Riga IFF - workshops and discussion alongside screenings

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After a little over a week, the Riga International Film Festival (IFF) will kick off, showing over 80 new movies from all over Europe. Along with attending movie screenings, visitors will have to chance to meet directors and attend workshops and discussions, reported Latvian Radio Wednesday.

Last year the European Movie Award ceremony was held in Rīga, and the first International Film Festival (Riga IFF) was held in preparation for it. It turned out to be a good start for this widely heralded movie event in Latvia. 

This year the festival sports a rich program with movie goodies that include awarded films, such as the Cannes Grand-Prix laureate Hungarian Son of Saul, considered to be one of the most impressive movies about the holocaust. 

The festival also features Nani Moretti's touching My Mother (a Palme d'Or nominee) as well as Radu Jude's Aferim! that received the Silver Bear in Berlin, as well as Asif Kapadia's Amy that relates the sad tale of singer Amy Winehouse. 

A total of more than 80 movies, including feature-length films and shorts, will help people become acquainted with the direction and variety of European cinema. 

"Different movies - luxurious, serious, stylish, dramatic. The difference of this program is that there are no frivolous movies here, in the commercial meaning of the word," said movie critic Daira Āboliņa.

The movies are separated into thematic programmes on the homepage, including the official competition programme, the movies of which will compete for the Riga IFF award. 

An important part of the festival will be the Artdocfest that offers a glimpse into independent Russian documentary movies, led to Rīga by the president of the festival Vitaly Mansky as the films would be 'impossible' to screen in Russia. It'll be possible to meet the directors and to participate in discussions about the movie, Mansky said. 

The festival features children's and youth movies, an extraordinary shorts programme along with a historical retrospect and others.

The festival will be opened by Uģis Olte's Dubultie svešinieki (Double Strangers) that examines the Latvian ethnic problem through the lens of another society that can be seen as one featuring Latvia's problems in an exaggerated way. Olte made the film in southern Georgia where 10% of Georgians have to live with 90% of Armenians.

The Riga IFF starts on October 15 and lasts until October 25.

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