The Fairytale of Empty Space


The cinematic series about three significant figures in Latvian theatre – directors Oļģerts Kroders (“The Fifth Hamlet” (2007), Māra Ķimele (“Mara” (2014), and the newest about Andris Freibergs – all investigate how loneliness, love and death weave the films’ heroes’ lives and art together as if it would be a tight braid. In the “Fairytale” the accomplished European stage designer and educator paints a self-portrait by shaping the stage for an imaginary production titled Andris Freibergs. He transforms himself into a space that contains close to eighty years worth of stunning success, tragic loss, birth and death. It is an attempt to create the perfect empty space – one that would simultaneously encompass everything and nothing, the beginning and the end. The film is produced by the Riga-based VFS FILMS.

“I think that the theatre is the final humane space where people can still learn not to be afraid of each other, trust, share, give, be genuine. The outwardly demure but extremely emotionally sensitive Andris Freibergs is the creator of many of the faces and forms of this last humane space. It is the revealing of humanity and the work of revealing which really attracts me, especially because Andris Freibergs manages it without words. How do you say what is important without telling it? The stage designer builds a space where everything has a meaning, and their relationships create new meaning. My task was to create a film somewhat analog to this space, where details lose their everyday meaning,” says the director Krista Burāne.

The music for the film was written by Reinis Sējāns, who, together with the group Instrumenti, also created the soundtrack for the 2015 RIGA IFF opening film “Double Aliens” while the art director Toms Burāns, who’s animated visions are crucial to the story, collaborated with the doll designer Mārtiņš Rozenfelds.

Krista Burāne who’s background is in philosophy and as well as art direction for advertising works as a director, scriptwriter, editor, photographer and educator. “The Fairytale of Empty Space” is her sixth documentary film. “Mara” from the series was nominated in 2014 for the national award “Lielais Kristaps” in the categories “Best Feature Length Documentary Film”,  “Best Director of a Documentary Film” and “Best Composer”.


The film has been made possible with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia, the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, the Riga Council, the Latvian National Opera and ELM Media.

The Riga International Film Festival is being developed with support of the European Commission’s programme “Creative Europe – MEDIA”, the National Film Centre of Latvia, Riga City Council, and the State Culture Capital Foundation.

The Fairytale of Empty Space