The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF), which is returning this autumn for the ninth time with an extensive film programme and a wide range of industry events, is announcing this year’s theme and visual identity.
The festival will take place from 13 to 23 October and will offer its audiences a diverse and high-quality cinematic experience. Some of the films in the official programme have been selected from the world’s biggest film festivals, others are world premieres of local films or the creative visions by exceptional filmmakers. The programme includes six competitions and will be shown in over 100 screenings in Riga and throughout Latvia (both in person and online). The festival will also feature a programme of events organised in collaboration with Kyiv Critics’ Week that will include a selection of contemporary Ukrainian cinema and an international panel discussion series on post-colonialism in the media space.
This year, RIGA IFF has chosen to base it’s visual identity around a line from a poem by the controversial and sometimes shocking, but undeniably brilliant director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini, who is the focus of the festival’s retrospective programme: “The sweet chaos of daily good and evil”. This message is also reflected in the visual identity that the festival’s designers have created. The visuals are anchored by a variation on the familiar festival typeface that is surrounded by various seemingly recognisable, yet abstract shapes that blend dreaming and wakefulness, warmth and cold, comfort and provocation.
RIGA IFF Festival Director Liene Treimane explains this year’s theme:
“The ordinary is infused with meaning when it fades before something extraordinary. Days of great loss, apocalyptic fear, and intense hope alternate with days where you can take quiet pleasure in the beauty of everyday matters, previously overlooked. The need to structure the glorious chaos of life, to order it into good, bad, beautiful, and ugly is a never-ending exercise in perception. It is these attempts at consciousness that cinema seeks to tame and archive, to analyse and assemble into a rhythm.”
From 8 June, the festival will be offering a limited number of 10-ticket packages at a special discounted price, as well as a festival pass that will allow holders to attend any RIGA IFF screening – in person and online.
This is an opportunity to give yourself or a friend the gift of encountering festival favourites in advance. Among them are: Mikhaël Hers’ Passengers of the Night, that screened in competition at Berlinale, in which Charlotte Gainsbourg deals with the twists and turns of life via the radio waves; award-winning Eami from the Rotterdam International Film Festival, which poetically depicts a five-year-old Ayoreo girl’s relationship with a vanishing forest and its inhabitants; Godland that played in competition at the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section, which follows a young Danish priest’s harsh journey as a missionary in 19th-century Iceland and is directed by Hlynur Pálmason (A White, White Day, 2019) in collaboration with actor Ingvar Sigurdsson.
Icelandic film Beautiful Beings, which screened at Berlinale, offers an unusual mix of mysticism and exploration of intergenerational violence with a twisted view of adolescent masculinity, while Amanda Kramer’s Please Baby Please is a surprising gender-deconstructing psychedelic musical. Hatching, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, pulls back the curtains on the idyllic family image on social media. This Finnish body horror was made together with Latvian film studio Mistrus Media and in cooperation with many local film professionals. This selection only represents a small part of the full festival programme, which will be announced gradually throughout the summer!
Here is what we found interesting and worth a mention from last year's festival - RIGA IFF 2021 festival treasures by bobe.me!