RIGA: Admissions to Latvian films reached 290,000 in the first half of 2018, marking an already record year for domestic cinema. In 2017 admissions to domestic films were 194,000.
The market share of domestic films reached an unprecedented 24% in the first half of 2018, compared to 7.84% in 2017.
There are four Latvian films in top ten, taking first and second places, and leaving behind Hollywood hits such as Fifty Shades Freed.
The most popular film with 81,789 admissions is Aigars Grauba’s historic drama The Pagan King, produced by Platforma Filma. It is followed by Oskars Rupenheit’s The Foundation of Criminal Excellence with 74,347 admissions, produced by COMETE Films, OrderOrder and Jura Podnieka Studija, and financed by crowd Sourcing.
Two other domestic films in top ten are part of the special programme Latvian Films for the Latvian Centenary, which given a boost in local cinema. Madara Dišlere’s family adventure film Paradise ’89, produced by Tasse Film, is ranked 5th with 53,083 admissions, while Ināra Kolmane’s Bille, produced by Studija Devini, is number nine with 39,778 admissions.
“We must remember that the increase in domestic cinema market share is based not only on emotional grounds”, Dita Rietuma, Head of the National Film Centre of Latvia, told FNE. “It is very essential that due to the special programme Latvian Films for the Latvian Centenary, the state funding for the film industry has increased significantly. Thus the audience receives more films and more variety, and more people can find a movie to relate to.”
To celebrate the country’s centenary the National Film Centre of Latvia has supported the production of 16 feature films with an additional budget of 7.5 m EUR.