“A documentarian's mission is to be present. The main challenge is finding the safest way to film – to keep a distance and not endanger anyone, but get close enough to people and events” said Zviedris.
He's been filming shots and events related to the state of emergency brought on by the spread of the coronavirus since the middle of March when the first emergency measures were implemented. Zviedris has been creating a sort of “pandemic diary” by capturing events and personal stories. “I'm filming the calm before the storm, because most likely the situation will get worse in the near future,” said the director.
Empty airport, bus station employees dressed like aliens spraying bus chairs with ethyl alcohol, gloves in supermarkets, newly erected borders, everything is cancelled, hospitals preparing for a patient influx, repatriation flights – “My camera has never filmed these sort of shots,” wrote Zviedris. He wants state institutions, companies and regular Latvian residents to share their story through pictures, text video or audio files via his Facebook account, by emailing [email protected], or through a WhatsApp message to +371 29411202.
“I'll translate it to the language of cinema,” said Zviedris.
“I'm recording the standstill created by Covid-19 through the lens of cinema and waiting to see what happens. I'm observing people and events. The script for the emerging film is written by time, which is the best companion for an observational documentary creator,” said the director.
Zviedris is a Rūjiena nativa and a student of cinematic classic Ansis Epners. He began creating his own films at the end of the 90's. The director's most popular films include "Dokumentālists" (2012), "Bēgums" (2009), "Meikots Īrijā" (2019), "Rezidenti" (2017) and "Zāģeri" (2017). His new film “Valkātājs” has been screening since December 2019.