The latest fiction film by Viestur Kairish, “Chronicles of Melanie”, which will have its Latvian release from November 1, will have the International premiere at the biggest Nordic and Baltic film festival, Tallinn “Black Nights”, where it has been selected as one of 12 films for the official competition.
The Latvian Lielais Kristaps film ceremony took place on October 12, this year, and the main prizes went to the Renārs Vimba feature film “Mellow Mud” and Vitaly Mansky’s “Under the Sun.” Three films competed for the Best Feature Film Award – Laila Pakalniņa’s “Dawn,” “Mellow Mud,” and Dāvis Sīmanis’ “Exiled,” with “Mellow Mud” winning the prize (its title in Latvian is “Es esmu šeit,” or “I Am Here”).
The Turaida Museum Reserve in Latvia, which is a protected cultural monument, has taken part this year in a European competition, “Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism 2016,” which is being organised by the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN). The theme this year was tourism and intangible heritage, and applications were submitted by 23 candidates from nine European countries – Greece, Georgia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Spain.
An international jury established to evaluate nominees for Baltic Assembly (BA) prizes gathered at the Latvian Parliament, the Saeima, on September 27, voting to award this year’s science prize to Maija Dambrova for her work in the field of energy metabolism and her contributions toward researching the mechanism of effectiveness of the metabolic agent Mildronate. The BA literature prize will go to the Lithuanian poet, writer, literary critic, playwright and translator Sigitas Parulskis for his novel “Darkness and Company” and for two collections of essays, “Wanting Something Tender Before Dying” and “The Fangs of My Conviction.
“All people have the right to live in peace and security in their own country,” Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis declared during his address at the 71st session of the United Nations on September 21 in New York. Decisive political action to address and prevent conflicts that cause massive displacements and suffering is more urgent than ever before. The international community must find political solutions.”
Latvia has nominated a movie for the best foreign film competition in next year’s American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards ceremony. This is the ninth time that Latvia has submitted a film for consideration, and this time a panel of experts at the Latvian National Film Centre (NFC) announced the selection at a news conference on September 23. This year’s Latvian entry is the feature film “Ausma” (Dawn), which was directed by Laila Pakalniņa.
Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved an Economics Ministry programme to lower taxes and co-fund the salaries of highly qualified employees at start-up companies in 2017. The Economics Ministry has been charged with organising a EUR 3 million programme to co-fund wages when start-ups lack financing to hire qualified specialists. The plan is to be submitted to the full Cabinet of Ministers on October 11.
On 25-26 August, Riga will host the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic and Nordic countries in the NB8 format. Latvia will welcome the region’s representatives as the country coordinating the NB8 cooperation in 2016. The programme includes a reflection on cooperation in the region over the 25 years since the Baltic States regained their independence and a discussion on current developments in Europe as well as security issues in the region and beyond.
On 24 August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a meeting of the Diaspora Working Group, at which an informational report on the activities of the Foreign Ministry in the diaspora sector from 2013 to 2015 was presented to the diaspora organisations and cooperation partners.
The Summer Olympics are being held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21. Latvia is represented by 34 athletes who are competing in 13 different disciplines. The first week was successful for female athletes from Latvia who demonstrated good results, but did not win any medals.
When drafting the state budget for the next year, efficient use of budgetary funds must be ensured so that necessary reforms in public administration would be continued, according to President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis.