. A more edgy and less predictable element in the Riga IFF programme is the American actor Bradley Corbet’s movie The Childhood of a Leader: it is the young actor’s directorial debut which employs elements of horror and period drama. The film began its journey into the world at the last year’s Venice Film Festival. Meanwhile, Derek Cianfrance’s film, The Light Between Oceans, accentuates the author’s area of interest – the genre of a passionate melodrama. The film casts two good and deservedly popular actors, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. The British actor Ewan McGregor’s American Pastoral, his directorial debut, also seems intriguing. In this family drama, set in the 1950s, the roles of the parents of a successful, while also rebelliously frail teenage girl are played by Jennifer Connelly (the star of A Beautiful Mind) and McGregor himself. So this is the game of beads presented by the Riga IFF. Look out for unusual interplays and new discoveries!
DITA RIETUMA, FILM CRITIC AND LECTURER. THE CHAIR OF THE LATVIAN NATIONAL FILM CENTRE. GRADUATED FROM MOSCOW CINEMATOGRAPHY INSTITUTE; TRAINED AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY; EARNED A PHD FROM UNIVERSITY OF LATVIA. HE HAS BEEN PUBLISHING ARTICLES IN THE LATVIAN PRESS SINCE 1987, ESPECIALLY CONTRIBUTING TO THE DAILY DIENA. THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOKS PLANET NON-HOLLYWOOD (2002), 365 DIENA’S FILMS (2005), PERSONALITIES. PHENOMENA. PERSONAL (2009), AND FILM NOIR (2014).
1000 EYES OF DR MADDIN
USA / 2015 / 90' / animation
France, USA / 2015 / 65' / documentary
SCRIPT, CAM., PROD. Lewis Klahr, MUSIC Marc Anthony Thompson, Josh Rosen, SALES LUX Distribution
SCRIPT, CAM. Yves Montmayeur, MUSIC JG Thirlwell, CAST Kenneth Anger, Udo Kier, Guy Maddin, PROD. Cédric Delport, Damien Le Boucher, Thierry Tripod, COMP. Brainworks, SALES Taskovski Films
The collage artist Lewis Klahr has long been one of the American experimental film scene’s most interesting directors. Clearly having things in common with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, he reforms the sixties’ pop cultural picture bank into a melancholic miniature where Marvel heroes from the society of Mad Men meet the Greek tragedy. Sixty Six, which was unanimously praised at the premiere at MoMa in New York, is organized in twelve chapters. Sixty Six is a milestone achievement, the culmination of Klahr’s decades-long work in collage filmmaking. The film is a hypnotic dream of 1960 and 1970s Pop.
Guy Maddin says it’s important to plant a grain the viewer’s eye to keep them alert—a motto he has been faithful to throughout his work of creation, not least in his latest film The Forbidden Room. In this playful, and Venice-prized, documentary we get a delightful trip through Maddin’s richly populated universe. Here we see his great source of inspiration, Fritz Lang, as well as Brothers Quay and indeed Buñuel. Maddin narrates like a brilliant teacher, both about the genesis of his own works and how the nonlinear narration creates its own qualities. The film won Venezia Classici Award in Venice Film Festival (2015).
France / 1968 / 66' / feature SCRIPT, CAM. Marcel Hanoun. CAST Graziella Buci, Pierre Henri Deleau, SALES RE:VOIR In the aftermath of the 1968 student riots that led to widespread strikes and threatened to topple the government, a young woman retreats to a country farmhouse. Her respite is a result of some unnamed incident which profoundly disturbs the girl but is never entirely revealed. She spends most of her time writing letters in the nude and dreaming of being reunited with her revolutionary boyfriend. She loves him but can’t understand the fervor of his political convictions; nor does she understand much of anything about social reform. The only thing certain is that her life has been put on hold because of situations she does not care to understand and probably never will.
LA JETÉE LA JETÉE
France / 1962 / 28' / feature
IN KINO VERITAS
SCRIPT Chris Marker, CAM. Jean Chiabaut, Chris Marker, CAST Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux, PROD. Anatole Dauman, COMP. Argos Films, SALES Tamasa Distribution In the aftermath of the WWIII all life on Earth is destroyed; radiation is everywhere. Scientists hope to find a solution by traveling in time, into the past and the future. Meanwhile, there is life in the underground concentration camps. In there, a man who is forced to travel will experience before his death a love affair with a woman from another time.
Does a film need to have a story in order to leave a special impact? Does it need to be done as a novel, and not a poem or a song? This year we deal with the many approaches to the film narrative. From Bergman to Maddin, these films mark the moments when authors challenge the audience, while the authors themselves are challenged only by their own success. The films in this programme have been selected according to no special historic or theoretic principle. Initially envisioned as a non-narrative film programme, it grew into an event that gathers together both the films that choose to tell no story as well the ones that do tell it, but differently. The programme offers to take an honest look at the past and the present of cinema, with an open mind and heart, and includes talented and daring filmmakers, many of whom have been unfairly forgotten, while others have become the golden canon of cinema. SONORA BROKA, CURATOR, IN KINO VERITAS
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
GUY MADDIN, EVAN JOHNSON
Canada / 2015 / 130' / feature
USA / 2016 / 75' / documentary
Sweden / 1966 / 85' / feature
SCRIPT Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, CAM. Benjamin Kasulke, Stéphanie Anne Weber Biron, CAST Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Mathieu Amalric, MUSIC Galen Johnson, Guy Maddin, Jason Staczek, PROD. David Christensen, Guy Maddin, FrançoisPierre Clavel, Phoebe Greenberg, COMP. Buffalo Gals Pictures, National Film Board of Canada, SALES Pascale Ramonda
SCRIPT, MUSIC Laurie Anderson, CAM. Laurie Anderson, Toshiaki Ozawa, Joshua Zucker-Pluda, PROD. Laurie Anderson, Dan Janvey, COMP. Canal Street Communications, SALES NonStop Entertainment
SCRIPT Ingmar Bergman, CAM. Sven Nykvist, CAST Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Margaretha Krook, MUSIC Lars Johan Werle, PROD. Ingmar Bergman, COMP. Ab Svensk Filmindustri, SALES Swedish Film Institute
Laurie Anderson is one of the world’s coolest musicians and artists, and American musician Lou Reed’s wife. Here she shines in a personal, essayistic film about death, love, language and a dog. Starting out from the terrier Lolabelle, the New York icon makes big cinema with intimate forms of address and weaves together childhood memories, dreams, Buddhist philosophy, Americans surveillance culture, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard. She draws inspiration from animation, old 8 mm films, collages, newly recorded scenes, personal voice-overs and music. Laurie Anderson and Heart of Dog won Lina Mangiacapre Award in Venice Film Festival (2016), International Cinephile Society Awards for Best Documentary, Cinema Eye Honors Awards (USA) for Original Music Score and for direction (2016 and Aurora Award in Tromsø International Film Festival (2016).
A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth’s persona. Persona won the award for Best Film at the 4th Guldbagge Awards. In the British Film Institute’s 2012 Sight & Sound polls, Persona was ranked the 17th greatest film ever made in the critics’ poll (tied with Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai) and 13th in the directors’ poll.
That said: Early films offered sights, impressions, glimpses at the world with little to tell and a lot to show – and that was quite enough for the audience of the time which probably considered cinema as a new relative of the panorama and the diorama. Narrative, for some time, meant sketches – anecdotes to be enjoyed alongside above-mentioned sights and scenes, elements in a complex, multifaceted mosaic where an hour of film viewing would include the excitement shots of wild animals, extraordinary feats of acrobats, pure comedic anarchy and the mellow delights of beautifully hand-coloured shots of flowers and trees. Of course, there’s also a narrative to these utterly disparate elements: that of ever-changing moods and impressions, of discovery and excitement.
textures and shapes, relishes in the ambiguous stories suggested by bodies in motion, offers images (more like paintings than approximations of a real) for investigation and contemplation, delights in creative, perplexing, disturbing juxtapositions of sounds and images! Consider this an invitation to become a stranger in a strange land (which could be the past as well as the future), an alien, a refugee from the wastelands of sameness where films, nay: all arts are good for but one thing: to reassure everybody that what they already know is indeed all there is to know. There’s so much we still haven’t had a chance to encounter, know – and it might take little more than a stack of cut-outs from old comic books and magazines, animated image per image, to present us with stories untold so far. There’s certainly meaning to the fact that present contains the words for gift and to show...
THE FORBIDDEN ROOM
A woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that’s been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the corridors of the doomed vessel, they find themselves on a voyage into the origins of their darkest fears. With stories within stories in the manner of a Russian nesting doll (Matryoshka), The Forbidden Room depicts, among other things: a doomed submarine crew doubling the lifespan of their oxygen by eating flapjacks; apprentice lumberjacks (“saplingjacks”) who set out to rescue the woman they love from bandits; a madman on a train under the charge of a womanizing psychiatrist; a surgeon kidnapped by a team of “women skeletons”; and a mustache that seeks to comfort the widow of the man whose face it used to adorn.
MAKING SENSE DIFFERENTLY After about a decade of experiments with aleatory strategies of cinematic creation, Austrian avantgarde artist Marc Adrian had to concede defeat: It was impossible to make a film that would not tell some kind of story. Or to be more precise: the experience taught that audiences would always try to find some kind of order in the works he confronted them with – even if he would throw a pile of coloured cards in a hat, have someone draw them blindfolded, and then do nothing but splice coloured strips of film together according to the cards drawn: people would try to translate this randomly composed sequence into... something.
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
HEART OF A DOG
When a narrative mode(l) closer to that of bourgeois theatre or literature got introduced in the later years of the 20th century’s first decade, it was deemed daring and avant-garde – different from what had been so far. Quickly, it became the fast-growing film industry’s standard – pushing the more poetic, sensual, associative early mode(ls) to the fringes. Where they’re still to be found, very alive and full of strange wonders, mysterious allure. Rejoice whenever you chance upon a film that talks through
OLAF MÖLLER, COLOGNE-BORN AND -BASED FILM CRITIC, WRITER AND CURATOR OLAF MÖLLER MAY BE THE MOST CELEBRATED TORCHBEARER AMONG THE SHARPEST NEW WAVE OF INTERNATIONAL CRITICS WHO HAVE SLOWLY TAKEN THEIR PLACE BESIDE (AS WELL AS AHEAD OF) MORE TRADITIONAL CRITICS.
