20 films from Latvia set for Swiss animation fest

Twenty films from Latvia are among the works of animation being screened from Sept. 11-16 during the Fantoche 07 festival in Baden, Switzerland. This is the first time Latvia has participated in the festival, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Films from Latvia being shown are some classics of animation as well as more recent work.

“Latvia’s animated film-making scene is unfairly seen as a ‘white dot’ on the European cinema landscape because Latvian animation is anything but colourless, it is characterised by a rich palette of shades and shapes,” according to the official festival program. “The films explore the infinite nature of opposites and know no bounds in terms of design. Latvian animated film-making also has a lot to offer from a technical perspective. To this day it still nurtures its tradition of puppet films which dates back to 1966. However, studios have developed alongside that which have perfected the art of 2D and 3D animation.”

The lion’s share of Latvian films will be screened during two “Terra Incognita” showcases devoted to the country.

In the first showcase, director Arnold Burovs’ Pygmalion (1966) and Little Hawk (1978), Roze Stiebra’s Looking for the Northern Daughter (1980) and Tanzania (2003), Vladimir Lesčovs’ Insomnia (2004), Edmunds Jansons’ Scissorman (2005), Signe Baumane’s Woman (2002), and Aija Bley’s Island of Doctor D. (2005) and The Prickly (2005) will be screened at 18:30 hours Sept. 12 and 09:30 hours Sept. 15 in Kino Orient, Landstrasse 2, Wettingen.

In the second “Terra Incognita” showcase, Burovs’ The Last Leaf (1984), Ansis Bērziņš The Trumpeter of Tālava (1988), Jānis Cimermanis’ Latvian (2007), Nils Skapāns Telephone (2005), Gints Apsīts’ Ministry Messiah (2005), Lesčovs’ Lost in Snow (2007) and Stiebra’s Green Fairy Tale (1977), A Piece of Cake (2000), Where Are Your Running (1997) and Butterflies (1997) will be screened at 18:30 hours Sept. 13 and 12:15 hours Sept. 15 in Kino Orient.

Participating in the festival’s International Competition are two Latvian films, Bley’s Island of Doctor D. and director Lesčovs’ Lost in Snow. The competition includes 33 other films. Island of Doctor D. and Lost in Snow are scheduled at 20:45 hours Sept. 11 in Kino Linde, Mellingerstrasse 22, and at 16:15 hours Sept. 12 and 14:15 hours Sept. 13 in Kino Sterk, Bahnhofstrasse 22, Baden.

In a showcase of animation films intended for children between the ages of 4 and 7, nine films will be screened including two works by Skapāns, The Witch’s Button (2006) and Holes in the House (2000). Screenings are scheduled at 14:15 hours Sept. 12 and 14:15 hours Sept. 16 in Kino Orient.

For further information on the festival, visit www.fantoche.ch.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *