07-04-2020

National Film Centre of Latvia Expands Accessibility of Films Online

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Paradise '89 on filmas.lv Paradise '89 on filmas.lv

RIGA: The National Film Centre of Latvia has made its database of national films available to schoolchildren and the general public during the COVID-19 crisis.

The portal filmas.lv, the main national database on cinema and a viewing platform for Latvian films, is administered by the National Film Centre of Latvia. The access to content varies for the general public and libraries and schools. As a response to the closure of schools and the introduction of distance learning, the National Film Centre has introduced changes to the access to content. The part of the content aimed specifically at teachers and pupils is now open to everyone in Latvia.

Dita Rietuma, the director of the National Film Centre, told FNE, “We are grateful to the Latvian film producers who agreed to participate in our project and made their films accessible free of charge for the teachers, schoolchildren and also the wider audience. The project “Kino skolās” (Films for Schools) on filmas.lv has been active for several years and is popular among teachers. During this crisis we felt the urgency to help teachers and schoolchildren to adapt to the distance learning, therefore we increased the number of titles available for the audience during the era of social distancing. At the same time, filmmakers will also benefit from the royalties received from viewing their films, as the Film Centre covers the copyright licence for them.”   

The content includes not just films, but also learning materials. The materials are prepared by film critics and historians together with pedagogy experts, and are aimed at specific age groups and curriculum subjects. The 44 films include Latvian classics and the most recent works produced within the Latvian Centenary film programme.

This is just one of the measures to support local filmmakers in the current situation of the pandemic. The Latvian government has created a one billion EUR fund for the support of businesses, for which production companies are eligible. Another support scheme is aimed at self-employed individuals, who can apply for benefits at the time when no income can be generated from their regular work.