RIGA: The National Film Centre of Latvia will see a budget increase of 10 percent in 2020 and an additional increase is expected in 2021.
A total of 5.43 m EUR will be allocated in 2020, compared to 4.93 allocated in 2019. Latvia has benefited from a marked increase in funding available for films in the past four years, due in large part to special funds for films related to the Latvian centennial.
“The centennial celebration helped,” Dita Rietuma, director of the National Film Centre of Latvia told FNE. “Altogether we had 8 m EUR, which was divided across four years. We had a lot of success and so maybe the government is starting to understand.”
Prior to the special centennial funding, the National Film Centre was operating on budgets in the range of 1 – 2 m EUR. Funding reached a high of 9.1 m EUR in 2017.
Rietuma, speaking at the Magnetic Latvia Film Conference, said, “2018 was a breakout year.” She added that one of the highlights was a record three animated films on the market. “It’s easier to get visibility with full-length animation. We’d like to continue with these.”
The additional funding resulted in some 40 new films produced in 2018 and 2019, almost half of those under the banner of Latvian Films for the Latvian Centenary. Domestic films brought audiences to the cinemas, with three Latvian films in the box office top five and five Latvian films in the box office top ten in 2018. The trend is likely to continue in 2019, led by the release of new animated films.