Changes affect everyone, and significant changes can rarely be neatly planned in advance, or pencilled in on kitchen calendars. Although unforeseen things happen regularly, almost everyone has had to face this fact of life in the last few months. What can a film festival do in the current circumstances? How should festival creators, spectators, and filmmakers respond?
You can identify the unknown, accept it and make it your own. You can recognise that whatever plans you make, anything else might happen instead. One planned scenario is replaced by the next. And they are all ours, both those that have happened and those that are still to come.
Through art, we long to experience the unusual and the unexpected. We empathise with and live through others. We are captivated by watching protagonists and the medium of film itself stand in front of the unknown, confidently take the first step and somehow find the right path. We have a choice to perceive the world’s complexities and changes in a variety of ways – with exasperation, suspicion, or serenity. We can also choose to perceive the world with confidence, with a knowledge that we are not captives of the current circumstances, but rather that this experience belongs to us. And that we can do whatever we want with it.
It is with this confidence that RIGA IFF announces that it will take place for the seventh time this year, from 15-25 October. The festival will gather viewers, filmmakers and film professionals to once more face the unknown and make it their own. We invite our audiences to awaken their desire for adventure and discovery, because this year will be rich in innovations. Innovations will weave through the programming as well as the format – the festival is ready to take place both in person and online, depending on what the unknown future will bring. One thing is clear – the festival will take place and will further its mission without compromising on quality.