Riga International Film Festival closes with win for Mother, I Love You
by Laurence Boyce
- The ceremony celebrated the best of Latvian cinema
Last night’s Great Christopher Awards ceremony held in Riga, Latvia, honoured the very best Latvian films from the past two years. Serving as a culmination of both the Riga International Film Festival and the Latvian National Film Festival, the event saw numerous awards given out to a wide range of Latvian filmmakers.
The big winner of the night was Mother, I Love You [+see also:
film profile], Janis Nords’ Berlin-premiered tale of a boy whose lies catch up with him. Winning both Best Film and Best Director, the film proved a popular choice amongst both juries and audiences.
Other winners included the Lithuanian-Latvian film The Gambler [+see also:
interview: Ignas Jonynas
film profile], by Ignas Jonynas, for Best Minority Co-production. The hit movie was the first Lithuanian title to screen at San Sebastian. During the ceremony, producer Roberts Vinovskis came on stage to talk eloquently about the stresses and joys of working on a co-production. His appearance was a popular one, as he had appeared throughout the night to accept the awards of numerous winners who were absent, and the audience (as well as Vinovskis himself) was delighted that he could actually accept an award meant for him.
Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann also made an appearance to hand over the Lifetime Achievement Award to film director and cinematographer Ivars Seleckis and editor Maija Selecka.
A total of 34 films were nominated for a Great Christopher, and the films were evaluated by an international jury made up of Latvian Film Producers’ Association representative Bruno Ascuks, Latvian Guild of Cinematographers representative Valdis Eglitis, FIPRESCI Latvia representative Anita Uzulniece, film directors Janis Streics and Andis Miziss, animator Roze Stiebra, Russian film critic Elena Stishova, German film journalist Jan Schulz-Ojala, and film theoretician and representative of the Norwegian Film Institute Jan Erik Holst.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Film: Mother, I Love You
Best Director: Janis Nords (Mother, I Love You)
Best Actor: Janis Amanis (Dream Team 1935)
Best Actress: Vita Varpina (Mother, I Love You)
Best Short Film: A Little Longer (Dir: Stanislavs Tokalovs)
Best Feature-length Documentary: Obliging Collaborators (Dir: Peteris Krilovs)
Best Documentary up to 60 Minutes: Chronicles of the Last Temple (Dir: Davis Simanis)
Best Animated Film: Rocks in My Pockets [+see also:
interview: Signe Baumane
film profile] (Dir: Signe Baumane)
Best Animation Film Director: Signe Baumane (Rocks in My Pockets)
Best Screenwriter: Signe Baumane (Rocks in My Pockets)
Best Full-length Documentary Director: Viestur Kairish (Pelican in the Desert)
Best Cinematography: Janis Eglitis (The Gambler)
Best Cinematography for a Documentary: Gints Berzins (Pelican in the Desert)
Best Debut: Modris [+see also:
film profile] (Dir: Juris Kursietis)
Best Film Score: Jekabs Nimanis (Mara and More than a Life)
Best Costume Design: Sandra Sila (Dream Team 1935)
Best Editor: Liga Pipare (Dream Team 1935)
Best Latvian Minority Co-production Film: The Gambler (Dir: Ignas Jonynas)
Best Supporting Actress: Rezija Kalnina (Modris)