Baltic Pitching Forum invites industry representatives to a special alumni film screening entitled “Small Countries, Big Ideas!” as part of the 27th Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS. The event will take place at National Film School of the Latvian Academy of Culture, on April 12th.
Since its inception a decade ago, the Baltic Pitching Forum has helped launch the careers of many filmmakers originating from the Baltics. Many successful shorts have been produced over the years, screening at numerous film festivals and coming home with countless awards. Some alumni have gone on to make features which have made a huge splash on the international circuit, also garnering a clutch of awards.
“Small Countries, Big Ideas!” selection of 5 short films originally pitched at the Baltic Pitching Forum over the past 10 years is not only a testament to the talent and diversity of filmmakers from the region, with works that run the gamut of emotions and styles, but proof that even though the Baltic countries are relatively small, the talent on offer is huge. Alumni screening will be held at 15:00 on Wednesday, 12 April, at the National Film School of the Latvian Academy of Culture. Entrance is free of charge without prior registration.
Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS is one of the oldest short film festivals in the Baltic States, which will start celebrating its 27th edition this Friday, on 7 April, and will continue till 13 April. As usual, 2ANNAS has prepared a rich selection of original, innovative, challenging and socially active short films and medium-length films.This year, 2ANNAS main theme is “Body and Flesh”, exploring the limits of the human body and the senses. In total, more than 100 short films from 25 countries will be screened. Festival’s industry days theme will be dedicated to “Animation and Body”. Various events will take place, including film screenings, talks, masterclass and networking events, which will provide opportunities to build closer relations with other Baltic and international film industry guests.
Films in the programme “Small Countries, Big Ideas!”:
By The Pool
dir. Laurynas Bareiša
fiction, 16 min., 2017
A group of teenagers rent the house with a sauna for a party. Everybody is having a good time: dancing, singing, drinking, talking until the party ends and everybody leaves. Later in the morning, the house keepers come to clean the place but they find Indre who is searching for a button of her ripped up trousers.
Winner of the Baltic Pitching Forum 2015.
The film premiered at Venice Film Festival 2017. Director Laurynas Bareiša would go on to win Best Film in the Venice Film Festival Orizzonti category in 2021 for his debut feature ‘Pilgrims’.
Castratus The Boar
dir. Raitis Ābele, Lauris Ābele
fiction, 23 min., 2014
“Castratus the Boar” is an impressionistic story about a small town resident Valter and his secret that prevents him from integrating in local community. He spends his days breeding pigs and singing in the church choir but that doesn’t make him less lonely. When he finally tries to establish closer contact with a fellow girl Aija, his representations of masculinity take a weird turn.
Pitched atthe Baltic Pitching Forum 2013.
Winner of Tampere Film Festival Grand Prix, 2014.
dir. Oskar Lehemaa
fiction, 14 min, 2019
Leo tries to resolve his balding problem with a mysterious hair growth serum he ordered over the Internet. The liquid starts causing grotesque and extreme changes in his body and now Leo must stop the metamorphosis before he loses even the last hair on his head – and much else.
Winner of the Baltic Pitching Forum 2014.
Screened at many festivals including Sundance (2020), Fantastic Fest and Fantasia, winner of Méliès d’Argent prize at Haapsalu Horror and Film Festival 2019.
dir. Anna Hints
fiction, 15 min, 2017
Harri is a lieutenant colonel in the Estonian army. Divorced, he only sees his ten-year-old son during school vacation. Harri decides to make up for lost time and to take him on a journey to the island Harri would go to with his own father when he was a child. When they miss the last ferry, Harri takes a local path on the frozen sea.
Pitched at the Baltic Pitching Forum 2014.
Anna Hints would go on to win the Best Director (World Cinema Documentary Competition) at the 2023 edition of Sundance for her debut feature documentary ‘Smoke Sauna Sisterhood’.
dir. Birutė Kapustinskaitė
fiction, 16 min, 2021
It’s a story of two mothers who have to let go of each other in order to grow.
Aldona (45) is a single mother of a daughter (25) who soon will become a mother herself. Miglė, her daughter, comes to visit her on the seaside. Aldona tries to show care, but instead – starts controlling her. She wants to convince Miglė to move back to live with her – Aldona has even decorated the separate room for the baby – but instead, just pushes her away. During the night, the contractions start unexpectedly together with a new chapter – Aldona has to finally accept her solitude and let her daughter go in order to grow.
Winner of the Baltic Pitching Forum 2019.