Another cultural year ahead for Latvia

The year 2019 promises a sustained cultural effort in the form of both private and public initiatives in Latvia.

As concerns important anniversaries, Latvia will celebrate the centenary of the Freedom Battles and several important national institutions. In addition, the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way will be celebrated across the country, said Linda Pavļuta, the head of the Office Latvia 100 at the Latvian Ministry of Culture.

Heroic scenes of the Freedom Battles will be recreated in Cēsis and Liepāja, she added.

Meanwhile the bumper crop of centenary films, funded by the public, will continue into 2019, with the animated feature Jēkabs, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs possibly becoming a box-office hit, said critic Dita Rietuma.

The film is based on the hugely popular children's book Dog Town by Luīze Pastore. 

"We're also expecting Gatis Šmits' historical adventure drama 1906," said Rietuma. Both films are to be released in the spring.

In the fall, four feature films including an adaptation of Jānis Joņevs' Doom 94 are to appear on the silver screen, along with Andris Gauja's Nothing Can Stop Us Now and Dzintars Dreibergs' Blizzard of Souls

Meanwhile an Estonian-Latvian co-production will arrive at the Berlin Film Festival, namely the animated feature Lotte and the Lost Dragons

In the summer of 2019, a bonanza of music concerts is to overtake Latvia with Metallica, Bon Jovi and Sting to arrive in the capital Rīga.

"If there was a moment when it seemed that Tallinn was starting to get ahead of us, especially as concerns the biggest, newest, and hottest artists, at least in 2018 I had a feeling that I currently have from seeing the scheduled concerts for 2019. Rīga is slowly returning to the positions where we were a decade ago, as the Baltic center for music where all the most impressive things are happening," said music journalist Normunds Vucāns. 

Vucāns said that music fans can also expect the number of concerts to grow, with festivals like Summersound and Positivus gaining in quality next year.

He also singled out Ed Sheeran's July 12 concert in Rīga's Lucavsala as a particularly impressive concert, seeing as the artist is at the height of his fame. 

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