This year, the Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will be bringing audiences and film professionals together for the 10th time. The festival, which is the biggest celebration of cinema in Latvia, will take place on 12–22 October. In its four competition sections, RIGA IFF aims to highlight bold and innovative films for keen and inquisitive minds. Filmmakers are invited to submit their work to these sections from 15 March 2023.
Juries made up of a mix of international and local experts will select the winners of the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries, the best international and national short film, and the best music video from the Baltics. All competitions are open to submissions with no restrictions on format (narrative, documentary, animation, or hybrid etc.) or genre. To read more about deadlines and the rules and regulations for each competition, please visit enter.rigaiff.lv. The deadline to submit international short films is 31 May, but other entries can still be submitted until 30 June. All submitters will be notified of the status of their applications by 10 September 2023 at the latest and the winners will be publicly announced at the Awards Ceremony on the last Saturday of the festival. RIGA IFF will not accept films produced or co-produced by the Russian Federation and/or Belarus.
Sonora Broka, the curator of the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition and the festival’s creative director, searches for new forms of cinematic expression and distinctive visions when curating the section. The selected works reflect the current mood and stylistic shifts in the cinema of the region, at the same time showcasing the radically different perspectives, schools, traditions, cinematic languages, and visions that come from different shores of the same sea. Katarzyna Machalek and Lukasz Machowski’s Day and Night had its world premiere in the competition in 2022, and the main prize went to Hlynur Pálmason’s Godland, which was also the most-viewed film of the festival. The winner of the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition receives the festival’s main prize, the Golden Rooster, and a EUR 4,000 cash prize.
Léo Soesanto, a Paris-based curator and journalist, continues to manage both RIGA IFF Short Film Competitions – International and National. These competitions provide a platform for up-and-coming filmmakers and are a celebration of diverse intonations, forms, and genres. The short films will be screened in programmes put together by Soesanto, where each film will heat up on the screen like a small kernel of corn and explode into a popcorn-like cloud of reflections, emotions, laughter, or tears. The best international short film will receive a cash prize of EUR 2,000 and the best national short film will receive EUR 1,000.
Agnese Logina is the creator and curator of the RIGA IFF Baltic Music Video Competition and continues to develop the programme, which is unique in the Baltics. The section screens the best videos of the past year in the opulent, century-old Large Hall at the Splendid Palace cinema that seats more than 500 people. Alongside the screening of these exploratory films, the creators and jury are invited on stage for informal discussions to provide a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process as they search for new means of expression. The winner of the Baltic Music Video Competition will receive a cash prize of EUR 1,000.
Submissions for RIGA IFF SHOWCASE and SHORT RIGA TEST SCREENINGS, which are both part of the festival’s industry event RIGA IFF FORUM, will open in June. Feature films, short films, and TV series that are in post-production, or have just been completed are eligible. Submissions from Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States will be considered, and the presentations will be attended by international experts, representatives from film distribution companies, producers, and festival curators. RIGA IFF SHOWCASE is organised by long-standing RIGA IFF curator and film critic Kristīne Simsone, and the SHORT RIGA TEST SCREENINGS will be moderated by film critic, publicist, and curator Laurence Reymond.
RIGA IFF is celebrating its 10th edition in 2023. The festival continues to grow after last year’s record-breaking 25,000 visitors showing that the effects of the pandemic on the domestic market have been overcome and proving RIGA IFF’s competitiveness as a relevant cultural event. RIGA IFF receives support from the State Culture Capital Foundation, the Riga City Council, the National Film Centre, and Creative Europe MEDIA.