ALISA KOVALENKO, LIUBOV DURAKOVA
ALISA IN WARLAND
КРЕДИТ НА УБИЙСТВО
Israel / 2015 / 87' / documentary
Germany, France, Lithuania, Ukraine / 2016 / 90' / documentary
CREDIT FOR MURDER
SCRIPT Vladi Antonevicz, CAM. John Cherny, PROD. Vladi Antonevicz, Gabriel Romanov, COMP.&SALES Mockofiction In 2007, a shocking video appeared on YouTube, showing two boys being brutally murdered by Russian neo-Nazis, marking the starting point of a series of extremely bloody incidents in Moscow. The Israeli filmmaker Vladi Antonevicz decided to investigate this case, which gradually became an obsession for him. Together with his friend Shuravi, he spent six years searching for the truth behind this double murder. Antonevicz infiltrates one of the groups of the Russian neo-Nazi, even though this involves first having a knife fight with one of its leaders. As he forces his way through a web of intrigue, he becomes increasingly aware of the disturbing question at the heart of the matter: what exactly is the role of the Russian secret service in combatting neo-Nazi violence? And why did the series of murders that followed the appearance of the video abruptly cease in March 2008? Credit for Murder is an attractively stylized documentary thriller that slowly worms its way under the skin, and then refuses to budge.
SCRIPT Mantas Kvedaravicius, CAM. Mantas Kvedaravicius, Vadim Ilkov, Slava Tsvetkov, PROD. Mantas Kvedaravicius, Uljana Kim, Thanassis Karathanos, Nadia Turincev, Anna Palenchuk, COMP. Rouge International, Studio Uljana Kim, Twenty Twenty Vision, Extimacy Films, 435 Films, SALES Rouge International A man repairs his fishing net and goes out to the bridge. Two trams run into each other – nobody is hurt and cables are fixed the same day. A small concert is given for factory workers and the sincere performance of a violinist makes them cry. Bombs fall into the sea, no one notices. Everyday life is defined by bomb threats in Mariupol, a city in the Ukraine, situated to the east of the Crimea and once populated by Greeks. It is a visually powerful homage to a city in crisis, dedicated to its poets and shoemakers. SERGEI LOZNITSA
Germany / 2016 / 94' / documentary SCRIPT, PROD. Sergei Loznitsa, CAM. Sergei Loznitsa, Jesse Mazuch, COMP. Imperativ film The filming of the new Sergei Loznitsa’s film took place in the concentration camps of Dachau, BergenBelsen, Ravensbrueck, Sachsenhausen and DoraMittelbau. The picture will tell a story of the museums that currently operate in the former camp territories. Yet the most important part of the film is the emotions of the tourists visiting the camps of death.
ALISA W KRAINIE WOJNY
Poland, Ukraina / 2015 / 76' / documentary SCRIPT, CAM. Alisa Kovalenko, Liubov Durakova, PROD. Mirosław Dembiński, COMP.& SALES Doc’n’World Foundation When the Maidan revolution was starting out, Alice was 26. Like many other directors she began filming the important events that took place in her country. However, soon the distance between the camera and reality starts to shrink; life and death overshadow the filming process, and for the next two years Alice finds herself in the hottest conflict areas from Maidan in Kiev through the checkpoints of Slavyansk to the ruins of the Donetsk airport. This is a story of a Ukrainian girl who faces the difficult task of making decisions, just like most of her country’s citizens, when historic events unexpectedly break into your private life.
BLÍZKÝ DALEKÝ VÝCHOD NEAR FAR EAST
Czech Republic / 2015 / 70 ' / documentary CAM. Martin Tokar, PROD. Petr Kubica, COMP. Hypermarket Film, SALES Czech Television Director Filip Remunda repeatedly heads with his cam. to the Ukraine. His family roots and a close relationship with the local people allow him to peer into their personal and family lives and through them, reflect the situation in a society divided by opinion and politics. The story of a family, part of which lives in eastern Ukraine and the other in Kiev, is emblematic. Distant relatives are no longer able to find common ground on what is actually happening in their country. During his travels, the filmmaker finds himself behind the front lines, chronicling the lives of the population in the territories controlled by separatists. Weariness of a protracted war is visible on all sides, but the question of when the conflict will end remains unanswered.
The legendary festival in Moscow has grown to be more influential than its creator Vitaly Mansky could have imagined. If his selection of documentaries from around the world makes the Russian Federation uneasy to the point where the filmmakers begin to fear for their lives it must be tackling something of great importance to the world as a whole. For the third year Riga is proud to welcome a part of that selection.
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
ОСВОБОЖДЕНИЕ. РУКОВОДСТВО ПОЛЬЗОВАТЕЛЯ
УКРАЇНСЬКІ ШЕРИФИ UKRAINIAN SHERIFFS
ВЫСТУПЛЕНИЕ И НАКАЗАНИЕ ACT & PUNISHMENT
WE’LL BE ALRIGHT
Latvia, Ukraine, Germany / 2015 / 85' / documentary
France / 2016 / 77' / documentary DIR., SCRIPT, CAM. Alexander Kuznetsov, PROD. Rebecca Houzel, COMP. Petit À Petit, SALES Wide House International Sales & Production A story of the Siberian province. Girls passed directly on from orphanage to neuropsychiatric institutions are deprived of their rights as citizens: no freedom, no work, and no family. The path to reconquer these rights, in the face of fearsome Russian institutional bureaucracy, is long and difficult. At times, someone succeeds, but the new freedom is then a leap into the unknown... The path of these young “fighters”, full of inner rage, courage and obstinacy, is striking. We are very impressed by the talent of Alexander Kuznetsov and his capacity to listen and observe. The film has a formidable narrative progression—simple and implacable. The camera is always at the right distance and, through its capture of space, gives us the real dimension of the drama that the protagonists are experiencing. It also remains very discreet with regard to their emotions, like in the final scenes, where everything is said in the luminosity of a glance or the empty space of a closed window. A striking “liberation user guide”.
FREEDOM IS AN AXIOM Artdocfest joined the Riga IFF just three years ago. Our partnership began with a disappointment, which is always good when it comes to creating something worthwhile.The first year we brought a very powerful film programme which was received rather chilly by the Latvian public. The films that had filled 500 to 700-seat auditoriums worldwide, while in Moscow people even broke the door to enter the screening, hardly filled two thirds of the small K suns theatre in Riga. We realized Riga will not jump on the bandwagon just like that; that we have to find our own intonation, our own reason to exist in a country in which many problems that Moscow is only planning to get to solving are already solved, while many questions which in the Old Europe has long been off the grid haven’t even appeared on the table here. In other words, Latvia turned out to be even more unique that what we hastily gathered it to be. Last year we kept these misjudgements in mind. And right on we saw full auditoriums and got accepted of the Latvian filmmaking and media elite. We reckon with the unique Latvian geopolitical and geoaesthetical component. Here we can show films which cannot be screened in Russia due to the country’s legal and matter-of-factual situation. For instance, because of two films we have brought to Latvia, in Russia we have been dealing with legal action
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
SCRIPT Darya Averchenko, Roman Bondarchuk, PROD. Uldis Cekulis, Darya Averchenko, COMP. VFS Films, South, Taskovski Productions, SALES Taskovski Films Ltd Like a bird in the sky, a small Ukrainian flag is flattering on the car of two ‘sheriffs’, the men elected by the locals in an Eastern Ukrainian village to protect them. The sheriffs save a woman from a snake; they help a local bum Kolya move into a desolate house hoping he will finally get on the right track; they save an illiterate Indian man from an inevitable arrest. Thick winter fog. The war rages in the east of the country. Men receive enlistment notices. Children write letters to soldiers and prepare packages with tins and warm underwear to be sent to the front. A pro-Russian separatist appears in the village. For these people the state is their village. The spring comes and everything comes alive for a new beginning. The sheriffs gold-paint a statue to an unknown soldier who won the previous war. In spring they usually celebrate the Victory Day, although the victory in today’s war is not to be seen.
against us. These are Performance and Punishment and Alice in WARland. The first of them, the director Yevgeny Mitta’s work, is a story of the clash between art actionism and the contemporary Russian political system that stems from the fact that, due to its narrow-mindedness, the system cannot accept the freedom of artistic expression. The film is made even more interesting by its gender-specific perspective: it talks about the female actionism through centuries, through tradition and continuity, arriving at Pussy Riot. The government’s action against the film resulted in only the director and cinematographers’ allowing their names be mentioned in the credits, while the entire technical crew asked for their names to be removed. Credit for Murder is a unique journalistic and cinematic examination of how the Kremlin uses the Russian nationalists to maintain tension in the society. Pretending to be an American navy SEAL who supports nationalistic ideas, the author infiltrates an organization of Russian nationalists. For him it was doubly dangerous: that the Kremlin takes care of undesirable people we have already known, but nationalists, too, are not much saner people. And yet I principally refuse to define Artdocfest as a political film festival. We are the festival of free auteur cinema. Although the word ‘free’ is redundant here, since auteur cinema by definition is free; it cannot be otherwise. It has to be emphasized only in the Russian context, but if we consider auteur cinema on the global scale, author’s freedom is an axiom which needs no proving. But since in Russia freedom is an anti-statist postulate and the people who use this word and stand for their freedom soon become enemies of the state, then, on Russia’s terms, we are indeed a political festival. For the rest of the world Artdocfest is a regular festival of documentary auteur cinema. Today it is difficult to imagine a Russian-speaking documentary film festival that would not touch on the Ukrainian theme. I don’t even understand who would need such festivals. This year five of the festival’s films not only speak about Ukraine, but were also filmed there. Such are The Ukrainian Sheriffs (a Ukrainian
Russia / 2015 / 90' / documentary SCRIPT, PROD. Evgeny Mitta, CAM. Vladimir Kanareikin, Alexander Kuznetsov, Igor Malahov, SALES ANTIPODE Sales & Distribution Young actionist artists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich decide to separate from the well-known actionist group Voina. They feel pressure of male participants of the group. They decide to create their own group that would express their ideas of female independence and liberty. That’s how the Pussy Riot is born, combining actionism, feminism, media activism and punk rock. The film shows that the phenomenon of actionism is situated at the intersection of the art, the history and the politics. The action of Pussy Riot could be interpreted as the continuation of the old Russian tradition of ‘holy fools’, those who were not afraid of speaking disagreeable truths even to Tsars. Revolutionary art of Russian avant-garde took its inspiration in Russian icons, and bright attire of Pussy Riot is inspired by suprematist images of Kazimir Malevich.
