1977 Jurmala
From 1977 Latvia developed as a unique centre of the theory of the documentary film. From that time on the international documentary film symposiums dedicated to the actual creative problems and tendencies of this kind of art have been taking place every two years in Jurmala.
From the onset the representatives of the states of the Eastern block - Bulgaria, Tchekoslovakia, Poland, USSR, Hungary, GDR - took part in them. Later, in 1989, the filmmakers from Western Germany, Finland, Switzerland joined it. The symposiums became a meeting place to exchange opinions and experiences between East and West.
The theoretical conclusions and insights of the symposiums were reflected in the professional editions of the participating countries, but in 1990 a volume of selected stenographic materials “Documentary Film. Past. Today. Future”, were published in English and Russian.
The same year owing to the high reputation of the Jurmala symposiums a meeting of the American and Soviet documentary filmmakers was carried out on its basis (approx. 80 paricipants). It was the first outdoors session in the history of Robert Flaherty Seminar.
From the year 1991, taking into account the new geopolitical situation in Europe, the other Baltic sea countries - Denmark, Norway, Germany, Sweden - became involved in the work of the symposium.
The symposium in 1991 was dedicated to the problem “National Image of the World on the Move”, in 1993 - “Documentary Film in the Cultural Context of the Baltic Sea Countries” and in 1995 - “The Identity of Documentary Film in the Age of Multimedia”.
The symposiums contributed much to the high reputation of Latvian documentary film in the world and saved it from provincialism and self-sufficiency.
Photo by
Romualds Pipars
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