Russian documentary festival ArtDocFest to relocate to Riga

Russian documentary festival ArtDocFest to relocate to Riga
Festival director Vitaly Mansky in 2010 (Image: A.Savin under a CC licence)

15 September 2015

Documentary festival ArtDocFest will be relaunched at Riga International Film Festival in October, after the Russian government withdrew funding last year.

Vitaly Mansky, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and director of the festival, left Russia for Latvia after his allegedly “anti-Russian” stance led government funding to be withdrawn.

“No single project of Mansky’s, including ArtDocFest, will ever receive any money as long as I am Culture Minister,” Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky was quoted as saying in November 2014.

Mansky expressed regret that the festival would no longer take place in Moscow, but stressed that moving to Riga would allow the festival to continue screening a wide range of cutting-edge films. Mansky highlighted in particular that had the festival remained in Russia, it would be impossible to screen films featuring swearing or families with homosexual parents due to legal restrictions.

“We shall show films that are all-but impossible to screen in Russia [...] the uncertainty is not so much due to politics but the vagaries of Russian legislation,” Mansky told Latvia’s public service broadcaster LSM.

Riga International Film Festival will run from 15 to 26 October.

Source: Hollywood Reporter