and Latvian co-production) and Alice in WARland, a unique film, because it is a self-portrait of a girl that documents how this girl goes out to film a war, but as the result becomes, brutally and inexorably, its victim. There is also Mariupolis, a German-French-LithuanianUkrainian co-production that celebrated its premiere at this year’s Berlinale, and the Czech film Near Far East shot on both sides of Ukraine, in the east as well as the west. And finally not so much an Artdokfest film, but nevertheless a part of the festival because it opens the Riga IFF is my own film Close Relations, which was produced in Latvia and tells about Ukraine. Two more films for dessert: one of them is Sergei Loznitsa’s, who last year received the Grand Prix at the Riga IFF, film Austerlitz, which just had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Meanwhile, the French-produced Bref manuel de liberation has been long-listed among other 50 films for the European Film Academy Award as the best documentary and tells a story of how civil liberties are understood in Russia, especially if it involves people in mental institutions. No less important part of the festival is its talks and Q&As. This year we will be discussing topics like ‘Nationalism: from Hitler’s Germany to Putin’s Russia’ and ‘Russian: Pushkin’s or Putin’s language?’ We wish to talk about what the Russian language is today and whether the Kremlin’s rhetoric is a necessary part of it. It is an important topic in Latvia as polls show that 52 per cent of the public ‘use’ the ideologized content created by the Russian media. Of course, there will also be Q&As after films. Thus we wish to get involved more seriously with the Latvian culture, society and the current affairs. In the end I would like to mention that the festival’s motto in Riga is ‘A place for Freedom.’ In Russia it is ‘In place of Freedom’. It explains a lot. VITALY MANSKY, A FILM DIRECTOR (AMONG HIS FILMS ARE THE DOCUMENTARY TRILOGY ON GORBACHEV, YELTSIN AND PUTIN, T.A.T.U. ANATOMY, VIRGINITY, TRUBA, AND UNDER THE SUN) AND THE PRESIDENT OF ARTDOCFEST.
SAMANOU ACHECHE SAHLSTRØM
I DINE HÆNDER IN YOUR ARMS
Denmark / 2015 / 88' / feature SCRIPT Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm, CAM. Brian Curt Pedersen, CAST Lisa Carlehed, Peter Plaugborg, Kirsten Olesen, Gustav Giese, Johanna Wokalek, MUSIC August Rosenbarum, PROD. Lars von Trier, Meta Louise Foldager, Sara Namer, SALES Antipode Maria is a young and caring nurse who wants to break free. Niels is an incurable patient who wants to travel to Switzerland to commit assisted suicide. Together they embark on an intense journey that will bring them closer to each other but also closer to their dreams. The movie received Lycéens Jury Prize in Annonay International Festival of First (2015), FIPRESCI Prize and Dragon Award for best film in Göteborg Film Festival (2015).
Norway , Iraq / 2015 / 95' / feature SCRIPTS Anders Fagerholt, Halkawt Mustafa, CAM. Kjell Vassdal, CAST Wrya Ahmed, Dana Ahmed, Kamaran Raoof, MUSIC Trond Bjerknes, PROD. Halkawt Mustafa, COMP. Hene Film, Sales Levelk The successful operator of a Kurdish teahouse in Iraq, Alan (Wrya Ahmed) is a little person with soulful eyes, cheekbones like Michelangelo’s David, and a brave heartful of pluck. He has his sights set on a pretty girl in his village and plans to build her the biggest house in town, where they can raise 10 children. Her stern father, though, will not consent to the marriage. So lovelorn Alan corrals his brother on a perilous overland journey to Madrid aboard a ramshackle dirt bike to present a specially decorated pair of shoes to soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and win his future father-in-law’s and Real Madrid fan’s respect..
STILLE HJERTE SILENT HEART
Denmark / 2014 / 97' / feature SCRIPT Christian Torpe, CAM. Dirk Brüel, CAST Ghita Nørby, Paprika Steen, Danica Curcic, Morten Grunwald, MUSIC Annette Focks, PROD. Michael Fleischer, Jesper Morthorst, Lisa Black. COMP. SF Film Production, TV2 Danmark, Det Danske Filminstitut, SALES New People Film Company/Konkord In the family’s ancestral home, Esther, a strong and steadfast high-school teacher (now retired), and her husband Poul, a reasoned and rational doctor (also retired), are waiting for their guests. The first to arrive are Heidi (their controlling eldest daughter) with her browbeaten husband Michael and their sullen teenage son, Jonathan. Heidi is clearly a “daddy’s girl,” and she openly seeks her father’s consolation. We soon learn that, a few months before, the family had promised to help Esther, who is suffering from an advanced case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to commit suicide. All the members of the family seem to have accepted this decision after a little reflection. Esther’s last wish is to spend one last weekend together as a family in their home. The film won the major Danish film awards – Bodil – for best film, best supporting actor (Pilou Asbæk), best actress (Danica Curcic) and best screenplay (2014). But Paprika Steen won received Silver Seashell Awards for best actress in San Sebastián International Film Festival (2014)
NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS In Latvia, Nordic cinema is well known and much appreciated. This year it is the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Nordic Council of Ministers in Riga. Thanks to this newcomer, Riga’s cultural life gained many Nordic features. Nordic cinema has been widely represented in the forum Arsenāls when it was still running, later in the Nordic Film Days, and, of course, the legendary Kinogalerija. Great traditions rarely disappear, and the Riga IFF continues to introduce viewers to the films from this region, in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Danish Culture Institute, the embassies of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, creating a selection that includes both well-known names, like Bille August, Thomas Vinterberg and Dagur Kári, as well as lesser-known but promising directors’ films, like, for example, Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm’s much talked-about feature In Your Arms. The North is closer than you think. Its cinema can still seem very peculiar, perhaps even bizarre, but on a deeper level these stories are universal and essential to every one of us. SONORA BROKA, CURATOR, NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
MARKO RÖHR, KIM SAARNILUOTO
JONAS SELBERG AUGUSTSÉN
Finland / 2016 / 76' / documentary
Sweden, Qatar / 2015 / 100' / feature
Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands / 2016 / 111' / feature
SCRIPT Marko Röhr, Antti Tuuri (stories), CAM. Teemu Liakka, CAST Samuli Edelmann, Jonathan Hutchings, Johanna Kurkela, PROD. Marko Röhr, COMP. Matila & Röhr Productions, SALES LevelK
SCRIPT Jonas Selberg Augustsén, CAM. Anders Bohman, CAST Jessica Szoppe, Christopher Burjanski, Daniel Szoppe, Mikael Andrén, Josef Balok, MUSIC Jan Sandström, PROD. Andreas Emanuelsson, Jan Blomgren, Per-Erik Svensson. COMP. Bob Film Sweden Abmore, Doha Film Institute, Filmpool Nord See, SALES Swedish Film institute
SCRIPTS Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg, CAM. Jesper Tøffner, MUSIC Fons Merkies, CAST Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Fares Fares, Helene Reingaard Neumann, PROD. Morten Kaufmann, Marie Gade Denessen, Mark Denessen. COMP. Zentropa Entertainments, Danmarks Radio (DR), Det Danske Filminstitut, SALES RIGA IFF
Somewhere in Sweden, a gigantic dumpster breaks free from a heavy chain suspended underneath a big helicopter. The dumpster hits the ground with a formidable crash and the garbage spouts out into the surroundings. Meanwhile, an aging Roma woman wakes up in her house with an extremely strong desire to get her old wall clock back. The clock has been at the clockmaker’s for over a year, and now the old woman intensely feels that it needs to come home. She calls one of her grandchildren who answers in another part of the country and solemnly promises to bring the clock back to her. Two days later, three Roma youths climb into a car in order to take the wall clock to their grandmother who lives 1030 km south of them. The three youths have more questions than answers about the country they’re traveling through for the first time.
Erik, a lecturer in architecture, inherits his father’s large old house in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen. His wife Anna, a well-known television newscaster, suggests that they invite their friends to come and live with them. In this way she hopes to evade the boredom that has begun to seep into their marriage. Before long, a dozen women, men and children move into the country house, make collective decisions, engage in discussions and go swimming together in the nearby Øresund strait. Their fragile equilibrium threatens to come undone when Erik falls in love with his student Emma and the young woman moves into the house. Loosely based on Thomas Vinterberg’s own childhood experiences, the director depicts a private experiment from the 1970s in which community and individuality, freedom and tradition and the promise of happiness also harbour dangers. Actress Trine Dyrholm received Silver Berlin Bear in Berlin International Film Festival (2016)
TALE OF A LAKE
The story of the film is told through tales that are based around the myths, legends and old beliefs that are part of the Finnish mythology. The firstperson narrator, who is the main character of the story, is the daughter of Ahti and Vellamo, the god and goddess of the sea. She is Ahitar, the maiden of water. This sea maiden is a spirit born in a spring who has her own tale in the Finnish mythology. There are five acts in the story, and the different times of year follow the different acts. DAGUR KÁRI
EMA Iceland, Denmark / 2015 / 93' / feature
SCRIPT Dagur Kári, CAM. Rasmus Videbæk, CAST Gunnar Jónsson, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Margrét Helga Jóhannsdóttir , Sigurjón Kjartansson, MUSIC Slowblow, PROD. Baltasar Kormákur, Agnes Johansen, Bo Ehrhardt, Mikkel Jersin. COMP. Sögn / RVK Studios, Nimbus Film, Icelandic Film Centre, SALES Bac Films It tells the story of a man in his 40s who lives with his mother and works as ground staff at a nearby airport. He is involved in recreating battlefields on tabletop in his spare time including listening to radio and enjoying meals. On his 42nd birthday Fúsi gets a break from his daily routines when he is enrolled in a dance class. He falls in love, he responds to bullies, but his depressive girlfriend leaves him. He helps his ex-girlfriend to find happines by rebuilding a dump into a flower boutique shop. Fúsi at the edge of falling back to his routines decides to make changes for himself and takes a trip to Egypt. The film received 3 awards in Tribeca Film Festival (New York, 2015) – for best narrative feature, for best screenplay and for best actor (Gunnar Jónsson ). It won also Nordic Council’s Film Prize (2015) and Silver Pyramid for best director in Cairo International Film Festival (2015).
