This year, Riga International Film Festival 2ANNAS will cover the focus theme via especially prepared programmes both within the context of current events and in terms of history. We see that migration is a phenomenon to be addressed in a much wider context as a significant refugee crisis of Europe nowadays. And a short film exactly, thanks to its format, serving as both a medium for artistic expression and a manifestation of an opinion, ensures immediate feedback on the current situation, defining its position in a visually strong manner and in a nutshell.
AMERICA NOW! Curators: E.G. Bailey, Sha Cage in collaboration with Tampere Film Festival
The American experiment is the most tremendous and far reaching engine of social change which has ever either blessed or cursed mankind. - Charles Francis Adams.
The “America Now!” special program pulls together a series of screenings from an international call to filmmakers that are speaking to the American condition. America is at the nexus of police brutality, the rise of a new civil rights movement in the protests of Black Lives Matter, deep divisions on the issue of immigration, gun control, terrorism and more, all in a charged election cycle. Covering a range of subjects and genres, the films speak to these issues using innovative techniques, subversive methodologies and direct commentary.
LIFE ELSEWHERE Curator: Eroll Bilibani
Unprecedented happenings once again marked this year with terrorist attacks becoming daily occurrence around the world and armed conflicts threat for many. Lack of safety on one side and poverty and economic uncertainty on the other has driven millions from their homes and into that dangerous and perilous path of migration causing one of the greatest waves of human migration in recent history.
This specially curated program for 2Annas brings a petite flavor of those talents working abroad proving that life may be elsewhere but future is here, The program intentionally starts with a short film of a Bosnian author that depicts the moment of farewell, and goes on with three different immigrant stories, taking us from Norway to US and then takes us to a set for a visual exploration of displacement, and the longings and desires of their inhabitants.
CULTURAL CLASHES Curator: Ildze Felsberga
It may seem that a collision between two different cultures is inevitable and the world different groups of people live in is a ticking bomb. However, films that can be watched within the framework of the programme “Collision of Cultures” reveal that a conflict has a thousand of faces, rather than just one. The collision of cultures is a battle field where two unyielding parties meet. However, it can also be a desperate attempt to hide and protect something different, illogical and — for this reason — special.
ACROSS THE SEAS AND DESERTS Curator: Astra Zoldnere
Stuck in the middle of a desert, stranded on a strange boat in the middle of the sea, hiding at the back of an anonymous truck or marooned at an immigrant camp. Six stories about people who have started their journey but have yet to reach their destination. Short-film protagonists are modern wanderers who in hopes for a better life flee from political regimes, wars and poverty. Many of them find themselves in an unusual and often hopelessly suppressing state of transit for an extended period of time.
JEWISH WANDERERS Curator: Laima Gražadanoviča
What does it mean to be a Jew in the 21st century? What did it mean 70 years ago? Can a Jew be a Muslim and can a concentration camp be a playground? What is Eisenstein looking for in all of that? By looking through both historical and modern lens, an attempt is made to discover problems, interesting situations or conditions people encounter among us, as well as those “wanderers”, about whose fate we tend to forget in our daily life.
LATVIAN WANDERERS Curator: Kristīne Matīsa
2ANNAS programme includes two completely opposite films in its History of Latvian Film section. Between the making of the two films there is a 20-year gap, that can be framed into the notion of “wanderers”. Moreover, it is characteristic for bott of the films that each in its own time belonged to socially active and extremely topical occurances. In their own undeniably artistic way both tell about the most relevant subject of discussion among the Latvian society at the respective time.
The work and life of famous German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982) is filled with challenges against the bias governing the society. The film surprises us by asking questions about race, sexuality, immigration and morals that are still as relevant today as they were 42 years ago.
Films will be screened in the original language with Latvian subtitles.