13-08-2009

Latvian filmmakers support National Film Centre

Written by FNE Staff
Nearly 200 Latvian film professionals voiced their support for retaining the independent legal status of the National Film Centre of Latvia during demonstration on August 12.
The filmmakers were protesting a reform plan presented by Latvian State Chancellery on re-organizing the NFC (www.nfc.lv) into a department of the Ministry of Culture.

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}During the discussions between Latvian film representatives and Ints Dalderis, the Minister of Culture, Latvian filmmakers created a film set around the building of Ministry of Culture and shot a short film titled The Dream of Eisenstein (a referrence to filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein who was born in Riga) as a statement on film as art and cultural identity.

The action marks the first time since independence that Latvian filmmakers put aside competitive attitudes and were united on a film set. This action was privately financed by the filmmakers. Leading Latvian filmmakers and actors participated in the action, including Laila Pakalnina, Gints Berzins, Jurgis Krasons, Vladimir Leschiov, Signe Baumane, Ivars Seleckis, Antra Cilinska, Uldis Dumpis, and Rezija Kalnina.

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At the end of the meeting Minister of Culture stated that taking into account the significant work done by the NFC for the development of Latvian film industry, it could continue to work as an independent institution. However, the final decision will be taken by Latvian government.

The Latvian Film centre will prepare a reduced budget for the NFC by August 15, with funding cuts for the Film Registry and Riga Film Museum.

European film organizations including EFAD (European Film Agency Directors) and European Council of Artists have expressed their support for the NFC.