Although Latvia remains a land of unrealised potential for many international producers, directors and actors, the feedback from those who have collaborated with local production companies, and have actually filmed in Latvia. is overwhelmingly positive.

Shooting in Latvia was as professional as it is in Germany or in France. I really liked Riga, I found it very Northern. I like the fresh air and the old brown stone buildings.
Ulrich Matthes, actor, Germany

If you’re looking for breathtaking undiscovered locations, Latvia can offer you a broad range of eras and moods within a comparatively small territory. Here, you’ll find monumental medieval fortresses, refined aristocratic houses, and huge deserted behemoths of Soviet industry.

There are very interesting and impressive locations in Latvia. The craftsmen and technicians, as well as the local acting talents are the equals of any in the world.
Werner Herzog, director, Germany

Latvia has played various roles in films – the streets of Riga have played those of Warsaw, Berlin, London, Zurich and other European cities. Meanwhile, the Kurzemes coastline has doubled as Normandy on D-Day, Kuldiga has been a small town in Poland, and the forests of Latgale have imitated German-occupied Soviet territories during the Second World War.

I would like to thank the talented and professional film crew that worked with me in Latvia. Their experience made it possible to shoot the film in a very short period of time. We understood each other perfectly.
Sergey Loznitsa, director, Ukraine

Besides the fact that film production costs in Latvia are much lower than those in Western Europe, Latvia’s governmental and municipal bodies offer international film production co-financing of up to 25%.

I’d be absolutely thrilled to return to Riga and I’m sure that many other film crews will be visiting soon. I shall certainly be telling people what a fantastic time we had there.
Kenneth Branagh, actor, UK

Check out the wealth of options that Latvia offers you!


Locarno’s work in progress section First Look will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Baltic Cinema showcasing not yet completed Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian films, for an audience of professionals attending the Industry Days.

Baltic Cinema Industry has seen a constant growth in recognition in the yearly festival circuit: 2016 Berlinale Chrystal Bear winner Es esmu seit (Mellow Mud) by Renars Vimba, Tangerines by Zaza Urushadze (nominated at the 2015 Oscars), and I’m Not From Here by directors Maite Alberdi and Giedrė Žickytė. Several Baltic directors have attended the last edition of the Locarno Festival: Laila Pakalniņa, Maris Saadi, Ilmar Raag, Heilika Pikkov among others.

“The Locarno Industry Days are the perfect place to give the right visibility to a specific activity. First Look is an excellent opportunity for the countries in focus to highlight their cinema. Thanks to the tailor made program designed by Project Manager Markus Duffner, we are sure that the selected Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian producers will profit from the Locarno experience. Nobody can be sure, especially in these days, to sell a film, but we can assure that the films will be seen by buyers, festival programmers and other professionals in town, as well as by a high profile jury ”, says Nadia Dresti, Locarno’s Deputy Artistic Director and Head of International.

Thanks to the invaluable support of the National Film Centre of Latvia, Estonian Film Institute and Lithuanian Film Centre, First Look 2017 will select from 5 to 7 films in post-production stage and with no sales agent attached to be screened to an audience of buyers, festival programmers, post-production support funds representatives and sales agents attending Locarno’s Industry Days. The aim is to start the films’ international career and help their completion, enhancing a dialogue between the professionals and the producers that will introduce each work in progress briefly before each screening.

“The Latvian National Film centre is very pleased to participate in the First Look section, which represents a great opportunity for the Latvian film industry to highlight its production boost – 16 new features – for Latvia’s centenary programme”, National Film Centre of Latvia, Dita Rietuma.


The 70th edition of the Locarno Festival will held from 2 to 12 August 2017.

Further information on First Look.

© Nacionālais kino centrs, 2017 »