On February 20th, 2023., press conference for Artdocfest/Riga was held in the Art Centre “Zuzeum”, where the full program of this year’s festival was revealed. This year the festival (2nd – 9th of March) will offer almost 50 movies in 4 different programs.
Program of the Artdocfest/Riga was presented by the Producer of the festival – Vaiva Bauze. During the festival there will be a chance to see movies in two competition programs – “Baltic Focus” and “Artdocfest Open”. Competition program “Baltic Focus” puts emphasis on movies, which have been made in Baltic Sea region countries and highlights important topics and documentary filmmaking tendencies in the region. Many of the movies included in the program have taken part in international film festivals, having received awards and nominations. Such movies as, “Mariupolis 2” by Mantas Kvedaravičius, which in 2022. won European Film Award (“European Documentary‘) as well as Mantas Kvedaravičius was awarded the “Golden Eye – Special Mention” award at Cannes Film Festival; “Apolonia, Apolonia” by Lea Glob which won “Best Feature-Length Documentary” award at Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival; “Nelly and Nadine” by Magnus Gertten, which has taken part in Perlen - Queer Film Festival, DocsBarcelona, Docville, as well as Berlin International Film Festival; and many others. Program “Baltic Focus” includes films made by Latvian filmmakers: “Girls of 1960” by Una Celma, “Desired Child” by Hilarija Ločmele and “Everything Will Be Alright” by Staņislavs Tokalovs. You can see the full program of “Baltic Focus” here.
Program “Artdocfest Open” will offer 17 documentaries, which represent auteurs from many different regions of the world. Movies included in the program highlights tendencies of documentary cinema now. Movies which represent “Artdocfest Open” have had screenings in many prestigious international film festivals, they have also been praised by critics and awards. Two of the films of “Artdocfest Open” have been nominated for an Academy Award in 2023. – “A House Made of Splinters” by Simon Lereng Wilmont (movie is also included in “Baltic Focus” competition program), as well as “Haul Out” by Maxim Arbugaev and Evgenia Arbugaeva. Many of the films selected for “Artdocfest Open” competition are dedicated to the topic of war in Ukraine, such as, “AWAY” by Ruslan Fedotow, “We Will Not Fade Away” by Alisa Kovalenko and “When Spring Came To Bucha” by Mila Teshaieva and Marcus Lenz. You can see the full program of “Artdocfest Open” here.
The jury of “Baltic Focus” program this year is represented by polish documentary cinema director, cinematographer and producer Paweł Łoziński, co-founder and member of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian Film Academy and member of the European Film Academy Julia Sinkevych as well as documentary cinema and documentary animation director Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen. The jury of “Artdocfest Open” is represented by internationally renowned Lithuanian theatre and cinema actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite, director and long time Editor in Chief of the magazine Rīgas Laiks Uldis Tīrons and writer, journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky.
This year Artdocfest/Riga will offer two out-of-competition programs – “War Before War” and “ArtDoc&ProArt”. Program “War Before War” is dedicated to documentary cinema and documentary filmmakers, who saw the war in Ukraine before 24th of February, 2022. The stories of these documentaries will introduce us to a world and people who have always been with us, but haven’t been properly heard. This includes films made by internationally renowned filmmakers: “War for Peace” by Yevhen Titarenko, “The Distant Barking of Dogs” by Simon Lereng Wilmont, “Mariupolis” by Mantas Kvedaravičius, “The Earth is Blue as an Orange” by Iryna Tsilyk and others. More about the program “War Before War” here.
The program “ArtDoc&ProArt” will emphasise the word “Art” which is mentioned in the name of the festival. Movies included in the program “ArtDoc&ProArt” will be showcased in the Art Centre “Zuzeum”. The works included in this program looks at relationships between art and documentary cinema. For example, “The body of the war” by Viktoriia Khoroshylova, “Sex Relish (a solo orgasm)” by Ananda Safo, as well as “The Camera of Doctor Morris” by Itamar Alcalay and Meital Zvieli. More about the program “ArtDoc&ProArt” here.
Festival will offer several Special Screenings, including the Closing Ceremony on 8th of March, when the movie “Eastern Front” by Vitaly Mansky and Yevhen Titarenko, which had its premiere in 73rd International Berlin Film Festival, will have its Latvian premiere. This film reveals the experiences of these young men over six months full of drama, despair, fear, hatred, bitterness, love, and, most importantly, faith in the victory of Ukraine. Special Screenings include the movie “Music under the Swastika – The Maestro and the Cellist of Auschwitz” by Christian Berger and “2020. On love and freedom” by Vitaly Mansky. More about the Special Screenings here.
Festival Artdocfest/Riga will hold the traditional Symposium sessions and discussions. This year the Curator of Symposium Rita Ruduša invites documentary filmmakers and cinema theorists to discuss and talk about the questions and choices, which are and need to be met by filmmakers, to tell a compelling story in time, when the heart of Europe is ravaged by war and the continent is facing a continued humanitarian crisis.
You can buy tickets to IDFF Artdocfest/Riga at the cinema Splendid Palace, as well as on the homepage of the cinema here.
International Documentary Film Festival Artdocfest/Riga is supported by the State Cultural Capital Foundation, National Film Centre of Latvia and other international foundations. Festival partners are US TV channel “Current Time TV”, German TV channel “Deutsche Welle”, cinema Splendid Palace, agency “LiveRiga”, internet site LSM.lv, internet site Delfi.lv, magazine “Kino raksti”, internet site “Meduza”, Artdoc.Media, art centre “Zuzeum”, corporation “Laima”.