This year the Riga International Film Festival will take place at the beginning of September. In the span of 10 days the festival will feature 8 film programmes alongside an industry section with educational and networking events, as well as public discussions and panels. All in the heart of the Latvian capital and the legendary cinema house Splendid Palace as well as additional venues.
Starting now the festival already offers EARLY BIRD TICKETS – packages of 10 tickets are available in limited quantity and for a limited time only right here on the website.
Although most of the film programme is still shaping, we can share some of the content from some of the programmes…
Some of the films from the programme RIGA IFF SELECTION:
LADY MACBETH The most famous Nikolai Leskov’s novel – Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District – this time interpreted by William Oldroyd, British theatre director making his debut in feature film, and Florence Pugh, young actress with a mesmeric performance. Since its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival the film is characterized as “radical”. Director says in his interview to Guardian: “We’re used to so much literature of that period where women either suffer in silence or run away. Katherine full-bloodedly takes her destiny in both hands. It’s in the Jacobean tragic tradition.”
WIENER DOG. Todd Solondz, the author of “Happiness” and “Palindromes”, is back with four stories tied together through humaneness, absurdity, Americana, irony, awkwardness and… a dachshund. The film also stars Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Julie Delpy and Ellen Burstyn.
I CALLED HIM MORGAN. Filmmaker who pulled the heartstrings of jazz lovers ten years ago already with his documentary “My Name is Albert Ayler” last year presented at the Venice Film Festival a controversial story about one of the most renowned jazz trumpeters in fifties and sixties – Lee Morgan. He was shot to death by his wife at a New York jazz club one snowy night in February 1972.
ENDLESS POETRY. Frank Herbert’s “Dune” remained unfinished by the Chilean director of Jewish-Ukrainian descent Alejandro Jodorowsky, however his name is well known to several generations enchanted by his cult films “The Sacred Mountain” (La montaña sagrada) and “The Mole” (El Topo). The eccentric old master continues to portray his own life in cinema. The cinematographic autobiography was launched with “The Dance of Reality” (La danza de la realidad). The new film tells about his expectations as an artist in the Chile of 1940s where he gets acquainted with the young Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra. They later became giants of the 20th century Spanish literature.
This film, premiered at the Cannes film festival, is a spectacular homage to Chile’s cultural heritage in the arts and a never-ending quest for beauty and truth.
SAFARI. Ulrich Seidl, the awarded director of the trilogy “Paradise” (Paradies), turns his sharp eye to the horrors of hunting tourism in Namibia. The grotesque that’s inherent to Seidl and flourished in his films about sex tourism, is brought to a more sophisticated level: the Europeans – “canned hunters” in Africa – willingly pose to camera and give interviews about their political opinions, making this a fantastically weird set documentary in which the fact that it’s set makes it even more real.
More films in the programme will be announced as the development of the festival progresses.
Programme NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS that is being created in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as the embassies of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, will present a selection of remarkable films of the last two years that surprisingly haven’t been screened in Latvia: 1001 GRAMS tells about the relationship of a scientist with the standards of a kilo, love, repentance and loss; BLIND – contrasting human attempts to hide from the world, unaware of the truth that the most dangerous threats hide right inside us.
More Nordic films will be announced as the development of the festival progresses.
Programme for the whole family – KIDS WEEKEND – will showcase both full-length feature films and short animation films for children. One of the titles of this programme, just awarded at the Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival in Norway, is CLOUDBOY – a twelve-year-old town dweller explores his roots in Lapland, among the Sami people who adjust their rhythm of life to the reindeer herding.
One of the central events during the first weekend of the festival will be the premier of PIGTAIL AND MR. SLEEPLESSNESS directed by Edmunds Jansons, animation studio Atom Art. It’s a story about a girl Pigtail and her best friend Mr. Sleeplessness. They hatch plans to regain the attention of Pigtail’s parents after her brother is born. There will be a discussion with the filmmakers and some nice surprises as well.
The other feature and animation films will be announced as the development of the festival progresses.
The documentary film programme ARTODCFEST/RIGA that’s supervised within the RIGA IFF by the Russian independent film festival “Artdocfest” and its director and producer Vitaly Mansky, will present a title just awarded as the “Best film” at the Vilnius International Film Festival’s competition programme “Baltic Gaze”. WOMAN AND THE GLACIER is a meditative story about glaciologist Aušra Revutaitė, the Tian Shan mountain range and time.
More films in this programme as well as the discussions with filmmakers will be announced as the development of the festival progresses.