When presenting one of the two Artdocfest/Riga competition programs – “Artdocfest/Open” – I can’t help but recall our pre-war history. Festival Artdocfest was created in a country which was and is sunk in anarchy. Now there is a new festival – Artdocfest/Riga. We organize this festival in a democratic Latvia and, in doing that, we broaden our horizons to cover not only social, political and economic topics relevant to Eastern Europe, but also those of a global relevance. I’m sure that the films which are included in the programme “Artdocfest Open” won’t leave any spectator indifferent.

It’s impossible not to feel sad about the fragile, young souls which have been unable to oppose the dictatorship (“How to Save a Dead Friend”). It’s impossible not to have compassion for people who have decided to take responsibility for their country, ignoring the indifference of the state (“Paradise”). And it is vital that we see the horrors which were endured by people of Bucha after Russia’s attack on Ukraine (“When Spring Came to Bucha”).

Artdocfest/Riga is a festival which showcases films from all over the world that have a potential of starting a conversation. Therefore, I hope that we can become one of the catalysts for such conversation in Latvia.

Viktorija Belopoļska
Curator of the Artdocfest Open competition