RIGA: The National Film Centre of Latvia has announced production grants for 2020. The grants in the amount of 1,768,327 EUR have been distributed to 19 film projects, including five full length fiction films, eight documentaries and six animated films. Eleven of the projects are made by female directors.

RIGA: Ināra Kolmane’s 2018 feature film Bille, produced in the framework of the Latvian Centenary Film Programme, has become the first Latvian feature film bought for broadcasting by the international premium TV group HBO Europe. The film is a coproduction between Film Studio Deviņi (Latvia), Masterfilm (Czech Republic), Magic Lab (Czech Republic) and Studija 2 (Lithuania).

RIGA: The 16th annual Latvian Film Marathon organised by the National Film Centre of Latvia on 4 May 2020 drew 8,600 viewers in 63 countries. The event, which celebrates the reinstitution of the independence of Latvia in 1990, traditionally takes place in a cinema in Riga, but due to the COVID-19 crisis, it was held online on the platform filmas.lv in partnership with the Culture Information Systems Centre (KISC).

RIGA: Distribution companies in Latvia are seeking alternative ways to get films to audiences during the current closure of cinemas, including new and enhanced online platforms.

RIGA: The Riga Municipality has allocated 800,000 EUR for the Riga Film Fund in its 2020 budget. The funds will be available for foreign and national coproductions shot in Latvia.

RIGA: The National Film Centre of Latvia has made its database of national films available to schoolchildren and the general public during the COVID-19 crisis.

RIGA: The Latvian documentary filmmaker Ivars Zviedris has started documenting the evolving situation and people affected by the virus, in response to the restrictions introduced in Latvia due to COVID-19.

RIGA: The shooting on the mystical WWII thriller Warhunt directed by Mauro Borrelli, produced by Igor Pronin for Latvia’s Forma Pro Films and starring Mickey Rourke halted in Latvia due to the Coronavirus situation. The team has to remain in Latvia for the time being as the borders are closed.

RIGA: The deadline for minority coproduction grants applications has been extended from 27 March to 26 April 2010, with the results to be announced by 26 May 2020. The decision was taken by the National Film Centre of Latvia due to the Coronavirus situation.

RIGA: Russian spy series Pawns (Metrafilms), which was presented at the Berlinale’s CoPro Series, will be coproduced by Latvia’s Tasse Film. The series conceived by Michael and Lily Idov is set in the mid-1960s and focuses on a professional chess player Max, who is involved in spying activities. The director is to be announced.