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European Film Awards Offer Latvia Chance to Push Co-productions

Dita Rietuma: 'We wanted to maximize the synergy potential offered by Riga’s hosting of the EFA awards'

LONDON — The National Film Center of Latvia is to launch the Riga Meetings, a platform for 40 international film industry and press guests to meet with 22 of their Latvian colleagues, in the days leading up to the European Film Awards, which takes place in Riga on Dec. 13.

The Riga Meetings, which run Dec. 12-13, serves as the country’s gateway for international co-productions, offering one-on-one meetings, location tours and information on tax incentives.

Latvia is the only Baltic country to offer two cash rebates, which can be used in tandem, on a national and city-wide level.

“We wanted to maximize the synergy potential offered by Riga’s hosting of the EFA awards,” said Dita Rietuma, the National Film Center’s director. “With the Riga Meetings, we are in an excellent position to let the European industry and press know what is happening in Latvia and what the co-production possibilities are.”

The event also includes the European Script Meeting for producers, a conference organized by international film critics’ group Fipresci called “Films From Latvia in a European Context,” and master classes by directors Wim Wenders and Agnieszka Holland, and Nik Powell, producer of “The Crying Game” and head of the U.K.’s leading film school, the National Film and Television School.

The Latvian industry has benefited from the cash rebates offered by Riga City Council and the National Film Center of Latvia, leading to an increase in international co-productions in the last three years, including Sergey Loznitsa’s “In the Fog” and Seung-wan Ryoo’s “The Berlin File.”

Recent international successes include the features “Modris” by Juris Kursietis, which played at Toronto Film Festival this year, “The Man in the Orange Jacket” by Aik Karapetian, which was selected by London Film Festival this year, the creative documentary “Escaping Riga” by Davis Siemanis, which played at IDFA in Amsterdam, and animation film “Rocks in my Pockets” by Signe Baumane, which is Latvia’s Oscar entry for foreign-language film.

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