RIGA: Latvian cinemas saw a dramatic increase in admissions for European films in 2014.
European-produced films attracted 493 570 admissions in Latvia in 2014. This sets a new record - it is the first time in decades that European films have attracted such a large public. There was an almost twofold increase admissions for European films in Latvia in 2014 comparied to 2013 In the past year, 210 European-produced films were released in Latvian cinemas, with Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller Lucy topping the charts.
There was also an increased interest in Latvian-produced films in 2014 with 175 207 admissions for domestic productions, 31 828 more than in 2013. The most popular Latvian film of 2014 was director Andra Gaujas’ debut feature Izlaiduma gads / The Lesson, with 34 438 admissions. The film is a Latvian, Russian coproduction produced by Riverbed and Mojo Raiser Production in Latvia and Horosho Production in Russia.
“Visibility and understanding of European cinema has been spurred on by the fact that Riga was both the European Culture of Capital in 2014 and the host of the European Film Awards last December. While a large part of Europe is unfortunately seeing a drop in attendance figures for European films, Latvian audiences have managed to actively contribute to the promotion of European cinema. This is certainly a trend we hope to see continue,” commented Dita Rietuma, Director of the National Film Centre of Latvia.