Coming-of-age drama takes first prize at kids’ film fest

“Mamma, es tevi mīlu” (Mother, I love you), a 2013 film by Jānis Nords, won the grand prize at the 17th Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival in Norway.

Among four films from Latvia and two from Estonia, Nords’ feature-length family drama won over the festival jury with its originality in depicting relationships between children and adults, as well as its juvenile cast’s ability to tell the story convincingly.

The Kristiansand event is the largest non-commercial children’s cinema screening in Norway and has featured Latvian films several times in the past.

However this year Baltic and Nordic countries joined together in an exchange program linking the Riga International Film Festival, Tallinn’s ‘Just Film’ festival and Kristiansand, both to popularize the festivals themselves, as well as to showcase the best of their programs to mutually receptive audiences.

According to Riga International Film Festival director Sonora Broka, opportunities to show such interesting kids’ films to Latvian audiences come rarely.

“We want to continue this tradition in Riga, of ensuring quality competitive alternatives to Hollywood productions, which unfortunately are full of clichés and overly similar offerings,” she said.

The Kristiansand festival is primarily attended by Norwegian schoolchildren who attend related activities such as animation workshops in order to integrate the cinema-viewing with their structured learning experiences.

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