Leo and Laurence

The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) is happy to announce that curators Léo Soesanto and Laurence Reymond will be joining the festival’s short film programme team this year. Soesanto and Reymond are both seasoned professionals who have worked at several world class film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Toronto International Film Festival. RIGA IFF is excited about the experience and expertise this collaboration will bring to the festival’s programme, but the ultimate winners will be the audience.

Anna Zača, the Founder and long-time Head Curator of SHORT RIGA, has chosen to leave the festival in order to focus on other creative pursuits. However, she leaves behind her a strong basis on which the festival’s short film programme, including both public and industry events, can be further developed. These will continue to be managed by Lauma Kaudzīte, the current RIGA IFF Short Film Coordinator.

Léo Soesanto was a member of the SHORT RIGA Competition jury last year and will this year work on both RIGA IFF Short Film Competition programmes – International and National – together with an international selection committee.

“Last year, I was a part of the SHORT RIGA jury and felt impressed by what Anna Zača and her selection committee had programmed – it was diverse, challenging, moving… When I received the opportunity to curate this short film programme, I agreed – it’s great to have a space like this to showcase national and international talents and give them exposure.

I’d like to treat the audience in Riga to a feast of moods, forms, and genres. Regardless, a film programme shouldn’t be a laundry list; the shorts should tell us something about our world, about the state of cinema,” states Léo.

Soesanto is a Paris-based film programmer and journalist who has written for publications such as Libération, Les Inrockuptibles, Vogue Paris, Premiere, and Grazia. He has extensive festival experience having been part of the feature film selection committee for the Critics’ Week sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival between 2009 and 2015. He also chaired the short film selection committee from 2017 to 2021. From 2016 to 2020, he was a film programmer at the Rotterdam Film Festival, which is a mecca for auteur cinema.

Laurence Reymond will work on the audience favourite Festival Darlings short film section as well as the SHORT RIGA Test Screenings section for the film industry together with Lauma Kaudzīte. She’s a film critic, publicist, and film programmer who has been working with publications such as Cinéastes, Fluctuat.net, and So Film since 2002. She was responsible for the Directors’ Fortnight short film programme at the Cannes Film Festival from 2012 to 2018 and curated the Québec City Film Festival in Canada for 7 years.

The RIGA IFF Short Film Competition will once again feature short films in a variety of genres from all over the world. They will compete for the RIGA IFF Silver Grass Snake Award and a number of cash prizes, as well as for a nomination to the European Film Academy’s (EFA) European Short Film 2023 Award. Submissions to all short film competitions will open on 22 March on the RIGA IFF website (rigaiff.lv).