In Riga, capital of Latvia, a cinematic celebration will take place, September 1-12: For 25 years filmmakers from the countries around the Baltic Sea have gathered at a forum, that started on the island of Bornholm, then toured the Baltic countries to end up, from 1997, in Riga. It will be a celebration of the region’s documentary cinema with screenings, masterclasses and pitchings. Film history it indeed is as I can say having been with the event since the very beginning in 1990, where the Baltic Film & TV Festival started on Bornholm to add in 1997 a so-called industry part for film projects to be pitched, discussed and developed and eventually co-financed.

For this 25th edition 18 projects have been selected to be ”discussed, developed, pitched, and eventually co-financed”. Well known producers, who have been at BSD (Baltic Sea Docs) several times before, will attend and new talents will enter the scene of documentaries. There are projects from the three Baltic countries, of course, but also from Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland – and Uzbekistan. The latter as a result of a collaboration with the CinéDoc Tbilisi Pitch, where the project manager of BSD, Zane Balcus, picked the project of Elyor Nemat, ”Dedovshina”. On top of that because of the growing number of co-productions there are also film projects with Bulgarian, French, Irish and Romanian participation.

Some name dropping: Finnish director Kira Jääskeläinen comes with a project she has been working on for years, ”The Cello”. Giedre Zickyte, who is winning awards all over for ”The Jump”, comes with ”Irena”. Ksenia Okhaphina, who made the masterpiece ”Immortal”, comes back to the BSD with a fascinating title ”Manifesto of Tenderness”, Vlad Ketkovich is producing, a true veteran of BSD. Local master director Laila Pakalnina among many titles the recent ”Spoon”, is with producer Uldis Cekulis to present ”Scarecrows” and producer Guntis Trekteris brings forward ”Stranded” (PHOTO) that has a very inviting logline, ” An attempt to look at the life of a half-million Baltic Russian community in 2020, through the stories of 3 generations of women in the director’s family.” Director is Stanislavs Tokalovs. At the Ex Oriente workshop recently I met Oksana Syhareva and Anna Kapustina from Ukraine, happy to see them at BSD with exciting ”Up in the Air”.

… and for many other strong film projects to be pitched at BSD, click.

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3866