Two Latvian-made films set for animation festival

Two short films by Latvian directors will be screened during the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which runs June 8-13 in France.

The films are Spārni un airi (Wings and Oars) by Vladimir Leschiov and Birth by Signe Baumane.

In Spārni un airi, a former pilot examines his life. All work on the film, except for sound and music, is by Leschiov.

Leschiov was born in 1970 in Daugavpils and in 2007 started his own business, Lunohod Animation Studio, in Rīga. Leschiov’s first professional film, Bezmiegs (Insomnia), was completed in 2004 and has won several awards, according to his studio’s Web site.

Baumane’s Birth tells the story of a 17-year-old girl, Amina, who is pregnant. The film is a U.S. and Italian co-production.

Born in 1964 in Auce, Baumane grew up in Tukums and on Russia’s Sakhalin Island. She started her professional career in 1989 at the Dauka Animation Studio in Rīga, according to her Web site. Since 1995, she has lived in New York. Besides work on a several award-winning animation films, she also does illustration for children books and other publications, including Utne Reader.

A schedule for screenings has not yet been announced. For further information about the festival, visit

Spārni un airi

In Vladimir Lesciov’s Spārni un airi, a former pilot recalls his life. (Image courtesy Annecy International Animation Film Festival)

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

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