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Estonia / 2016 / 89' / feature SCRIPTS Leana Jalukse, Al Wallcat, CAM. Jean-Noël Mustonen, CAST Tiina Mälberg, Andres Tabun, Andres Noormets, PROD. Aet Laigu, COMP. Meteoriit Oü “Mother” is a thrilleresque story about rash decisions made in the name of dreams that will have haunting consequences for some time to come. The film focuses on a woman whose adult son has fallen into a coma after being shot. Taking care of him at home, she has to face a whole town trying to solve the puzzle of what exactly happened. But in a small town, where everyone knows everyone and everything except for what’s right under their nose, the world’s clumsiest crime may go unsolved.
PERFECTION IS FOREVER
WORLD WAR CUP
United Kingdom, Romania / 2015 / 18' / documentary SCRIPT, CAM. Mara Trifu, MUSIC Terence Dunn, COMP. National Film And Television school
United Kingdom / 2016 / 7' / documentary CAM. Graeme Crowley
Austria, United Kingdom / 2015 / 6' / animation MUSIC Marian Mentrup, COMP. Sixpackfilm
A grim display of misguided patriotism and tribal thuggery during the England-Germany 2010 world cup football match.
Because she has been alone for a really long time and there´s just no one else, she might as well live on the moon.
A tree is always complete in its own being. Human beings, on the other hand, always aspire to become something more, doing their best to hold back time in pursuit of eternal love, youth and beauty. In Hollywood, two lost souls seek to become heroes under the shade of a lonely palm tree. AITOR OÑEDERRA
I SAID I WOULD NEVER TALK ABOUT POLITICS
MOMS ON FIRE
Sweden / 2016 /12' / animation ANIMATION Tim Maarse, Mikael Lindbom, MUSIC Saralunden, COMP. The Swedish Film institute
Spain / 2015 / 10' / animation SCRIPT Aitor Oñederra, MUSIC Xabat Lertxundi, COMP. Kimuak
What’s it like to be massively pregnant with only four days until you’re due to pop? You’d like to jerk off but can’t even reach, your boyfriend is a useless, boring shit,and you’d like to have some fun, but you’re pregnant. Again. Yuk!!!
Don Mariano travels by aeroplane and dines at a prestigious restaurant which specialises in natural, quality red meat that is low in fat and cholesterol.
PHUNAM THUC HA, MATT LUCERO, TUAN ANDREW NGUYEN
THE RETURN OF ERKIN Russia / 2015 / 29' / feature SCRIPT Maria Guskova, CAM. Dennis Guskov Erkin gets out of prison and wants to return to his former life. But everything has changed and he does not know if he can live as a free man.
THE LIVING NEED LIGHT, THE DEAD NEED MUSIC Vietnam / 2014 / 22' / documentary SCRIPT Phunam Thuc Ha, Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, CAM. Phunam Thuc Ha, MUSIC Trịnh Công Sơn, COMP. Tpg Films The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a visual and musical journey through the fantastical funeral traditions and rituals of south Vietnam. It attempts to engage in a dialogue with funerary traditions that pulsate in the same vein throughout the global south…
SHORT RIGA INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
ZLATÉ PIESKY ROCKET LAUNCH Austria / 2015 / 10' / feature CAM. Christian Giesser, COMP. Sixpackfilm Breaking the large and symmetrical with the small and singular; and vice versa—a principle continually applied in Josef Dabernig’s art. Here, too, in the film Zlaté Piesky Rocket Launch, which as a whole, can be interpreted as an allegory of the world’s (impossible to end) bipolarity. PAUL WENNINGER
UNCANNY VALLEY Austria, France / 2015 /13' / animation SCRIPT, CAM. Paul Wenninger, PERFORMERS Jan Jakubal, Paul Wenninger, Raul Maia, ANIMATION Nik Hummer, COMP. Sixpackfilm Paul Wenninger traces the arc of representational history to representation-critical parable: he straddles the Uncanny Valley with motifs from found footage material from World War I, which he connects to the actors´ performances, to bring them into the image again using techniques from animation and then, with a diorama, to land in a museum-like ambiance. THEODORE USHEV
SONÁMBULO Canada / 2015 / 4' / animation SCRIPT, ANIMATION Theodore Ushev, MUSIC Kottarashky and Nikola Gruev, COMP. Bonobostudio With the shade around her waist / she dreams on her balcony, […] Under the gypsy moon, / all things are watching her / and she cannot see them. A surrealist journey through colours and shapes inspired by the poem Romance Sonámbulo by Federico García Lorca. Visual poetry in the rhythm of fantastic dreams and passionate nights.
With curiosity we dived into the Short Riga database of 2016 where a grand total of 500 films were submitted to the International Competition this year. Additionally we have seen films from the international short film festivals in Clermont-Ferrand and Oberhausen, Tampere, Berlinale, Nordisk Panorama in Malmö, Sweden and The Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad and others. It has been a privilege to “travel the world” through the art of short films. Many excellent films never made it to the competition, but 24 films from 20 countries are now in our final programme. To celebrate the high quality and the variety of what the short film format can be, we have chosen films of different genres and subjects, all revealing the filmmaker’s persona, either in the visual language, dialogue, style, or aftertaste. Creativity, originality and innovation, in combination with the film’s ability to communicate, have been our criteria. From what we have seen, we acknowledge the international trend that many strong and original voices now come from female directors. In our programme 10 out of 24 films are made by women, among them are Maria Guskova’s acclaimed The Return of Erkin (Russia), the winner of the prestigious Cannes Cinéfondation award in 2015, and Ugla Huksdottir’s film How far she went (Iceland/USA, 2016), adapted from the Flannery O’Connor Award-winning short story by Mary Hood. We believe that they, together with Daniel Mulloy, belong to the up-and-coming European feature film generation. Daniel was nominated for the European Short Film Award for the second time this summer, with his new film Home (Kosovo/UK, 2016), and we are proud to present it here in Riga. We also recognize that Austria is a country that has an extraordinorily strong tradition when it comes to film as a visual art form. That explains the three titles from Austria this year: Exomoon by Gudrun Krebs, Uncanny valley by Paul Wenninger and Zlaté Piesky Rocket Launch by the veteran Josef Dabernig, three very different films in both content and form, distributed by renowned Sixpackfilm, a non-profit organization that since 1990 has been working to promote Austrian film. We welcome to films from Asia, America, Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltics. We believe that this programme sheds light on the current trends of our society and the development of new voices and movements in cinema. ANNA VEILANDE KUSTIKOVA, TORUNN NYEN, SHORT RIGA CURATORS
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
paralyzing panic attacks and The Great Boyg itself who finds us all.
Finland / 2016 / 7' / feature SCRIPT Teemu Nikki, CAM. Jyrki Arnikari, CAST Jari Virman, Alina Tomnikov, Mari Rantasila, PROD. Jani Pösö, COMP. Westerberg Kurzfilmagentur
Latvia / 2016 / 21' / feature SCRIPT Madara Dišlere, CAM. Gatis Grīnbergs, Jānis Reinfelds, COMP. Tasse Film
The Dir. wants frontal nudity, but the actor has too much to give. ANETE MELECE
ANALYSIS PARALYSIS ANALĪZES PARALĪZE
Switzerland / 2016 / 9' / animation SCRIPT, ART Anete Melece, ANIMATION Stefan Holaus, Anete Melece, MUSIC Ephrem Lüchinger, VOICES Peter Bräker, Sabine Timoteo, PROD. Saskia Von Virág, COMP. Virage Film Anton is lost in his own head until one day a yellow boot brings him to an exit.
An old gardener works day and night in harmony with the nature’s rhythm and the wisdom of the ancient Latvian tradition. Younger house owners, desiring to make the gardener’s life easier, get a new gardener. The old gardener’s love of garden and an unwillingness to share it with anyone makes him decide an inevitable decision to stay in the garden of his family forever.
Netherlands / 2015 / 17' / documentary CAM. Marjoke Haagsma, PROD. Rianne Ebeling, COMP. Someshorts
Portugal / 2016/ 18' / feature SCRIPT Pedro Peralta, CAM. João Ribeiro, COMP. Portugal Film
HOW FAR SHE WENT
At dawn a group of peasants tries to rescue the body of a young man from the inside of a well. Women veil their faces in silence while men endure the situation. In the center of it all, a mother awaits her son’s salvation.
United States / 2016 / 13' / feature SCRIPT., PROD. Chloe Lenihan, CAM. Markus Englmair, CAST Johanna Day, Jordyn Di Natale, Will Pullen, Carl Lundstedt Based on the Flannery O’Connor Award winning short story by Mary Hood, How Far She Went examines the quarrelsome relationship between an grandmother, her estranged granddaughter, and how sacrifice can reveal the depths of love.
RI GUANG ZHI XIA UNDER THE SUN
China, Australia / 2015 / 19' / feature SCRIPT, PROD. Qiu Yang, CAM. Tarun Hansen, PROD. Natalie Erika James One incident occurs, two families tangle. There’s nothing new under the sun.
LAST DAYS OF LENINGRAD Russia, Sweden / 2016 / 28' / documentary CAM. Vladas Naudžius, CAST Tamara Kotikova, Natalia Zjuravel, Nikolay Izpolatov, PROD. Mårten Nilsson, COMP. Gnufilm, Filmform
CHASING THE WIND Georgia / 2016 / 16' / feature SCRIPT Zura Demetrashvili, Vladimer Katcharava, CAM. Irakli Akhalkatsi, CAST Zaza Salia, David Gotsiridze, Inga Kirtskhalia, COMP. 20 Steps Productions Dato has made many mistakes in the past, but after he fell in love with a deaf and dumb girl Inga , he is trying to change his life. Dato has only twocreatures in world who believes in him, the dog and the girlfriend, But society doesn’t give a second chance and it ends up with the death of Dato.
