Latvia is a small country. And this is just the fourth year that a festival of such international significance takes place in Riga. We need new and young people to fall in love with the beautiful world of cinema! This is an honest answer as to why it is so important to have a whole weekend dedicated to films for the whole family, why it is important to provide additional captivating pastimes as well… Two fascinating days of a cinematic adventure for schoolchildren, pre-school kids and their kin.

A camel dies in the local zoo.

A tour of the place will prove that sometimes one painting is not enough.

The film is based on the life story of Melānija Vanaga, a woman who managed to survive her deportation to Siberia. It is a truthful account of the magnitude of the human spirit and the painful destinies, which were a part of the greatest tragedy facing the nation. It is the story of Latvian women who had to suffer and survive physically and emotionally in order for Latvia to live. To maintain hope, to preserve a person who is stronger than famine, cold, cruelty and even death and is capable of taking on responsibility for another person, to help others – such is the confirmation of Melānija Vanaga, her memories and also this film to the light in the world.

The eighties, summer, Italy, swimming pools and intellectuals. “I asked myself if I wanted to create a piece that was a sort of conversation between the storyline, the characters, and the medium, or if I just wanted the characters and the story to flow. And I said to myself: ‘Step back! Have faith in these people and this setting.’ So I chose to make the movie in the most lighthearted and simple way. I think it’s probably the movie I made with the most calmness, applying in a very specific and literal way my motto, that we should live with a sense of joie de vivre,” the director Luca Guadagnino tells Variety about the film based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman. It tells of rare and deep feelings, of coming of age, of romance and of romanticism, of prejudice and lack thereof.

This year – the NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS programme opening film comes from Sweden! Power, masculinity, great success, deep tragedy, and myths. Harry Schein, the founder of the Swedish Film Institute, was one of the most influential cultural and media personalities in Sweden of the 60s and 70s. A documentary about an Austrian war refugee who ended up counting Ingmar Bergman and Olof Palme among his best friends. His yearning for change and fame demanded sacrifices. But Harry had nothing to lose. He had already lost everything – first and foremost his family and his trust in others… Among the interviewees are director Roy Andersson, legendary actresses Harriet Andersson and Liv Ullmann, Daniel Bergman, Ingmar Bergman’s son, Mårten Palme, Olof Palme’s son and many others.         Before the screening – Embassy of Sweden in Riga invites to a glass of lingonberry punch, some knäckebröd and to meet the film-makers. A small Q&A session is also planned after the screening.

If you are a crocodile eating cookies is much more difficult than one would think.

Niilas, 12, has been living with his father in the Netherlands. But this summer, Niilas has to travel to the North of Sweden to meet his mother he barely remembers since his parents are divorced. He is faced with an intriguing and emotional reunion and getting acquainted both with her mother’s new family and the magnificent Northern nature. At first, the unfamiliar surroundings scare Niilas but as soon as he has overcome his fear, this becomes the most adventurous summer of his life.