RIGA – (By Kateryna VIKULINA) On September 17 through 26 the Twentieth International Cinema Forum Arsenal will be held in Riga. During its long history not only did the forum become immensely popular in Latvia, it also gained repute in Russia and the West. The festival’s organizer Augusts Sukuts once said that “Arsenal is a feast.” This is confirmed by the lines waiting outside cinemas and the crowds of cinema-lovers eager to see the best films of the recent years — extraordinary cinema, meant for real connoisseurs.
This year’s cinema forum will present the world’s new productions as well as the most interesting Baltic films. Incidentally, there is no competition: this is true democracy and the winner of the Grand Prix (a 100,000-dollar prize) is chosen by casting lots. The winner is the director who finds a golden button from Sukuts’ tails in his glass of wine. Last year the American film director Ramin Bahrani was the lucky one. Incidentally, every participant of the competition gets a special prize: a Magic Crystal with an engraving “The Best Film Director.” This year’s Arsenal will be held under the sign of Japan — it is expected that the legend of the Japanese “new wave” Yoshishige Yoshida and his wife Mariko Okada will come.
It is expected that Otar Iosseliani will come as an honorary guest, as he is the forum’s old friend. A special event will be the showing of legendary movies: Cobra Verde, shot jointly by Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski (1987), and Tony Richardson’s drama The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) to commemorate the screenwriter of this movie Alan Sillitoe, who died in 2010. Apart from good films, there will also be art actions on various playgrounds of the city, as well as art installations, the international Riga Virus Program for cinema professionals, and showings of silent movies to living accompaniment.