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“2ANNAS is a living, breathing organism that wants to grow and develop”

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Anna Veilande-Kustikova • Programme director, 2ANNAS Film Festival

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- Cineuropa speaks to Anna Veilande-Kustikova, programme director of the 2ANNAS Film Festival in Latvia, as it gears up for its next edition

Anna Veilande-Kustikova • Programme director, 2ANNAS Film Festival

The 2ANNAS International Short Film Festival has long been a stalwart of the festival scene in Latvia. With the country having recently experienced a rocky few years in its industry – owing to a drop in funding and the global financial crash – 2ANNAS has continually flown the flag for Latvia, showcasing international and domestic cinema. But with the resurgence of the country’s film industry over the past few years – and 2014 seeing Riga crowned not only the European Capital of Culture, but also the host of the European Film Awards – 2ANNAS is also changing to expand its scope and increase its presence. Cineuropa talked to Anna Veilande-Kustikova about the challenges it faces for its next edition (17-26 October 2014).

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Cineuropa: You’ve added a feature-film element to 2ANNAS, with you looking to screen first and second features. What do you hope this will bring?
Anna Veilande-Kustikova:
2ANNAS is a living, breathing organism that wants to grow and develop even more. This year, we want to further develop into a film festival with high-quality competition programmes and a focus on contemporary, avant-garde movements.

Furthermore, 2ANNAS wants to follow the development of the filmmakers who have previously participated in the festival. Many of them are now working with full-length feature films, and we want to give them the space to showcase their works.

How do you think 2ANNAS will fit into the Latvian film scene in 2014?
This year is a good opportunity for 2ANNAS to continue developing in Latvia. Last year, 2ANNAS was the only film festival in Riga, and luckily, this year there are other film festivals as well. This turn of events allows us to further explore the themes and cinematic movements that have always been on the mind of 2ANNAS. Since we don’t need to fill the festival gap in Riga this year, we can focus solely on the contemporary cinematic transgressors and groundbreakers.

The new competition programme will be a way for 2ANNAS to search for the filmmakers that explore new cinematic languages and ways of expression. In a way, it is the next logical step for 2ANNAS to become even more deeply involved in the search for the next cinematic avant-garde groundbreakers.

Is there anything you will focus on in this year’s festival?
The 2014 edition of 2ANNAS is focused on transgression in cinema. This is mostly reflected in our focus programmes, where we will explore our main field of interest – filmmakers who have introduced new subjects, film styles and movements. As for the competition programmes, we hope to screen works that, in due time, will be thought of as the groundbreaking, revolutionary works of our time. And in this way, for 2ANNAS, the year 2014 will be the first time that the theme of the festival’s focus programmes can be seen as a guide to explain what we are looking for in our competitions.

And what do you hope for the festival in the future?
2ANNAS is willing to become a platform for film curators who are looking at historical and contemporary film, and moving image, as material for creative programming. We are hoping to become a space for the discussion and showcasing of new film programmes and research. As its starting point in 2014, 2ANNAS will host six film programmers’ works from Germany, Austria, the UK, Greece, the USA, Latvia and Estonia.

You can find out more about submission to 2ANNAS here.

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