Ausma was nominated by an expert panel set up by the National Film Center, featuring directors, culture journalists and others well-versed in the movies.
The Latvian-Estonian-Polish co-production is based on a Soviet propaganda story about a youth named Pavlik Morozov, who gave in his father to the secret police and was killed by his family. It shares source material from an unfinished film by Sergei Eisenstein.
Its world premiere took place at the Black Nights festival in Tallinn last year on November 18 - Latvia's independence day.
According to Hollywod Reporter, the "beauty of Dawn lies in its richness, ambiguity and willfully elusive intentions", and the film can be praised as "a loving homage and a knowing critique of classic Eastern Bloc cinema".
Previously Ausma was listed among the top 50 European movies of 2016.