From its beginnings in Latvia and using various instruments, Artdocfest/Riga has been trying to support various independent cinema projects, coming from post-soviet, as well as Eastern European countries where the main political elites are anti-democratic. Together with Baltic Sea Docs we organized panel discussions with different auteurs. The aim of these conversations and discussions – to bring these auteurs into the international movie making industry. The war in Ukraine, which was begun by Russia on 24th February 2022 has given a new context to our optimistic ideas and plans. Baltic Sea Docs has changed their application rules and does not take in applications coming from Russian or Belarusian filmmakers.
However, based on the principles of democracy in Latvia, respect for human rights and liberty around the world, we take responsibility to support independent artists from countries where people with authoritarian tendencies are in power, even more so from countries where ruling powers implement dictatorship on their people. But, we are ready to support only those auteurs who, with their works, are ready to reflect real life without censorship and without compromises.
From 156 works which were applied from filmmakers in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and other regions of the world, we choose 11. The full list is here. Jury: Filip Remunda, Alina Rudnitskaya, Marianna Kaat, Guntis Trekteris and Vitaly Mansky.
These 11 movies tell a story about a world which is ravaged by war. About the people who have the power to fight and oppose it. About people who were overcome by it. About the consequences of war both locally, as well as the consequences which are like a bomb with a fuse about to go out. A bomb which is left for the generations to come. These works of cinema give important testaments of their time. It is important for us to see these testaments as not to be overcome by the blast.
Pitching Sessions of Artdocfest/Riga are financed by various international funds and TV channel Current Time. All 10 finalists of these sessions will get grants to make their intended movies.