The film, based on a comprehensive set of diaries kept by 80-year-old Irina Pilke, captures 40 years of a life led under Communism in Germany and Latvia as recounted through the drawing of a tiny bird which represented the author herself. Jansons chose to capture Irina's story, and the wealth of materials amassed in her diaries, by means of interviews with Irina. "Why do I make drawings? As soon as I saw something, my hand reached out for a pencil involuntarily," Irina says. "
The 36-year-old director studied animation and TV directing in Latvia and Russia, working as an animator and director in Latvia since 1992. His credits include eight previous animated films and one documentary. Little Bird's Diary is the first Latvian film to combine the two disciplines. The film was produced by Bruno Ascuks and production company Studija Centrums, from an idea by Ascuks and script by Nora Ikstena, with Jansons doubling as animator and director.
The film has been screened at Arsenals film festival, where it won the award for Best Animated Film, Nordic Film Days in Lubeck, the Animadoc section of DOK Leipzig, and the East Silver section of the Jihlava documentary film festival.