Baltic Sea Docs film festival starts

September 3 sees the start of the six-day Baltic Sea Docs film festival in Latvia. 

Running until September 8, this international event for professional documentary filmmakers is the only one of its kind in the Baltics and is held in high regard throughout Europe.

Highlights this year will include Dutch film Greenaway Alphabet, American film Born In China, and Glory Of Molenbeek from Finland.

Every year, the BSD gathers over 100 professional filmmakers from the Baltic Sea region, as well as from Eastern and Central Europe. Participating in the forum is a way for filmmakers to find funding for the production of their projects and to further ensure that their films reach a wide audience across Europe.

The forum is held in English and participation is free of charge.

In addition to a public pitching session, the forum holds preparatory workshops and seminars open to not just BSD participants, but also to students and representatives of the Latvian film scene. Apart from the professional activities, a program of the highest quality documentaries is offered to the general public in Riga and several other Latvian cities. This year Cēsis, Jekabpils, Liepāja, Rezekne and Valmiera will all have screenings.

The BSD is organized by the National Film Center of Latvia in collaboration with the European Documentary Network, an international organization of professional filmmakers. The largest financial support comes from the EU funded Creative Europe Media program.

The Forum took place for the first time in 1997 in Denmark, initially being a Danish initiative for the Baltic countries, Poland and the western part of Russia. It continued to be a Danish initiative until 2001 and then, as the Baltic countries were on their way to enter the European Union, the Danish government decided to let Latvian organisations take over. At the beginning of this “second phase”, the Baltic Sea Forum was a travelling event through the Baltic countries, but since 2005 it has taken place in Riga.

Full details available at the website http://balticseadocs.lv.

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