Latvia's entry for Oscars® – feature film “January” by Viesturs Kairišs (Viestur Kairish) will be screened in New York

    January by Viesturs Kairiš January by Viesturs Kairiš credit: Andrejs Strokins

    Latvia will be represented at the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar Awards for the fifteenth time, this year the entry in the Best International Feature Film category will be the film “January” (2022). The film crowned its world premiere with the Best International Feature Award at the Tribeca Film Festival (USA) and was generously rewarded at the Rome International Film Festival (IT) and Warsaw Film Festival (PL). On December 9, Viesturs Kairišs’s film will be screened in New York (Scandinavia House).

    Produced by Mistrus Media, “January”, the director’s partly autobiographic story of a young man Jazis’s (starring Kārlis Arnolds Avots) experiences during the political turmoil and fight for Latvia’s independence in 1991, is a very cinematographic and mesmerizing artwork that fuses personal and historic themes, but, most importantly, reminds the world that the dangers the world faced in recent history have not disappeared today and are by no means limited to the Baltic countries.

    “It was very important that these people were brought together through strong emotion. We [those who lived during these “crazy” times] always went against the stream when we were young. I really remember a nation, and a society, fighting for their freedom and also my friends and myself fighting for our individual freedom. I remember all those characters very well because I was one of them,” director Viesturs Kairišs said about his film.

    Dita Rietuma, film historian and head of the National Film Center of Latvia, has noted the multi-layered nature of the film and the magnitude of historical events in a young man’s life: “The film's protagonist, Jazis, played by Kārlis Arnolds Avots, has a passion for cinema, and it is precisely that - cinematography, references to the legacy of world cinema culture, and also the context and personalities of Latvian cinema in the early 1990s - that distinguishes “January” from many other films on the topics of recent history and allows it to resonate with the world at large.”

    The film “January” will be screened on Friday, December 9, at New York's Nordic Center in America (Scandinavia House). The screening will take place in “Victor Borge Hall” at 7 p.m.

    “January” is being produced by Latvia’s Mistrus Media (Inese Boka-Grube and Gints Grube) and co-produced by Lithuania’s Artbox (Kestutis Drazdauskas) and Poland’s Staron Film (Malgorzata Staron). The project received backing from the National Film Center of Latvia, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the Lithuanian Film Center, the Polish Film Institute, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), Eurimages, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, Latvian Television, the Latvian Foundation, and the Education, Culture and Sports Department of Riga City Council. Finland’s The Yellow Affair oversees its international sales.