The Latvian government has ramped up film funding in honour of Latvia’s centenary next year, but returning to normal will be a huge challenge for the local industry, says the head of the National Film Centre, Dita Rietuma.
16 state-sponsored films have been commissioned as part of celebrations marking Latvia’s 100th anniversary, with the initiative honouring the centenary bringing in an extra $8.85 m to film production. Following the initiative, funding will be drastically reduced in what Ms Rietuma describes as a “heavy fall to practically nowhere”.
“We’re slowly returning to an ascetic survival mode. Film funding will scarcely reach pre-crisis levels” the film centre head told Latvian Radio on 16 August.
As an example of the higher rates of financing enjoyed by filmmakers around the centenary, the first picture to be released in the jubilee film programme, Grandpa is more dangerous than the computer, received 88 per cent of its $755,000 budget from public funds. The film premiered in Riga last week, with the 15 additional films to be released during the autumn and throughout 2018.