Film director Frumin awarded Latvian citizenship

Film director and screenwriter Boris Frumin was awarded Latvian citizenship by the Saeima on March 25.

Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis (National Alliance) had proposed the move, which comes following the success of Frumin's scenario for the hit feature film "Blizzard of Souls".

Frumin (now Boriss Frumins), who is an associate professor at the Tisch School of Arts in New York, USA, was born in Rīga in Soviet-occupied Latvia in 1948, where he also began his career as a cinematographer.

In 1978, Frumin emigrated to the United States, after his third film, "The Mistakes of Youth", was censored and banned.

The move to award him citizenship was supported by Juris Žagars, a member of the board of Dailes Theater, and film directors Dzintars Dreibergs, Gatis Šmits and Jānis Streičs.

There are two paths to Latvian citizenship for those who do no hold it by birthright. One is by means of a naturalization process that involves residency requirements and tests of Latvian history, language and the constitution. 

In addition the Saeima is allowed to confer Latvian citizenship in special cases. Most famously Rīga-born American citizen Mikhail Baryshnikov became a dual Latvian-U.S. citizen in 2017, also for "'special merit" reasons. An earlier application for citizenship on behalf of former chess champion Garry Kasparov was rejected by the Saeima.

More recently, Brtitish orchestral conductor Karel Mark Chichon was also awarded citizenship on "special merit" grounds. 

 

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