On 6 July, the world-famous Cannes Film Festival starts in France, and Latvia will take an active part in several film industry events, programmes and the film market.
Events of the Cannes Film Festival have changed considerably due to the pandemic. After 2020, when the festival was cancelled, just films selected for the competition were announced and the film market Marché du Film took place online in June, this year, the festival has moved from its traditional dates in May, but it will be held from 6 to 17 July (with some online elements), and a delegation from Latvia will be present.
Representatives of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), the National Film Centre of Latvia (NFC) and the Film Producers Association of Latvia will work in the traditional Latvian pavilion. The NFC has compiled and published the catalogue of the latest and upcoming Latvian films Films from Latvia 2020-2023 and the overview Latvian Film Industry 2021 especially for the Cannes Film Festival.
This year, Latvia participates in the Cannes Film Festival in close association with neighbouring Lithuania and Estonia, as the three leading film institutions of the Baltic States are cooperating more and more closely, following the principle that joining forces makes them more visible in the international film industry arena. Therefore, all three countries together take the opportunity to introduce two producers from each country in Producers under the Spotlight on the Cannes Film Market platform Producers Network, which has been bringing together more than 500 producers from around the world for 15 years and has become an internationally important collaboration platform. Aija Bērziņa from Tasse Film and Gints Grūbe from Mistrus Media will represent Latvia in this selection of professional, active and promising producers.
Meanwhile, selected upcoming films from the Tallinn Film Festival programme Baltic Event take part in the Co-Production Day of the Cannes Film Market for the first time, Latvia is represented in this seven project set by director Dāvis Sīmanis and producer Gints Grūbe with their historic drama Maria’s Silence starring Inese Kučinska and supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia. It is a story about Latvian-born actress Marija Leiko (1887-1938) who became a major German film star but died tragically in the Soviet Union during the brutal avalanche of Stalinist repressions.
The three countries have also collaborated on the collection Baltic Shorts within the Cannes Court Métrage programme. Four out of the ten films are made in Latvia – Vladimir Leschiov, Edmunds Jansons, Helen Ora and Armands Začs will show their latest work. The short films in the selection will be available online to programmers and film distributors of international film festivals for another five months.
Latvia will be represented on the virtual Baltic stand by the team of Riga International Film Festival (Riga IFF) short film programme Short Riga and the Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, and on 15 July, a presentation Small Countries, Big Impacts: The Short Film Production Ecosystem of the Baltics on short film production mechanisms and co-production opportunities in Latvia will be presented for the invited international film industry professionals.