CANNES: After hosting last year’s EFA Awards in Riga, Latvia arrives in Cannes to present its filmmakers and its international co-production rebates that are increasingly attracting foreign productions to Latvia.
Join the Latvians at their stand at Village International, Pavilion 221, Pantiero
Cannes: Latvia returns with stylish pavilion and increased production slate
Following its turn as the host of the European Film Awards in December, Latvia returns to the Croisette with a stylish pavilion and renewed state support, both for Cannes and for its increased coproduction budget.
Having benefited from welcoming Europe’s top filmmakers and of Riga having been the European Capital of Culture, the country is very aware of its increased visibility and wants to keep it that way. A collaboration between the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Riga Film Fund and the Latvian Film Producers Association has given birth to the stylish black and white pavilion. It is lit up by brightly coloured ‘picture frames’ – screens showcasing the best of Latvian films and locations. For the second year running, it is supported by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. As Dita Rietuma, the head of the National Film Centre of Latvia comments, “the industry events and workshops we organized leading up to the EFA really had a great impact and not only in the field of professional networking and inviting foreign guests as well as producers. They also helped establish the Latvian industry as being perceived as part of European film culture. An additional benefit is that it made Latvia’s politicians more aware of the needs of our film industry.” The Latvian pavilion hits the Croisette with the results of fresh rounds for its two successful cash rebates for international coproductions. The National Film Centre of Latvia just gave green light to four projects for a total of €404,409. The Riga Film Fund supported six projects for a total of €573,335 so far this year. On a creative level, Latvian films have been thriving internationally, with feature-length animation film and Latvia’s Oscar entry Rocks in My Pocket by Signe Baumane being distributed by Zeitgeist Films in the US, Juris Kursietis’s Modris premiering at TIFF, picking up a special mention in San Sebastian, Andris Gauja’s The Lesson premiering in Montreal and Escaping Riga by Davis Simanis being selected by IDFA. Escaping Riga is made entirely out of recreated historic footage. Rietuma sees a handful of similar strong new Latvian films coming up that deal with Latvia’s Eastern- influenced past as the country looks West for its future. Director Davis Simanis returns with My Peaceful Place of Relax, a feature film starring German actor Ulrich Matthes. Similarly, Chronicles of Melanie by Viestur Kairish features Swiss actress Sabine Timoteo. Latvia’s veteran filmmaker Laila Pakalnina completed Dawn and Aigars Grauba shot King’s Ring.
Riga City Council Co-Financing Programme Riga Film FundRaatslaukums 1, RigaTel+371 6703 7659Contacts:Dace Lesinska, Project Manager, Riga Film Fund
Film Producer’s Association of LatviaElizabetes str 49, Riga, LatviaTel+371 2646 6014Contacts:Aija Berzina, Head of Latvian Producers AssociationIngrida Nagle, Latvian Film Producers Association