16th International European Documentary Film Symposium
Is the New Documentary. That New?

The16th Documentary Film Symposium held in Riga from September 10 till 15, 2005 under the title “Is the New Documentary That New?” has successfully finished its work. The Symposium brought together 24 delegates from 13 European countries including Latvian representatives as well as students of the Academy of Culture and the University of Latvia, filmmakers and those who are interested in documentary cinema.

Traditionally the Symposium begun with viewing the sight of Riga from the tower of St.Peters church and the introducing party in the „Maza Ěilde” .

The Symposium contributed to the cooperation between filmmakers from different EU countries as well as filmmakers and film theorists beyond the EU borders.

During three days 35 documentaries (including 9 from Latvia) were screened in the film theatre “Riga”. After each screening the audience could exchange its views on the films presented or start a discussion with the authors that continued in the couloirs and on the street.

During the Symposium 12 theoretical presentations were made followed by the Round Table session at the end.  The participants stated that during those fifteen years that have passed since the Soviet Union collapsed and the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe got rid from the clutches of totalitarian regime. During this time a new generation of authors has entered the world of art bringing markedly new life experience and perception of the reality that is reflected in their works. On the other hand, over those fifteen years the older generation also has re-evaluated it’s relations with the past and the present. It seems that these processes have developed with particular strength and intensity especially in the documentary cinema of the Eastern Europe due to its close ties with the reality. The new reality, which emerged from the dramatic changes and processes befalling this continent as well as the other parts of the world, has given new experiences to the humanity in general and to the documentary filmmakers in particular.

            The views expressed generally confirmed our basic assumptions choosing the subject for the 2005 edition of the International Documentary Film Symposium. It should be stressed that not only the quality and originality of the films were discussed but also the changes of the reality itself substantially impacting human lives and perceptions.

 The Symposium was supported by Culture Capital Foundation, Nordic Baltic Film Fund, the National Film Centre of Latvia, Parex Bank, the Embassy of Norway and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Besides the symposium got the informative support from the Latvian Radio, TV channel LTV, the news agency LETA, and the biggest newspapers of Latvia ‘Diena’ and ‘Neatkariga’.

Symposium Board
Ivars Seleckis Film Director
Abrams Kleckins Film Theoretician University of Latvia
Mihails Savisko Journalist
Bruno Ascuks Film Theoretician
Agris Redovics Film Theoretician Riga Film Museum
Andrejs Apsitis National Film Centre
Andris Rozenbergs National Film Centre
Romualds Pipars Film Director
Baiba Urbane Symposium Director - Home
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