PANIC ATTACK! United States / 2016 / 3' / animation SCRIPT, CAM. Eileen O’meara, MUSIC Tim Maloney You know the nagging thoughts that start with “did I leave the coffee on?” and turn in to “what if I give birth to Satan’s baby?” This hand-drawn animation explores anxiety, obsession, and one woman’s slippery hold on reality. ZORA RUX
Called by a mystic dream, Derya finds herself among souls steeped in the Islamic Sufi tradition. They join in hypnotic movements and stirring rhythms, dissolving into an ocean of silence.
A film about the poor intelligentsia of Leningrad in the end of the eighties. KRISTIAN PEDERSEN
“WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR BRAIN IF YOU SEE A GERMAN WORD LIKE ...?” Germanny / 2015 / 5' / animation SCRIPT Zora Rux, Fred Burle, CAM. Malte Siepen, CAST Steven Gänge, Hanns Zischler, COMP. Deutsche Film & Fernsehakademie Berlin A surrealistic trip into the world of an extremely long german word. MIJAEL BUSTOS GUTIÉRREZ
A TALE OF LOVE, MADNESS AND DEATH Chile / 2016 / 22' / documentary Script Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez, Cam. Álvaro Anguita, Music Karim Habib El Fakih, Prod. Mijael Bustos Gutiérrez, Paulina Moya, Álvaro Anguita My oldest uncle is a schizophrenic and also a chronic smoker. My grandmother’s lungs started to fail due to the cigarette smoke, so she was forced had to move in with one of her daughters. Since then, my grandfather has had to take care of my uncle all by himself, being a silent witness of the imminent death of his beloved wife. DANIEL MULLOY
Kosovo, UK, Serbia, Albania / 2016 / 21' / feature SCRIPT Daniel Mulloy, CAM. Victor Seguin, Paul Makay, CAST Jack O’connell, Holliday Grainger, Tahliya Lowles, Zaki Ramadani, PROD. Shpat Deda, Anthony Austin, Eroll Bilibani, Sally Campbell As thousands of men, women and children attempt to get into Europe, a comfortable English family sets out on what appears to be a holiday.
Norway / 2016 / 6' / animation SCRIPT Kristian Pedersen, MUSIC Erik Hedin, COMP. Norwegian Film Institute A six minute visual and musical remix of Ibsens Peer Gynt, Norwegian Folklore, Edvard Griegs composition,
PELA DEL ÁLAMO has worked in advertising and television in Madrid. In 2013, Pela became the director of Curtocircuíto – International Film Festival (Santiago de Compostela, Spain).
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
LIENE LINDE Latvian film director and film critic. Her short film “Fake Me a Happy New Year” (2013), also a graduation work for Latvian Academy of Culture, won prizes in several international film festivals and was awarded Latvian national film award “Lielais Kristaps”.
ANDREA WINK German film festival curator, coordinator of “goEast-Young Professionals“ training program as well as the goEast project-market for young filmmakers from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe – the EastWest Talent Lab.
AIGARS CEPLĪTIS Creative director of Audiovisual Media Arts Department RISEBA (Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration)
Estonia / 2015 / 25' / feature SCRIPT Marleen Roosna, CAM. Ott Tiigirand, CAST Karl Laumets, Liisa Linhein, Roomet Poom, COMP. Baltic Film, Media Arts and Communication school “8kg” is a dark-humoured story about youngsters and their Friday nights when all good (or bad) things usually start to happen.
Latvia / 2016 / 30' / feature
Latvia /2016 / 32' / drama
SCRIPT Rinalds Zelts, CAM. Marika Šengelija, CAST Rinalds Zelts, Armands Berģis, Arnolds Osis, Kristaps Dzenis, EXECUTIVE PROD. Annija Korpa in association with the Latvian Academy of Culture
SCRIPT Kristiāns Riekstiņš, CAM. Mārtiņš Jurevics, MUSIC Matīss Runtulis, CAST Kārlis Krūmiņš, Ieva Segliņa, Dārta Daneviča, Regnārs Vaivars. COMP. the Latvian Academy of Culture
A guy decides to be antisocial and flees to a country house together with his dog Tumsa (Darkness). The dog disappears, and as he is trying to find it he comes across his own fear of loneliness.
After falling out with his girlfriend, Pauls, an employee of an advertising firm, starts spying on Sandra, a woman who lives across the street. As Pauls’ obsession with Sandra develops, he becomes a witness to her murder.
SHORT RIGA BALTIC STUDENT COMPETITION The Baltic Student Competition is an event that for the second year brings together film students from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The selection principles require from the students that they participate in the festival where each one of them receives comments from the jury and suggestions as of their future professional career. Participants were selected from the biggest film schools in the Baltic (The Baltic Film, Media, Art and Communication School; Lithuanian Theatre Art and Music Academy; Latvian Academy of Culture, Estonian Art Academy, and others). This year the competition consists of ten short films: four works from Latvia, three from Estonia, and three from Lithuania. It seems that this year’s leitmotif in the works from Latvia was ‘self-analysis’ and the encapsulation of documental reality into a fictional short film. Meanwhile in Lithuania the constant topic seems to be relationships: the majority of students have examined love issues between two or three people. This year the competition includes works that try to solve the relationship theme in an unusual form. Estonian students’ works mostly demonstrate their authors’ observational skills and a tendency towards irony. This year the works offer a lot of comedy, so these fresh and attractive films promise to entertain and make us laugh. ANNA VEILANDE-KUSTIKOVA, CURATOR
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE ROOTS ARE BITTER
TELPA BEZ ŪDENS JEB PELĒKIE FRAKTĀĻI
A ROOM WITHOUT WATER, OR THE GREY FRACTALS
Lithuania/ 2016/ 17' / feature
Estonia / 2016 / 12' / feature
CAM. Zbigniev Bartoševič. CAST Giedrius Kiela, Justė Nemanytė, Saulius Čiučelis, Darius Meškauskas, Rūta Petronytė, Simas Kvintas, Laurynas Bareiša, Vytautas Plukas, Rapolas Baliukonis, Tadas Ambrazas. COMP. Lithuanian Theatre and Music Academy
SCRIPT Johan Kudu, CAM. Erik Õunapuu, CAST Jaan Pehk, Hennariikka Laaksola, Ragnar Uustal, Laura Kalle, PROD. Hanna Kruusi, Comp. Baltic Film, Media Arts and Communication School
A desperate couple tries to conceive a baby, but unfortunately Vytas is infertile. They look for a solution and get creative in the process, trying out weirder and weirder methods. The situation slowly forces Vytas to question his masculinity. The story reflects the relationship problems of a messed up couple.
It’s a story about Kaido, a young man, who works in a botanical garden. He meets a girl, Liisa, who is the complete opposite of him. It’s a story about brutally honest love; a story about short glimpses of happiness that melt away like snow in July.
SEVEN AWKWARD SEX SCENES. PART I
EVERYBODY MISSES PRANAS IVANAUSKAS
SEPTIŅAS NEVEIKLA SEKSA REIZES. PIRMĀ DAĻA
CAM. Rinalds Zelts, COMP. Latvian Academy of Culture An absurdist drama based on Albert Camus’ novel The Plague. As an epidemic consumes a city, the inhabitants find themselves isolated from the rest of the world and in the direct presence of death.
VISI PASIILGO PRANO IVNANAUSKO
Latvia /2016 / 26'/ feature
Lithuania / 2016 / 21' / feature
SCRIPT Liene Linde, CAM. Dainis Juraga, MUSIC Juris Simanovičs, CAST Inga Tropa, Liene Linde, Klāvs Mellis, Jurijs Djakonovs, Toms Liepājnieks, Baiba Broka, Gatis Gāga, Jānis Vimba. COMP. the Latvian Academy of Culture
SCRIPTS Vygantas Bachmackij, Vytautas Katkus, CAM. Vytautas Katkus, PROD. Elena Rožukaitė. COMP. Lithuanian Theatre and Music Academy
A young director’s attempt at her first film using it on her own sexual experience.
Latvia / 2016 / 17' / experimental
Pranas used to suffer from a mid-life crisis, but now he is ready to come back to his family. It’s not easily done, so he decides to stage his death to show his family how much they would lose. At the same time the world is living through a very intense diplomatic crisis which causes a new world war. Still, there is no big difference between a family war or one in the world.
CHARLOTTE MUNCK Danish actress. She has been a script consultant for both writers and directors and has been teaching actors at various educational workshops for the last 7 years.
RENĀRS VIMBA Latvian film director. His Mellow Mud won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2016.
ANNA PURKRABKOVA Anna Purkrabkova is a member of Program Department at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. She is coordinating a Future Frames program, which promotes young European filmmakers.
The festival's partner in pan-Baltic travel
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
JING HAASE Jing Haase is the Market Manager at Nordisk Panorama, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of Nordic short and documentary films.
MARIJA RAZGUTĖ Marija Razgutė is Lithuanian film producer. She has produced seven short films – fiction and documentary, and a feature. A member of European Film Academy.
I WEAR* EXPERIMENT – PATIENCE
ZEBRA ISLAND – LIGHTS AND SHADOWS
NO REAL PIONEERS – CLOUDS BELOW
Through the eyes of two young characters we witness the passionate peak and confusing downfall of the first love.
A morning after a party that continues.
An experimental musical adventure.
EDGARS ŠUBROVSKIS, OSKARS UPENIEKS
ANSAMBLIS MANTA – EVA EVA
Filmed mostly on the road. There are so many inns and rented apartments whose interiors inspire bizarre feelings and actions. The abnormal behaviour wasn’t always possible to capture with a professional camera, so the overall quality has been downgraded to that of the footage filmed with a phone.
ANTIS – DUOKIT MEDALĮ
OZOLS – SUPERHAIPS
The video is created for the song by the Lithuanian Independence movement (Sąjūdis) period band Antis from the late 80s that commemorates their musical oeuvre.
