Open yourself to the world of another: RIGA IFF announces the first titles and visual identity of its opulent 11th season

    Open yourself to the world of another: RIGA IFF announces the first titles and visual identity of its opulent 11th season credit: Riga IFF

    This fall, the biggest film event of Latvia, Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will delight the senses of filmgoers with more than 100 screenings of bold and fresh filmmaker visions, selected from the world’s most prestigious film festival programmes, as well as from the kindred Baltic Sea region cinema. Uniting both local audiences and foreign guests, with its motto, Witnessing the World of Another, the programme will be screened over 11 days, 17-27 October, at the festival’s main venue, cinema Splendid Palace, as well as Forum Cinemas, the National Library of Latvia, and online throughout Latvia.

    Starting today, 6 June, a limited number of early bird 10-ticket packages are available on the festival website (rigaiff.lv), granting access to the most current international films, national premieres, and festival competition screenings in October for a bargain price. Also available will be the festival passes, a favorite gift for loved ones and the key to all festival screenings.

    This season, the festival’s central theme, Witnessing the World of Another, focuses on cinema as a vehicle for appreciation and empathy – RIGA IFF team invites the viewers to open themselves to new horizons and filmic universes.

    Festival Director, Liene Treimane, elaborates on the theme:

    “Experiencing films at the festival is a chance to open one’s mind to countless points of view, to be present with experiences or dreams of others. To witness events and places inaccessible in our daily lives. The festival enables a two-way process – on the one hand, allowing the audiences a sumptuous glimpse into the inner worlds of others, and on the other hand – creating a space for filmmakers to be seen, in all senses of the word.”

    This is also reflected in the festival’s visual identity, introduced by its creator, designer Valters Kalsers:

    “The festival’s visual identity invites us to contemplate the world that expands beyond the screen and our point of view as the audience, the idea of which is illustrated in a dynamic interplay between the elements of typography and the cinema screen. This system is forever changing and breathes with the festival, allowing us to see a slightly different version each time, but not interfering with the conversation between the film and its spectator.”


    The program of RIGA IFF 11th edition will present expressively lavish films from Europe, North America, and East Asia, equally representing and challenging contemporary audiences. Among them is the Cannes-premiered coming-of-age tale by the noted British filmmaker Andrea Arnold, Bird, featuring the dazzling Franz Rogowski (Great Freedom, 2021) and Barry Keoghan (Saltburn, 2023), and Cannes Caméra d'Or first-feature award winner, character anatomy Armand, directed by Halfdan Ullman Tøndel, the grandson of the Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann and the Swedish genius Ingmar Bergman. The film also stars the stunning and exceptional actress Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World, 2021).

    This October, RIGA IFF will also bring one of the biggest film industry scandals of the year – the apocryphal biography The Apprentice, a story of Donald Trump in the 1970s and 80s New York, directed by Ali Abassi and starring Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong (Succession), and Maria Bakalova (Oscar nomination for the role of the daughter in Borat). A special highlight will be the winner of the Cannes’ Best Director Award, Grand Tour, 2024, a tale of a groom and a bride forever missing each other over the course of a century is South Asia, directed by Portuguese grandmaster Miguel Gomes, who has been described as one of the resuscitators of 21st century cinema.

    RIGA IFF program will also glimmer with discoveries from International Film Festival Rotterdam – a deep dive into the human psyche, the Icelandic thriller Natatorium, and archival footage anthology, the post-war generation story The Children of War and Peace, which exhibits unique parallels with Latvian history and present. The visually spellbinding psychological thriller Swimming Home by Justin Anderson, also screened at Rotterdam, provocatively dips its toes into the strange cinema wave of Greece.

    In the meantime, to celebrate the double anniversary – the 100th birthday of the surrealist movement and the 90th birthday of  Jan Švankmajer – the festival will hold retrospective screenings dedicated to the Czech surrealist director and animator. Take a peek into the universes created by the great auteur – the clay and mixed-media animations present an organic co-existence of Alice in Wonderland and subtle irony, Czech catharsis and crime stories of fetishes, as well as end-of-communism revelry and tenets of artistic freedom.

    The first announced films, part of the extensive festival programme offerings in October, their details, descriptions, and trailers are now available on RIGA IFF website, rigaiff.lv. Until the full festival programme announcement on 17 September, RIGA IFF will continue to reveal other highly artistic works of this year’s programme – films awarded at Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Venice, and other film festivals, as well as bold hidden gems of contemporary cinema. Festival updates are published on the festival website and social media accounts.

    RIGA IFF's main partner is the media and technology company Tet. The festival is made possible with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation, EU programme “Creative Europe – MEDIA”, Riga City Council, and the National Film Centre of Latvia.