This shall be the third year of the Riga International Film Festival.
The festival was launched in 2014 – the year Riga became the European Capital of Culture – alongside the European film awards ceremony that took place in the city, thus seizing the momentum to present Riga as an important cultural hotspot of the region.
In it’s second year the festival stood firmly on it’s own, launched it’s own international competition – the first of it’s kind in Latvia, and developed a comprehensive programme structure that paints a wholesome picture of the most daring and important European cinema today and allows for successful curation of Latvian film within a larger context. Riga IFF focuses on promoting debate and becoming a meeting point for local and visiting audiences and film-makers, so that the festival films become an event beyond just getting to see a great story unfold on the big screen.
In 2016 the Riga International Film Festival starts on October 13 and runs until October 23. The festival’s home will be the legendary Splendid Palace, which will host most of the programmes, while the rest of its venues – including the two restaurants Tinto and Cafe Film Noir – shall accommodate lectures, conferences, discussions, soirees, as well as family events. The festival screenings shall also take place in Riga’s youngest small cinema – the cozy Kino Bize – and the popular K.Suns. All cinemas are located on the same street (the architecturally rich Elizabetes street), which will make it easier in terms of logistics and create an atmosphere where a whole street in the city is going to be dedicated to film culture.
This year the festival will maintain it’s previous eight-programme structure, incorporating the collaboration with one of Russia’s most prominent documentary film festivals Artdocfest, a joint programme with the national award Lielais Kristaps, a Nordic film panorama NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS developed together with all the Nordic embassies as well as the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, and the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; the family programme KIDS WEEKEND; the retrospective programme IN KINO VERITAS, which will focus on non-narrative cinema to try decipher the ways how our film-watching habits form, a challenge for a discussion on the very grounds on which cinematic language is built. The SHORT RIGA programme will showcase short films, experimental cinema and music video, while the RIGA IFF SELECTION – most important new cinema from Europe and the world. The festival will also host it’s second international competition. Off screen the festival will also continue developing it’s professional commitments with the EUROPEAN SCRIPT MEETING, as well as numerous analytical and creative workshops for film students, discussion panels, national premieres, parties, Q&As, lectures on film and culture.