Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS reveals competition programme

The 18th Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, taking place in Latvia’s capital between October 21 and 27, will showcase brand new international short films while also looking to define its place in the minds of the country’s audiences and industry.

This year’s International Competition will include Belgian film Death of a Shadow, the stylish fantasy short starring Matthias ‘Rust & Bone’ Schoenaerts, which was nominated for an Oscar. There’s also Gabriel Gauchet’s stunning The Mass of Men (photo), which walked away with awards at Locarno and Tampere amongst many others. Other highlights include mesmerising Finnish experimental work Two Islands and The Day Has Conquered the Night, the latest film from renowned French documentary director Jean-Gabriel Periot.

“The competition has been built up on one statement: whatever works,” says Anna Veilande Kustikova, the 2ANNAS Programme Director, talking exclusively to Cineuropa. “We’re not restricting ourselves to any particular genre or geographical location. We’ve selected those films that we believe can break your heart, your brain and – sometimes – your eyes.”

But the festival is also aware of its need to be a champion of film and the industry as, with the closure of Arsenals Riga International Film Festival, it is now the only one left in Latvia.

“The fact that we are now the only international film festival in the country is a sort of a reality check for everyone,” explains Amanda Boka, the Producer of 2ANNAS.  “The questions we want to explore are ‘What do we need, why do we need and – yes – do we even need?’ In the future, we hope to do more practical workshops, meetings and themed conferences, and help develop what could be seen as weak links in the Baltics such as distribution, promotion and short film exhibition. But we’re also trying to keep that spark for filmmaking and film appreciation alight.”

13 September 2013, by Laurence Boyce