Filmed in Northern Ireland, Silent Valley nature reserve, and the capital, Belfast. Note that the video features DeLorean DMC-12, the car from the cult classic Back to the future.
SHORT RIGA: BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION For the second year the competition presents the diversity of the Baltic music videos. The programme includes various musical styles and increasingly diverse video solutions, but what unites them all is the rhythm – sometimes it really feels as if the screen is pulsating. On one hand, the programme is characterized by a high level of self-irony and unpretentiousness in terms of content and form, while on the other hand, splendour and flamboyance. Again this year there are many songs in the national languages, and thematically they also often touch on the national identity. The programme marks music videos in the Baltics as a platform used for many purposes, including to deal with history, promote own country, or experiment with analog materials in video environment. Such a kaleidoscopic perspective on what is happening on the Baltic music video scene helps use to notice new talents as well as longawaited musical returns. CURATOR AGNESE LOGINA
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
LEXSOUL DANCEMACHINE – BEEF GRINDER
Video is authored by August Varustin, a young animator who got knee-deep into funk already while visualizing Misha Panfilov Sound Combo’s - “Planetarium.” Inspired by Family Guy and Don Hertzfeldt, he’s set to bring these influences into life with many more cartoons.
STŪRĪ ZĒVELE – CEHA DISPEČERAM
BANDMASTER – GET LIVE
“Get Live” music video is a surrealistic and ironic story, set in a dystopian world where any individuality is suppressed, and among many rules, loose hair is a taboo. An absurd dry land synchronized swimming team is being evaluated by the representatives of a totalitarian government. To their surprise, performance doesn’t go as planned.
ANTIKVARINIAI KASPIROVSKIO DANTYS – TU MANO VASARA
SVENTINIS BANKUCHENAS – LIETUVOS ISTORIJOS REPAS
Almost every musician had the moment when have to attend a similar party. We aren’t different. So we don’t hide anything and this video called “a true documentary” – said Antikvariniai Kašpirvoskio dantys.
Sventinis bankuchenas is a comedian and musician from Lithuania. Sventinis bankuchenas music can be easily categorized as comedy; it draws on many different music genres such as old Lithuanian pop, sung poetry, hip-hop, plus others. The rap song documents the history of Lithuania from its first mention in 1009 to the present day.
GAS OF LATVIA – SNIEGAVĪRS When the moon disappears, the sky is the darkest, which grants a view on the millions of stars that live in the heart of the Snowman. A song from the 2015 album Swan Lake.
Inspired by and dedicated to “La Jetée” (film by Chris Marker). A love-story of two people who may have never met each other. Made in the form of an experimental short film/music video. NORMUNDS GRIESTIŅŠ, KRISTĪNE VĪTOLA
TV MASKAVA – BESTEST THEATRE
Bestest Theatre is the video version of the sound artist TV Maskava’s track from a commercial video that advertises Latvian-made music synthesizers. TOMMY CASH
TOMMY CASH – WINALOTO
JURGIS DID, MARTYNAS LEVICKIS & COLOMBIAN BARBERS SYNDICATE – PATINKA The Lithuanian language is amongst the oldest spoken today. We believe that a good way to preserve our cultural heritage is to share it, even if it finds itself in unconventional places or rolled off of unorthodox tongues.
Rhythmic insanity, countless bare bodies, and one of the world most flexible rappers: in this video Tommy Cash, as usually, surprises even himself.
TORUNN NYEN Film curator, a member of the programme committee at The Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad and at Movies on War, Elverum, Norway.
RAITIS ABELE Latvian filmmaker. Ābele studied at New York Film Academy, obtained Master’s professional degree in Clinical Psychology at University of Latvia.
SAULIUS BARADINSKAS Independent filmmaker and music video director from Vilnius, Lithunia.
The festival's partner in pan-Baltic travel
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
AIGA LEITHOLDE Music manager and editor of the online magazine www.parmuziku.lv
MĀRTIŅŠ GRAUDS Music video, fashion short and documentary film director from Latvia
MUSIC VIDEO FILMS: THE NEW OLD GENRE At this festival we introduce a seemingly new form of short-format audio-visual art – a music video short. Neither really a music video, nor a short film, the best of this new format cannot be pigeonholed into an existing category; this is why we are now creating a space it will call its own. This format, which is too weird for music televisions, but also inappropriate for short film festivals, fits excellently in the YouTube environment, where definitions are secondary, but what is important is their viral potential. Indeed, it is difficult to define the format, so let us begin with its very origin. Its first feature is the length of the work: music video films tend to be longer than
music videos. But the fact that it’s longer does not necessarily make it a short film: music video films have a developed, thought-through narrative. Also worth mentioning is that these films are usually made for different reasons: rarely are they made to promote a piece of music; more often it is an expression of the artist’s ambition. Music video films begin to appear frequently as part of the works of A-level stars; for example, in 2016, Beyoncé Knowles released her second music video album which was a single audio-visual work with textual additions that transgresses genre and format boundaries. Music video films can be described as a true hybrid that adopts the main characteristics from both the music video and the short film, moulding it into a new independent form. From music videos the new format has taken the way they solve the relationship between sound and image – in a conventional short film, music would stay in the background leaving the main stage to the visual message, while in a music video film sound plays a fundamental role in creating the narrative. Still, a music video film needs something more stable and tangible than the kaleidoscopic image of a music video. Therefore, in music video films there is present a distinctive narrative, which is similar to short films, but not so much in music videos. The music video film has deep roots that go back as far as the time when the talking movies were born. The relationship between music and video in these films
throughout history has been complicated, which, in turn, encouraged crossing boundaries and facilitated the birth of new works. Bessie Smith’s short film from 1929, St. Louis Blues, is a great example; this can be called a dramatization of a song in an age when there was no name for such a thing as a music video. As time passed and the relationship between sound and pictures became more stable, a new relationship was born – a relationship in which one element was not subordinated to another, but both were equally important. Those were musicals; those were music films like The Beetles’ Yellow Submarine (1968) and Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1982). Much changed with the appearance of MTV in 1981: music videos began to play an even more important role in the audiovisual world. They are like time capsules that not only present a song, but also capture their time and space. Soon music videos began to transform into special short films. Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1981) was a game-changer. This was one of the first music shorts that started the idea of a music video film as a separate genre. Since YouTube appeared in 2005, music video films have found a place where they feel at home and where bright future awaits them. AGNESE LOGINA, CURATOR OF THE SHORT RIGA BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION; CO-FOUNDER OF SHORT RIGA.
Dir. Jesse Kanda. Arca - Sin Rumbo (2016)
WTF = A MUSIC VIDEO SHORT FILM?
The selection of music short films is an experimental programme with a question mark in its title. The programme has been created by four curators, each specializing in a different area: Sonora Broka (programme curator, Riga IFF creative director), Anna Veilande-Kustikova (shorts and animation researcher, Short Riga curator), Agnese Logina (music video and film researcher, curator) and Inese VēriņaLubiņa (audio-visual media artists, VJ and tutor). The programme’s goal is to react to a recent phenomenon, music video short film, a term used to describe many audio-visual works. The curators’ attention focused on the diversity of these works. Thus a question arose whether
such a description has a place in the already overpopulated area of genres and formats, and if it indeed has, then what wonders such a verbal compound has for us in its bag. The programme is a compilation of a variety of genric, age-specific and origin-related works that, in our view, can full-fledgedly be called music video short films and in themselves are an audio-visual experience.
ANNA VEILANDE-KUSTIKOVA, SHORT RIGA CURATOR
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
ES ESMU ŠEIT
AMRION, STUDIO ULJANA KIM IGAUNIJA /LIETUVA
TASSE FILM LATVIJA
FILM STUDIO TANKA LATVIJA
МАМЫ 3 “ЭНДЖОЙ МУВИЗ” KRIEVIJA
STUDIO ULJANA KIM LIETUVA
ЗАБЫТЫЙ RUSSIAN WORLD STUDIOS, FORTE FORTISSIMO FILMS, KRIEVIJA
IZGATAVOŠANA UN TESTA PICAS PROJEKCIJAS HARGLA COMPANY, DIGITAALNE SPUTSAPŅU KOMANDA 1935 NIK, LATVIJA / IGAUNIJA PLATFORMA FILMA LATVIJA
filmēšanas tehnika krāsu korekcija • filmas master
filmēšanas tehnika krāsu korekcija • filmas master
FILMAS MASTER FAILU SAGATAVOŠANA UN ARHIVĒŠANA
LEARNING TO READ IMAGES
What was your favourite film as a child? What do you remember from them? Were they wonderful, exciting adventures? Did you feel unconditional empathy with the main characters? What is uncontrollable laughter, or quite the opposite – unstoppable tears? Whatever your memories are, they all have one thing in common – emotional experience. This ability to feel what they felt, to image yourself in their shoes, creates not just an unforgettable viewing experience
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
STUDIO ULJANA KIM, AMRION LIETUVA / IGAUNIJA
MAMMU, ES TEVI MĪLU
filmēšanas tehnika filmēšanas tehnika krāsu korekcija • filmas master krāsu korekcija • filmas master KALIBRĒTA filmēšanas tehnika DCP krāsu korekcija • filmas master
filmēšanas tehnika krāsu korekcija FILMĒŠANAS
KING’S SHIFT TREMORA / FILM ANGELS PRODUCTIONS LIETUVA / LATVIJA
filmēšanas tehnika krāsu korekcija • filmas master
but also makes you a fellow traveller, not just a distant consumer. This therefore is one of the irreplaceable features of children’s cinema: to see the world through the eyes of your peer. It feeds the imagination, making it possible to fantasize of new places and adventures and grasp the variety of views and opinions. In the age symptomatic of audio-visual abundance, to maintain that every film is an experience that plays a role in forming our personality is perhaps an oldfashioned approach. However, nowadays the smart European children cinema, more than ever before, is made with this in mind. If during the Hollywood golden years in the first half of the twentieth century majority of film productions aimed at young viewers were meant to entertain, encouraging their minds to travel to wondrous worlds from fairy tales, now children’s films are made with the awareness of the power of film as a medium. In a realistic and engaging manner, these films tell about challenges important to the viewers of a certain age and grant a friendly and, what is important, unpatronizing advice on how to survive such situations. Similarly, film characters too, just like their viewers, grow and change with time, along with questions of fundamental values, like honesty, loyalty and humanity; they face important social issues, like openness to the different, financial and family difficulties, and also loss.
