Magnetic Latvia Film Conference to kick off in Riga next week
by Davide Abbatescianni
- The event, organised by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, will focus on the development of the Northern European film market
The Magnetic Latvia Film Conference will take place from 18-19 October 2019 in Riga. The brand-new, two-day event is being organised by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and will be dedicated to the development of the Northern European film market.
During the first day, the speakers will address the challenges that relatively small countries should consider when it comes to international marketing, entering major markets and highlighting the value of local productions on the global stage. The conference will be opened by speeches by Andris Ozols, director of the LIAA, and Dita Rietuma, director of the National Film Centre, the country’s main audiovisual agency. A 30-minute talk about the future of the film industry will follow, presented by veteran Romanian producer Ada Solomon.
The first line-up of illustrious speakers includes Jonathan Olsberg, chairman of Olsberg SPI (a British creative-industries strategy consultancy firm for both public- and private-sector clients), Latvian producer Jānis Kalējs from Film Angels Productions, Itambuca Filmproduction CEO Paul Aguaiuja (producer of the successful Estonian TV series The Bank), Sergei Serpuhov from Latvian outfit Baltic Pine Films, Ieva Norviliene from Lithuania’s Tremora and Gary Tuck from Vilnius-based Baltic Film Services. These speakers will partake in two panels entitled “Potential of the Baltic Film Industry” and “Local Production Value in the Global Landscape – Baltic Focus”.
Later in the afternoon, a panel entitled “How to Get Small Country Products into the Big Markets” will be moderated by Ada Solomon and will play host to talks by award-winning Polish writer-director Agnieszka Holland, British producer Julie Baines from Dan Films, Israel’s Katriel Schory, producer and executive director of the Israel Film Fund, and Shelley Page, an international animation talent consultant for leading animation studios such as Netflix Animation (USA), DreamWorks (USA), Aardman Animations (UK), HB Wink (China), 88 Pictures (India) and Wizart (Russia).
The last panel, entitled “Selling Your Product in Different Channels”, will be moderated by film director Martins Grauds from Riga-based firm Film Studio Tanka. The speakers will be EUROVOD vice-president and EYZ Media GmbH (Germany) executive director Andreas Wildfang, G Thomas Esmay, director of corporate strategy from Breaker (USA), and Michael Werner, CEO and managing director of Sweden’s Eyewell, an international sales company for motion-picture content.
The first day will be brought to a close by a one-hour presentation of local production companies and a networking event kicking off at 5 pm. On the second day of the conference, guests will be invited on a special “Familiarisation Tour”, a unique opportunity to gather enduring memories on a location tour around the capital’s dreamy Old Town.
Over the years, the LIAA has been actively supporting Latvia’s presence in the international markets and Latvian filmmakers’ participation in major markets and festivals. As the country’s main export body, the LIAA’s mission is to facilitate and strengthen the professional presence of Latvian filmmakers in the B2B film business. The Magnetic Latvia brand was created recently to promote Latvia’s innovations and the very best of its technology, literature, art and science worldwide. The conference is being held during the 2019 Riga International Film Festival, which takes place from 17-27 October this year. The event will feature 148 films across 11 themed sections and competition programmes, bringing together contemporary cinema and classics, festival hits and directorial debuts. This edition’s opening film will be Gints Zilbalodis’ animated feature Away [+see also:
interview: Gints Zilbalodis
film profile], the recipient of the Contrechamp Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Attendance at the event is free of charge. The full programme of the conference is available to view here.
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