Rīga International Film Festival hands out its annual awards

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The Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF), which ran from 13 to 23 October in Riga and online throughout Latvia, has announced this year’s winners at its annual Awards Ceremony.

Films in six competition sections were presided over by an international jury that gave out the festival’s awards, which include being put forward as a candidate for the European Film Academy's (EFA) European Short Film 2023 Award, the European Children's Film Association (ECFA) Award that guarantees a nomination for the ECFA Best European Children's Film of the Year, and the LTV Children's Jury Award.

Icelandic director Hlynur Pálmason’s Godland has been chosen as the winner of the RIGA IFF Feature Film Competition. The jury motivated their decision, describing the film as "a multi-layered cinematic experience that constantly evolves and interacts with the audience’s expectations". The winner will receive a cash prize of 4,000 EUR, as well as the festival’s main award, the Golden Rooster. The jury gave a special mention to Signe Baumane's animated feature film My Love Affair with Marriage, which had its national premiere at the festival, describing it as "a creative work full of detail, sincerity, and self-irony".

The main prize in the International Short Film Competition went to French director Francesco Montagner’s short film Asterión, which received a 2,000 EUR cash prize. The jury said that this work "breaks preconceived ideas about modern cinema, while at the same time acquiring a timeless quality through its beautiful visuals, substance, and innovative editing". The film has now become a candidate to be shortlisted for the European Film Academy’s prestigious European Short Film 2023 Award. The jury also gave a special mention to French filmmaker Johanna Caraire’s Sardine, which tells the story of "three strong women with different values and ideals who are nevertheless able to get along and support one another".

The winner of the RIGA IFF National Short Film Competition is Anna Ansone's Can't Help Myself, "a hypnotic tale told from the female gaze, in which we want to highlight the subtle sense humour and unexpected plot twists". The filmmaker will receive a cash prize of 1,000 EUR.

The festival’s family section KIDS' REEL was judged by two teams of experts: the ECFA jury and a children's jury. The ECFA jury’s award guarantees that the film receives a nomination for the ECFA Best European Children’s Film Award. This year, the award goes to Swedish director Sanna Lenken's Comedy Queen, "a story that offers a strong message of resilience and finding oneself". The jury selected Piret Sigus’ and Silja Saarepuu’s The Turnip as the winner in the KIDS' REEL Short Film Competition, describing it as "a new take on a classic fairy tale".

The RIGA IFF Children's Jury has named the animated film Yuku and the Himalayan Flower by French filmmakers Arnaud Demuynck and Rémi Durin as their favourite film. This film will be screened on Latvian television after the festival in cooperation with LTV.

The award in the Baltic Music Video Competition goes to the video for the song "Ne daiktai" by Jonas Šarkus and Džiugas Babenskas, which "impresses with its untamed nature that comes across even through its formal setting". The creators received a prize worth 1,000 EUR. The jury gave a special mention to the video for the song "Sunshine Cake" by the artist Synaesthesis, directed by Kristijonas Dirsė.

The winner of the SHORT RIGA Test Screenings and the recipient of the BB Posthouse prize of post-production services worth 3,000 EUR, was Oleksandr Kosiak's documentary The Sun Shines, But Doesn't Heat.

RIGA IFF also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, the award goes to Juris Zviedris and Aīda Zviedre for running the cinema K Suns for 30 years, thus nurturing Riga's art house and avant-garde cinema landscape. The award was presented by Mārtiņš Staķis, the Mayor of Riga.


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