On 16 May, the world-famous Cannes Film Festival starts in France (16-27 May), and film professionals from Latvia will take active part in several film industry events, festival programmes and the film market.
One of the oldest film festivals in Europe will take place for the 76th time this year. After the 75th edition organizers have announced that they would like to focus on new generations of filmmakers and appointed the well-known Swedish film director Ruben Östlund (1974) to preside over the jury; since 2008, all his feature films have been shown in Cannes, but two of his latest works have received the Palme d’Or – The Square (2017) and Triangle of Sadness (2022), which also became one of the most popular European art-house films in Latvia’s cinemas.
Latvian film producers will be active in the Cannes Film Market or Marché du Film (16–24 May). The event that started as one tent on the Palais Croisette roof in 1959 will gather some 12,500 film professionals from 120 countries this year. Dominiks Jarmakovičs, of Studio Lokomotīve, will visit the festival as this year’s Producer on the Move for Latvia, a platform hosted by the European Film Promotion (EFP). He will bring the next full-length animation project by Signe Baumane, Karmic Knot, and the almost completed fiction debut by Signe Birkova, Lotus, to Cannes (mode on Producers on the Move HERE).
Latvia often participates in Cannes hand in hand with its neighbours, Lithuania and Estonia; Baltic Countries in Focus in Berlinale already showed the power of Baltic cooperation earlier this year, and neighbours have joined forces in the Cannes Film Market as well. The Marché du Film platform Producers Network, which gathers more than 500 producers from all over the world for 16 years, has given a chance for two producers from each Baltic country to become Producers under the Spotlight; Linda Krūkle and Inga Praņevska represent Latvia in this selection of professional, active and promising Baltic producers this year. Alongside the aforementioned three producers, the delegation backed by the National Film Centre of Latvia includes seven more prominent filmmakers, namely Matīss Kaža, Gints Zilbalodis, Alise Ģelze, Guntis Trekteris, Andrejs Ēķis, Alise Rogule and Juris Poškus.
Latvia's participation in the Cannes Festival is now traditionally marked by the Latvian pavilion, which this year combines the forces of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA). Representatives of the Film Producers Association of Latvian will also work in the stand. The pavilion is designed according to the LIAA concept Mission Latvia, which has previously attracted the attention of participants and organizers of the Cannes Film Market; also, this year, a pavilion design competition is held in Cannes, in which the Latvian pavilion was awarded a gold medal in 2017.
Two co-productions of the Latvian studio Lokomotīve with the Baltic neighbours will enter the Cannes Film Market by another way. In the Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event (ITBE) section of the Tallinn Film Festival in November 2022, five future film projects were selected to be presented at the industry event Tallinn Black Nights Goes to Cannes on 20 May. Latvia participates in two of the five projects: the feature Five and a Half Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius directed by Tomas Vengris (Lithuania, Ireland, Latvia) and the feature One-Dimensional Man by Andres Puustusmaa (Estonia, Latvia).
Studio Lokomotīve, led by producer Roberts Vinovskis, is returning to Cannes also as a restorer of classic films under the Locomotive Classics brand. In 2018, Latvian director Rolands Kalniņš’s feature Four White Shirts (Četri balti krekli, 1967) was included in the Cannes Classics programme, but this year the Armenian feature Hello, It’s Me (Barev, es em, 1965) was selected for the same programme and was also restored in Lokomotīve. The screening of the film is scheduled for 25 May, Lokomotīve will release more detailed information in the coming days.
The Cannes Classics programme also continues cooperation with European film schools started last year, and the National Film School of the Latvian Academy of Culture also uses this opportunity with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia. The idea of the project is an initiative of the Cannes Classics programmers to integrate the new generation of filmmakers in the processes of world cinema classics by granting accreditation to the programme screenings, thus giving an opportunity to watch a quality offer of cinema history and expand knowledge about the contexts of cinema art.