The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF), which will take place from 13 to 23 October this year, is announcing the festival’s International Short Film Competition program. This year, 24 works of different genres will compete for the festival’s Silver Grass Snake Award and to be a candidate for the EFA European Short Film Award in 2023.
The RIGA IFF International Short Film Competition program is divided into four sections: “The Beginning of the End,” “Heaven and Hell are Places on Earth,” “Remake/Remodel,” and “She/He/They.”
This year’s selection includes a number of films that push the boundaries and limits of filmmaking. These include Lithuanian film “Cherries”by Vytautas Katkus – which premiered at Cannes this year – which blends the patience of an observational documentary with a vein of surrealism, the clever and endlessly fascinating Brazillian film “Capuchins” by Victor Laet , in which the very world around us glitches in an exploration of modern life and our search for connections both digital and otherwise and Camille Degeye’s “Almost A Kiss”(France), a slow paced deconstruction of the road movie that is an endlessly fascinating meditation of grief, identity and being.
Films will reflect on the world around us with films such as “Handbook,”which is dedicated to the wave of protests in Belarus in 2022, and “Liturgy of Anti-Tank Obstacles,” which illustrates the reality of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Theirs is also more playful fare in the likes the multiple award-winning Finnish film “Le Saboteur” from Anssi Kasitonni, which is a funny and intelligent deconstruction of filmmaking, and “Killing Ourselves”from Israeli filmmaker Maya Yadlin in which the problems of making a film a film with your own family are laid bare.
The National Competition will consist of five works from Latvian filmmakers including “81 Meters”from Jānis Ābele, which is a personal odyssey to the few remaining cinemas in Latvia, and Anna Ansone’s “Can’t Help Myself,”“….a chronicle of beach people and of coincidences,” which channels some of the past masters of cinema.
The competition’s international jury is made up of Anne Gaschütz, Director of Filmfest Dresden and member of the selection committee for the Pardi di domani competition at the Locarno Film Festival, Sander Joon, an Estonian animation director, as well as Inja Korać, a short film curator at the Motovun and Beldocs Festivals and Director of Industry at the Zagreb Film Festival.
This year’s International Short Film Competition will be the first under the stewardship of Leo Soesanto after Anna Zača, the Founder and long-time Head Curator of what was then known as Short Riga, chose to leave the festival in order to focus on other creative pursuits. Soesanto’s background includes programming for Cannes Critics’ Week and the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
This year will also mark the first year of Laurence Reymond, a former programmer for Director’s Fortnight who will curate the Festival Darlings short film section as well as the Test Screenings, an opportunity for Baltic filmmakers to show their work in progress short films to industry professionals.
The full program can be found on the festival website: rigaiff.lv/isfc