BRUŅINIEKU IELA 28-57 • RĪGA, LV1011 +271 29 29 86 67 • INFO@BBRENTAL.EU
a necessary step towards forming a healthy and open society. Especially now, at the time when most information is essentially visual, children’s cinema encourages engaging with the audio-visual ways of expression from an early age. Like it is essential to educate children about the best and the most important works of art, literature and music, it is equally important to promote the skill of “reading images”. We can achieve this by offering quality age-appropriate cinema – a vitally important tool in forming an educated and image-literate public and a guide to navigating the sea of the multimedia imagery and ever-abundant symbols.
KRISTĪNE SIMSONE, CURATOR, KIDS WEEKEND
An emotionally and intellectually rich education is not the only thing that children’s films grant. It is also
FEATURES NORBERT LECHNER
FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE
ENTE GUT! MADCHEN ALLEIN ZU HAUS
HÖRDUR - ZWISCHEN DEN WELTEN HÖRDUR
BIRDS OF PASSAGE LES OISEAUX DE PASSAGE
Germany / 2016 / 96'
Germany / 2015 / 84'
Belgium, France / 2015 / 84'
SCRIPT Antonia Rothe, Katrin Milhahn, CAM. Namche Okon, CAST Lynn Dortschack, Lisa Bahati Wihstutz, Linda Phuong Anh Dang, MUSIC Martin Unterberger, PROD. Norbert Lechner, COMP. Kevin Lee Film GmbH, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Kika, SALES Kevin Lee Film GmbH
SCRIPT Dorothea Nölle, CAM. Eric Ferranti, CAST Almila Bagriacik, Hilmi Sözer, Felicitas Woll, MUSIC Moritz Denis, Tim Stanzel, PROD. Stefanie Plattner, Sebastian Storm, COMP.&SALES Storming Donkey Productions
DIR. Olivier Ringer, SCRIPT Yves Ringer, Olivier Ringer, CAM. Mihnea Popescu, CAST Clarisse Djuroski, Lea Warny, Alain Eloy, Myriem Akkhediou, MUSIC Bruno Alexiu, PROD. Olivier Ringer, Antoine Simkine, COMP. Ring Prod, Les Films d’Antoine, Good Lap, RTBF, SALES Ring Prod
Lina and Tiena’s mother suddenly has to return to Vietnam. During her absence Lina takes care of her little sister and the family restaurant as she tries to keep it secret that her sister and she are living on their own. Meanwhile, Pauline, who lives across the yard, suspects something. She is something of a sleuth armed with a powerful telescope. Recommended age: 6+
After a squabble with a classmate as a punishment Eilin is forced to work in a stable. There she discovers another world which is completely different from the one she had seen before. But it too is full is daily challenges. Recommended age: 10+
Katy’s birthday is on the 29th of February, and it’s only one of her problems. Her dad gives her a bizarre present, an egg, with a promise one day it will hatch a little bird. Meanwhile Margo has her own troubles: she’s tired of trying to persuade her parents she is much more independent than they think. When the mysterious egg finally hatches both girls are pulled into an unforgettable adventure. Recommended age: 6+ ARNE TOONEN
THE LITTLE GANGSTER DE BOSKAMPI’S
The Netherlands / 2015 / 102' SCRIPT Lotte Tabbers, CAM. Rutger Storm, CAST Thor Braun, Henry van Loon, Meral Polat, Music Erik Jan Grob, COMP. Shooting Star Filmcompany, Hazazah Pictures, SALES Shooting Star The eleven-year-old Rick is tired of everyone’s gossiping about his father and him. They move to a new place which grants an opportunity to change this – Rick, after watching a gangster movie, begins to tell everyone his father is a mafia boss. But lies always fall short and soon Rick finds himself in an unenviable situation. Recommended age: 6+
Going to movies is an event, especially now when they can be watched in the comfort of your own home. Being aware of the fact that for many young viewers this may be their first journey to a cinema, our task was to make this event even more unforgettable and introduce kids to the beauty of watching films – exciting, revealing and smart – just like we ourselves see it. That is why the most beautiful theatre in Riga, Splendid Palace, for the whole two days of the KIDS WEEKEND will belong to children and their families. The big screen will show the little viewers many inspiring stories and follow a variety of brave characters. Meanwhile, at the workshops that will take place at Cafe Film Noir kids will have an opportunity to discover, under the guidance of experienced film professionals, how the silver-screen magic is born. Like every proper film set, this one will not go without a break for a leisurely delicious meal, on both days prepared by our friends at the restaurant Tinto. KRISTĪNE GILUCE, CURATOR, KIDS WEEKEND
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
ANIMATION SHORTS RECOMMENDED AGE: 2+ ENDRE SKANDFER
THE TEENY WEENY FO
France / 2015 / 9' / animation
France, Belgium / 2015 / 7' / animation
SCRIPT Sylwia Szkiladz, Aline Quertain, MUSIC Timothée Jolly, PROD. Corinne Destombes, Arnaud Demuynck, Nicolas Burlet, COMP.& SALES Folimage
SCRIPT Clémentine Robach, MUSIC Falter Bramnk, PROD. Arnaud Demuynck, COMP. Les Films du Nord, SALES Studio Wasia
In a lush garden a little girl meets a tiny fox. Soon they discover that watering makes not only plants but also other things grow.
It’s dinner time and everyone who lives in the house are anxiously waiting for their favourite cooking show to begin. Suddenly the power goes out! But the neighbours take it easy as they decide to prepare a joint dinner in the backyard.
MIRIAMI KODUTU KOER
LILI BØRSTER TÆNDER
DEN VESLE GRÅ ULVEN. EN VINTERHISTORIE
Norway / 2016 / 10' / animation SCRIPT Endre Lund Eriksen, CAM. Sunit Parekh, MUSIC Sindre Hotvedt, PROD. Merete Korsberg Dalsbø, Endre Lund Eriksen, COMP.& SALES Fabelfjord AS Friends Bulder and Modika’s snowball fight is interrupted by the quiet Lex who invited Modika to watch snowflakes. The naughty Bulder does everything to get his friend’s attention back.
MIRIAM’S STRAY DOG
LE RENARD MINUSCULE
LILI BRUSHES HER TEETH
LA SOUPE AU CAILLOU
THE LITTLE GRAY WOLFEY
Estonia / 2015 / 5' / animation
Denmark, Great Britain /2015 / 7' / animation
Norway / 2016 / 6' / animation
SCRIPT Leelo Tungal, Peep Pedmanson, MUSIC Tiit Kikas, PROD. Kerdi Oengo, Andrus Raudsalu, COMP.& SALES Nukufilm
SCRIPT Kim Fupz Aakeson, MUSIC Tanera Dawkins, PROD. Marie Bro, SALES Dansk Tegnefilm
SCRIPT, ANIMATOR Natalia Malykhina, MUSIC Mattis Sørum, PROD. Natalia Malykhina, COMP.& SALES Ulvenfilm
Miriam and her family are building a snowman. They are watched by a stray dog that seems to like the snowman. The kids let the dog inside to warm, but the next morning its owner appears.
The three-year-old Lili is learning to brush her teeth. Together with her loyal friend, Woofy the dog, they go to the bathroom, find the toothpaste and begin diligently brushing everything that comes to their attention forgetting about the most obvious – their teeth.
The winter is long and cold, and the little wolf has it tough. Soon, however, he comes across something miraculous in the woods. This unexpected discovery makes the winter pass much faster.
GETTING DRESSED CAN BE FUN UNE AUTRE PAIRE DE MANCHES
France, Belgium / 2015 / 6' / animation SCRIPT Samuel Guénolé, MUSIC Falter Bramnk, PROD. Arnaud Demuynck, COMP. Les Films du Nord, SALES Studio Wasia Grownups think getting dressed is easy. Little Arthur begs to differ – in his imagination it is a wild adventure.
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
UNDER THE SUN
Latvia / 2016 / 9' / animation SCRIPT, ART, CAM., ANIM. Signe Birkova, MUSIC Ernests Ansons, PROD. Jānis Putniņš, COMP.&SALES Camera Obscura Signe Birkova’s experimental animation tells a story about a cowboy trying to navigate an urban landscape. The man’s journey to the city is interrupted by a brutal force. While he has lost his senses his consciousness is confronted by the unconscious in which, transformed into a black marionette, the cowboy lives though a painful process of redemption. The film’s material consists of a 16mm film, plus fragments of Super-8 footage; the shooting process involved using the cameras ‘Bolex’, ‘Kranogorsk’ and ‘Nizo’ as well as natural materials such as salt, leather, ash, earth, various fluids, timber, minerals, fire, clay, wax, feathers, ‘fool’s gold’, crystals, shungite, butterflies, horns, a chicken’s leg, cosmic eruptions, urban and pastoral artefacts, and much more. No computer-generated effects were used in the film.
Latvia, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic / 2015 / 106' / documentary
Latvia, Poland, Estonia / 2015 / 96' / feature
SCRIPT Laila Pakalniņa, CAM. Wojciech Staroń, CAST Wiktor Zborowski, Vilis Daudziņš, Andris Keišs, Antons Georgs Grauds, Liena Šmukste, MUSIC Vestards Šimkus, PROD. Laila Pakalniņa, Małgorzata Staroń, Kaspar Kallas, COMP. Kompānija Hargla (Latvia), CO-PROD. Staron-Film (Poland), Miracle Worker (Poland), Digitaalne Sputnik (Estonia), SALES Dragon Horse Films
SCRIPT Vitaly Mansky, CAM. Alexandra Ivanova, MUSIC Kārlis Auzāns, PROD. Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda, Simone Baumann, Natalia Manskaya, Petr Kubica, COMP. Studio Vertov, SALES Deckert Distribution This is a story of a perfect life in a perfect country. This is a story of how this perfect life is supplied with perfect young people. It shows how much effort the people of North Korea invest in keeping the perfect order. Every single Korean sacrifices his life for this cause. The film follows the process of the creation of the perfect world. The protagonist, a daughter of a perfect couple, is about to join the Children’s Union. Her parents work at perfect companies, live in a perfect apartment that is located in the centre of a perfect city. Soon she will become a part of a perfect society forever under the limelight of their leader’s figure. The film’s crew went twice to North Korea, and was constantly accompanied by various officials who tried to control the filming process. But the camera remained running also when the moment was not supposed to be filmed, which made for a unique material for a documentary. The film received awards for best documentary at DocAviv Film festival in Israel, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Millennium Docs Against Gravity, and Trieste International Film Festival.
