The Republic of Latvia has submitted a variety of films for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film[nb 1] at the Academy Awards. The award is given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue, and was first presented at the 29th Academy Awards.
The Academy selection committee reviews all submissions for this award, and secret ballot voting is used to determine the five nominees each year. For Latvia, the panel deciding on submissions works on behalf of the National Film Centre of Latvia (NFCL),[nb 2] consisting of Latvian Filmmakers Union[nb 3] chairperson Ieva Romanova, state secretary of the Ministry of Culture Dace Vilsone, critic Kristīne Simsone, film historian Viktors Freibergs, director and Latvian Academy of Culture [lv][nb 4] professor Dāvis Sīmanis, as well as producer and head of VFS Films Uldis Cekulis. Dita Rietuma, film historian and director of the NFCL, was elected as the head of the panel in 2020. They would hold a meeting to decide on the submission, and after announcing it, would give an explanation as to why said film was chosen.
A month after restoring independence, Latvia was recognized by the Soviet Union in September 1991, bringing the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to an end. In 1992, they sent their first-ever film for consideration, a comedy film titled The Child of Man, written and directed by Jānis Streičs, at the 65th Academy Awards. The film was considered alongside 32 other films but failed to be nominated. They made their next submission in 2008 for the 80th Awards, another in 2010 for the 83rd, and another in 2012 for the 85th, and have sent a film each year since then. In total, Latvia has made twelve submissions to the category, all of which were not nominated.
List of submissions
- ^ The panel said that the film is "highly valued in a narrative and artistic sense", marking all aspects of it "professional [and] memorable".
- ^ The panel stated that the film is a "stylistically unified and epic work with a strong protagonist, expressive visual solutions and great actors". It also noted the film's "meaning for Latvian history and culture."
- ^ In the meeting, the panel said that the reason for choosing the film was due to it being a "dynamic, universal and seamless message". The panel opined that its theme, cinematography, and originality made the film stand out against the other two candidates: What Silent Gerda Knows, directed by Jevgeņijs Paškēvičs, and The Sign Painter, directed by Viesturs Kairish.
- ^ In response, director Jevgēņijs Paškevičs states: "I am, of course, happy for our team, operators, artists, managers, and others who worked on this film. Of course, there is no need to cherish vain expectations, but it is also a pleasure that the jury has already made such a decision".
- ^ In response, the creator of the film Signe Baumane said, "It was unexpected for me, as Latvia has produced a few amazing films in the last year, and I didn't think an animated feature would have a chance in the competition against great live-action films". She hoped that the submission acquaints people more towards Latvian history and people, as well as widen the scope of mental illness discussions.
- ^ Viestur Kairish, director of The Chronicles of Melanie, opined that "To Be Continued is about the way a human enters life. By submitting the film by Ivars Seleckis, we are standing up for humanism and real film art."
- ^ Named "Best Foreign Language Film" prior to April 2019
- ^ Latvian: Latvijas Nacionālais Kino Centrs
- ^ Latvian: Latvijas Kinematogrāfistu Savienība
- ^ Latvian: Latvijas Kultūras Akadēmija
- ^ The first film and only Latvian submission to use Latgalian dialect throughout, with the film set in the Latgale region of Latvia
- ^ Initially, director Māris Martinsons intended the film to be produced in Lithuania, but "got refused," and it ended up being a Latvian film. It was shot in Hong Kong.
- ^ Other films considered for submission included Dream Team 1935 by Aigars Grauba (lv) and Mushroomers (lv) by Ivars Tontegode (lv).
- ^ Notes:
- ^ A co-production between Latvia, Poland, and Estonia