From April 7th to 13th, the International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, one of the most important such events in the Baltics, will take place at cinemas Kino Bize and K. Suns as well as the culture centre M/Darbnica. This year, the festival will be happening for the 27th time and its main theme will be “Body and Flesh”, exploring the limits of the human body and the senses. In total, more than 100 short films from 25 countries will be screened at this year's festival.

Festival as a significant annual international and national event; the philosophy of the festival is to become increasingly nature-friendly. Over its many years of existence, the Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS has not only represented the history of independent Latvian and short filmmaking, but has also provided filmmakers with the opportunity to meet with industry professionals each year, becoming an important event both nationally and internationally. Each year, the 2ANNAS short film competition receives around 3000 submissions from 90 countries, from which approximately 60 films are screened.

“We are sincerely pleased that every year the festival is gaining more and more recognition among foreign short filmmakers and audiovisual professionals. The out-of-competition programme, which includes concerts, discussions, performances, photo exhibitions, etc., is also very special and stands out for its high quality and originality. Since its inception, the Riga International Film Festival 2ANNAS has been promoting the development of the short film genre as a complete and indispensable part of cinematography, showing that its content can be both entertaining and creative, as well as inspiring the viewers to think about current socio-political issues and also serve as a convenient product of cinema culture in a modern and dynamic environment,” says Laima Grazdanovica, the programme director of the 2ANNAS festival.

The festival's focus programmes, film screenings and competition programme are held in Kino Bize and K. Suns cinemas, while at the same time offering festival visitors the opportunity to go beyond the usual space and content, selecting unconventional venues for out-of-competition programmes, such as RSU Anatomy Museum, concert venue and bar Aleponija, Art Academy of Latvia, cultural centre M/Darbnica, etc. “At the same time, it should be mentioned that from the summer of 2020 onwards, we are focusing on the philosophy of creating a conscious and eco-friendly festival. We have limited the amount of printed material or use eco-friendly paper when necessary, we encourage international guests to come by land transport (if possible), we create socially active campaigns, limit plastic consumption and set an example as the greenest short film festival in Latvia!” says Viesturs Grazdanovics, founder and director of the festival.

This year's festival focuses on the body and the flesh, and the programme is also relevant for children and young people. “In this year's focus programmes we want to show how many different interpretations there can be on a topic as seemingly obvious as the body and the flesh. The human body has historically been an object of reflection in various philosophical traditions as well as in the visual arts. This year's festival will focus on the body in the phenomenological tradition, where the established distinction between body and flesh explains and allows for the unification of both the understanding of the body as an externally observable thing and the understanding of the flesh as a subjectively experienced body. We have also chosen this distinction as the focus of the festival in order to invite the audience to look for as many different ways of looking at their own bodies as possible. It is also very important to emphasise the relationship between politics and the body, which is so important today!” says the programme director.

A specially selected competition programme will introduce the audience to current world and Baltic cinema, while the festival's focus programmes will focus on themes such as the female gaze, where the theory of the 'male gaze' by renowned film theorist and filmmaker Laura Mulvey will be explored; Anima, which will foreground the very limits used in animation; The Nature of the Body, which will tell the story of human sensory experience, its variety and sensuality; War (and) Coping Mechanisms, which is a collaboration with the Kyiv International Short Film Festival (Ukraine) and shows the Russian war in Ukraine from the point of view of the soldiers themselves and those involved in the war. At the same time, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the phenomenon of the ageing human body in the short film programme “Come Closer, Please”, as well as to visit the animated film programme “Body and Flesh” by Signe Baumane, an acclaimed Latvian animation film director in Latvia and abroad.

“In the programme of informal evenings, we will introduce festival visitors to examples of eroticism and body representation in the history of Latvian cinema, as well as raise questions not only about the representation of the body in cinema, but also about the relationship between the body and power today,” says L. Grazdanovica.

Although the 2ANNAS festival programme is accessible and relevant to all groups of society, special thought is given to creating topical programmes for children and young people. The youngest visitors will be able to watch the children's short film competition programme “Let Me Come Closer”, while young people and students will enjoy the short film competition programme “Think of Me”.


Industry Days – a tribute to animation

“It is interesting that we, as viewers, perceive the body in animated films differently, more easily and with less prejudice, especially when it comes to nudity and sexuality. That's why this year's Industry Days will be dedicated to the most corporeal genre of film – animation. From puppet animation, where every frame is accompanied by the movement of the body, to experimental short films, where the animator is able to embody abstract ideas and dreams through animation, animation not only reveals what is hidden in the body, but also gives bodily reality to phenomena, dresses meanings in forms and thoughts in images,” says the programme director.

As part of the Industry Days, visitors will have the opportunity to attend discussions on “Animation and Distribution” and “Animation and Corporeality”, take part in a morning session with a physiotherapist and work in an animation workshop with Estonian filmmaker Ülo Pikkov.


As usual, 2ANNAS will be open to the public both in person and online.

For more information:

The short film festival is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, the National Film Centre of Latvia, Riga City Council and BBPostHouse.