In Soviet mythology there was a popular tale about a boy, Pavlik Morozov, who informed on his father who was discontent with the Soviet government, which resulted in Pavlik’s being murdered by his own family. For Soviet propaganda Morozov’s ‘feat’ was a clear example of how any Soviet citizen should live: become an informer whatever the price. In this film, more than 80 years after Pavlik, the boy is named Jānis; he lives in Soviet Latvia, in the kolkhoz called ‘Ausma’. His father is an enemy of the Soviet state who is planning a conspiracy; the son gives him away, and the father takes revenge. Who is the right one here? The film shows how a ‘twisted’ mind is dangerous in any times. Even nowadays. The film’s cinematographer Wojciech Staron received an award at the Tallinn International Film Festival Black Nights (2015). In 2016, the film was also awarded a prize for the visual solution at Zerkalo festival, named after the great director Andrei Tarkovsky’s film The Mirror. The film is longlisted in this year’s European Film Awards Feature Film Selection among the 50 best European films to be competing for the award.
LIELAIS KRISTAPS. SELECTION
Honouring the work and involvement of our colleagues from the team behind the Latvian national film award and festival Lielais Kristaps, we have created our own selection of Latvian films to offer to both those viewers who have missed what the festival had to offer as well as the foreign guests of the Riga IFF. The nine films in our selection present perhaps a subjective yet still a wide enough cinematic landscape: we have strong documentary films, aesthetically and content-wise completely different, yet equally influential features, experimental or simply curious animations. What our chosen authors have in common is that they try not to get into the mainstream or figure out an approach to a mass audience (although many of them have done exactly that without any special effort), but simply create their own films telling stories that could not be left untold.
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
WAITING FOR THE NEW YEAR
ES ESMU ŠEIT
GAIDOT JAUNO GADU
Latvia / 2016 / 106' / feature
Latvia / 2015 / 55' / documentary
Latvija /2016 / 8' / animation
SCRIPT Renārs Vimba, CAM. Arnar Thorisson, CAST Elīna Vaska, Andžejs Jānis Lilientāls, Edgars Samītis, Zane Jančevska, Ruta Birgere, MUSIC Ēriks Ešenvalds, PROD. Alise Ģelze, Aija Bērziņa. COMP. & SALES Tasse Film
DIR. Jānis Putniņš, SCRIPT Jānis Putniņš, Pauls Bankovskis, CAM. Andrejs Rudzāts, MUSIC Ivans Pavlovs, PROD. Kaspars Rolšteins, Elīna Rode. EDIT. Andris Grants, COMP.& SALES Film Angels Studio
ART, SCRIPT Vladimir Leshchov, ANIM. Līga Skirmane, Vladimir Leshchov, Kristīne Zvirbule, MUSIC Pierre Yves Drapeau, PROD. Vladimir Leshchov. COMP.& SALES Lunohod
When he was twenty, Ilya (Elijahu) Rips, a mathematics student at the University of Latvia, tried to burn himself alive in central Riga. It was a protest against Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. Now, for more than forty years he has been living in Israel; he is an orthodox Jew considered one of the most acclaimed and original mathematicians in the world. Yet he doesn’t know were to stop in his scientific work either. Rips’ attempts to decipher hidden messages in the Holy Scripture continue to divide both scientific as well as religious communities.
A lonesome streetsweeper’s letter written on the first day of a new year. A year spent watching the seasons change and dreaming of a New Year’s miracle.
HOW I QUIT SMOKING
This is a moving tale about Raja, 17, and her brother Robis, 12, who are forced to live with their grandmother after the death of their father and the departure of their mother who has gone abroad in search of work. The grandmother wants to sell the country property their father used to own, but the situation takes a different course after the grandmother accidentally dies. Raja and Robis are faced with a choice: either report her death and submit to a life in an orphanage or hide the fact and fight for their land and family. Raja becomes the breadwinner as she also experiences her first love.
LOMU SPĒLES METAFOORIDE PILDID PRETENDERS
KĀ ES ATMETU SMĒĶĒŠANU
Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania / 2016 / 90' / feature
Latvia / 2016 / 11' / animation
Latvia / 2016 / 8,5' / animation
SCRIPTS Andris Feldmanis, Livia Ulman, CAM. Erik Põllumaa, CAST Mirtel Pohla, Juhan Ulfsak, Mari Abel, Priit Võigemast, MUSIC Andris Dzenitis, PROD. Riina Sildos, Roberts Vinovskis, Uljana Kim, COMP. Amrion (Estonia) with Locomotive Productions (Latvia), Studio Uljana Kim (Lithuania), SALES WIDE International Sales
SCRIPT, ART, PROD. Jurģis Krāsons, CAM. Mārtiņš Veļa, VOICES Gints Grāvelis, Sandra Kļaviņa, Laila Kirmuška, Andris Bērziņš, Santa Didžus, ANIM. Marina Trēde, MUSIC Andris Barons, COMP.& SALES Krasivo Limited
SCRIPT, ART, ANIM. Kārlis Vītols, MUSIC Jēkabs Nīmanis, PROD. Līga Gaisa, SALES Air Productions
Intent on repairing a rift in their relationship, Anna and Juhan retreat to a seaside house lent to them by well-heeled friends. After witnessing an accident on rocky shore, they take in a wounded woman and her husband – a couple they find they have a lot in common with. Anna and Juhan begin to pretend they own the house, engaging their guests in a game of domination that propels their relationship to the brink of destruction.
RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
At the end of this film someone will quit smoking. But in the beginning one Scandinavian woman almost died because the main character lit a cigarette in an airport.
A story of a small Minotaur who tries to find playmates in the endless labyrinth while his Dad is at work. He only manages to meet mythological characters busy with their own ambitions.
On the set of "A Limousine the Colour of a Midsummer's Eve" (1981), photo Guntis Grunte (Riga Film Museum archive)
ENCOUNTERING STREIČS There are films which some celebrations cannot be imagined without; which add to a collective understanding what any particular celebration is all about. Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) has long since become a Christmas movie even outside the US; similarly, Eldar Ryazanov’s two-part TV movie “The Fatal Irony” (1975/76) in Soviet Union was a regular New Year’s companion which still even Latvian TV channels will surely broadcast on the New Year’s eve or the first of January. In Latvia we celebrate summer solstice and we celebrate it with Jānis Streičs A Limousine the Colour of a Midsummer's Eve (1981). The ‘Limousine’, a white car won in a lottery by auntie Mirta, becomes the catalyst of the relationship amongst Mirta’s relatives and neighbours, bringing out hidden emotions and passions. The car, at the time desired wanted by many, possessed only by some,
is an object that precisely describes the age and of which Streičs has many in each of his 22 features. Streičs, who comes from the eastern part of the country, Latgale, was born in 1936 and began his journey to cinema through the theatre graduation from the theatre and film department of Latvian State Conservatory led by the director Aleksandrs Leimanis (1913-1990), whose assistant he soon became at Riga Film Studios. Several years later, in 1967, together with the director Ēriks Lācis he filmed his debut “Captain Enriko’s Watch”, and his first own film followed soon (Shoot Instead of Me, 1970). Since then new films appear regularly telling many stories, in different genres and of different ages. The ‘lighter’ films are known to many, while there are also films that show a different side of Streičs, like, for example, “Carmen Horrendum”, from 1989, which is included in the festival programme. In early twentieth century first theoretical debates appeared of whether cinema is the sixth (or perhaps the seventh) art, or simply a combination of existing arts. The issue is no longer debatable; cinema has long since developed its own language, a form of audiovisual communication skilfully mastered by professional
authors, including Streičs. It’s very interesting to observe how Streičs uses spectacle as a constantly present element of his cinematic language (theatre, animation, the process of viewing a film), distancing from a character’s actual environment into an imaginary world. The TV movie “The Theatre” (1978) what happens in the films is directly related to the theatre; “Remember or Forget” (1981) a short fragment from a theatre productions plays out significant elements of the plot; “The Mystery of the Old Country House” (2000) is about the process of shooting a film; “Shoot Instead of Me” (1970) the main character is film mechanic during the silent era of the early twentieth century; “Passion of Others” (1983) includes a country theatre play after the war; in “Captain Enriko Watch” children watch an educational film about the harm of smoking; “The Child of Man” contain several visions, and so on. These elements make the films multi-layered; several narrative levels form one against the other, saturated with vivid characters, catch-phrases and details of the age which with time grow with new interpretations. This is the director’s eightieth anniversary; this is why this year has been called the year of Jānis Streičs’ films, and the Riga International Film Festival is of course joining in. ZANE BALČUS, DIRECTOR OF RIGA FILM MUSEUM
Photo: Guntis Grunte (Riga Film Museum archive) JĀNIS STREIČS
Tatyana Cherkovskaya, Marina Kalmikova, Valentina Telichkina, Romualds Ancāns, MUSIC Mārtiņš Brauns. COMP. Rīgas Kinostudija, SALES Latvijas Valsts kinofotofonodokumentu arhīvs
Latvia / 1989 / 96'. / 35 mm / feature
This is not a typical Streičs film full of humour and sentiment. Carmen Horrendum, or Carmen the Terrible, is a psychological drama. It tells a story of very young women in the time after the
SCRIPT Ingrīda Sokolova, CAM. Miks Zvirbulis. CAST Ilona Ozola, Vizma Kvēpa, Yekaterina Vasilyeva,
war when hunting down ‘enemies of the state’ was commonplace. The horrific war has crippled both their bodies as well as their souls; the hospital they are at is the ground where characters collide, rumours are spread, and relationships become ever more complicated. However, the authors insist that the woman remains a woman despite everything – a creature yearning for love, understanding, trust, and tenderness. RIGA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL