Latvian Ambassador to open University film and culture event
Published Friday 12th August 2011
Latvian film and culture will be celebrated at a special two-day academic and film event at The University of Northampton's Avenue Campus over 9-10 September, 2011.
The films to be shown have never been screened before in the UK, and include a new community film about Latvians living in Northamptonshire.
Ted Sullivan, Event co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media Studies, said:
This exciting event will look back at 20 years of Latvian culture to 1991, when changes within the former Soviet Union produced an awakening of national identity throughout Eastern Europe.
Latvia is one of the three Baltic republics which regained sovereignty following the break up of the Soviet Union during the late 1980s and early '90s. The events of that time were documented by legendary Latvian filmmaker Juris Podnieks in his film 'Homeland', which we will also be screening.
We are privileged to have the current director of Juris Podnieks' studio, Antra Cilinska, at the conference to present an insider's view of that time and of Podnieks' film legacy.Ted Sullivan
'Laizam' will feature recent examples of Latvian cinema, courtesy of the National Film Centre in Riga, as well as an exhibition of photographs, 'A Day in the Life of Latvia'.
Additionally, Ivars Ijabs, a noted academic and historian from the University of Latvia will give a critical overview of the events of 20 years ago and will explore how cultural and political life in Latvia is likely to develop over the next two decades.
One of the event highlights will be the premier of a community film which tells the story of Latvians who have come to live in Northamptonshire and the East Midlands since the Second World War. The film has been produced by two first time filmmakers, Corby businessman Agris Krumins and his daughter Sarma, a former Fine Art foundation student at The University of Northampton. They want to give an inside view of the three generations of Latvians who have lived in the UK and how they feel about their homeland today.
Although neither have had any formal film training they have been able to undertake this project with the help of the staff and facilities at the University's School of The Art's Film, Media and Communication division.
Agris Krumins, who grew up in Corby:
This film has been something I've wanted to do for some time. I am pleased that we have been able to undertake this project while also showcasing the talents of Latvian film makers who have emerged over the past 20 years.Agris Krumins
'Laizam' will include a special seminar on Latvian media in the 21st century presented by Datsa Gaile, a current business student at The University of Northampton and owner of Anglo Baltic News, a monthly Latvian language newspaper based in Northampton.
'Laizam' is providing a cultural focal point for our readers and will help build a broader understanding between the generations who often have contrasting views of Latvia.Datsa
For details go to: www.northampton.ac.uk/laizam