2ANNAS to tackle mental health issues occurring among the film industry professionals

2ANNAS Industry days will take place from April 12 to 13. This year's Industry Days will focus on a complex and pressing issue weighing down the whole film industry. Setting all the prejudices aside, together with industry professionals we will seek answers and aim to identify problems, reasons and possible solutions for bettering the working conditions on and off the film set. 

Shifts lasting more than 12 hours, working overtime and often not gaining any additional financial bonuses for the ever-rising workload. Sadly, this has become a normal practice among Latvian filmmaking crews. Working conditions are very stressful and uncomfortable. The packed schedule also implies a lack of sleep. Nevertheless, having next to nothing holidays. Maintaining a regime like that puts an enormous burden on both the physical and mental well-being. Due to the lack of funding, an individual carries out several diverse functions. He/she needs to be a “Jack of all trades” if you will. Despite the original saying stating otherwise (“Jack of all trades, master of none”), a film professional needs to be a master of many trades. Simultaneously.

As a reaction to these and many more arising questions, during the first day events (12/04/2022) we will attempt to comprehend the current working conditions in Latvia and in the Baltics, equally drawing parallels with Western practices. How can we collectively limit the surge of the causes? While unbiasedly addressing the questions revolving around the ever more rapidly deteriorating mental health state among the industry professionals, we will search for solutions.

This will be followed by a discussion on how mental health problems are depicted in Latvian cinema. After the conversation with film professionals, we kindly invite everyone to stay for a film screening illustrating the said topic. 

 On the next day (13/04/2022) we aim to turn the table around by focusing on the “off set” (“out of the frame”) film industry professionals combatting similar mental health issues. How do festival programmers, decision-makers, distributors and other professionals juggle with mental health worsening aspects, namely, prolonged stress, burnout, high sense of responsibility and a monstrous quantity of tasks to do in a short period of time.

Alongside panel discussions and industry events, other worthwhile events will take place. The emphasis is put on networking and continuous professional learning. Filmmakers (directors, producers, screenwriters etc.) are cordially invited to meet the passionate people behind Lithuanian Shorts, who will enlighten festival attendees about Baltic Shorts Residency un Baltic Pitching Forum  - essential short film production and promotion initiatives across the region.

Industry events are organized with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia the Creative Europe MEDIA Desk LV.

This will be the 26th edition of the Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS. Nothing has changed ever since our beginnings – we continue introducing the viewers to original, innovative, challenging and socially active short and medium-length films. Here, at 2ANNAS, we strongly believe that a short film deserves to be seen as an independent form of art, rather than simply being perceived as a filmmaker’s rite of passage before making a feature film. Because the short format is a deliberate choice resulting in high-quality artwork. 

Moreover, the festival is known for its crazy parties in unaccustomed places, relaxed atmosphere and creative wonderings that surpass the formally set cinema boundaries.