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Photo: Paula Lūse

In production – the 16mm short film The Sound We See: Riga 0

Photo: Paula Lūse

This week the art and culture website, in cooperation with the non-profit media arts organization Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles, USA), is beginning production on the audiovisual project The Sound We See: Riga.

The public premier of the project is planned for September 8, during the opening of the Riga International Film Festival (Riga IFF) at the Splendid Palace theater. The film’s score, original music written by the young composer Platons Buravickis, will be performed live. 

In The Sound We See: Riga, a story about today’s Riga will be created by 24 vividly creative figures from Latvia: Agnese Krivade, Aigars Bikše, Anda Lāce, Andris Freibergs, Ansis Starks, Atis Jākobsons, Evelīna Ozola, Gunārs Binde, Ieva Epnere, Jānis Putniņš, Karlīna Vītoliņa, Katrīna Neiburga, Kristiāns Brekte, Krišs Salmanis, Maija Kurševa, MAREUNROL’S, Mārtiņš Grauds, Miķelis Baštiks, Miķelis Putniņš, Odrija Fišere, Pauls Bankovskis, Sergej Timofejev, Signe Birkova, and Viesturs Meikšāns.

“Riga has always been an extremely cinematic city, however, it is the people involved in the project who, through their personal experiences and observations, will let the viewer get closer to the city and get a look ‘behind the facade’. Each minute of the film will be encoded with visual and contextual information that its creator wants to communicate as a testament to his or her time, space, and people,” says Žanete Skarule, the project’s curator and architect.

The goal of the film’s guest directors – Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr, senior heads at the Echo Park Film Center – is to bring together representatives from various art fields, and by working together (in the form of a master class), they will learn how to work with 16mm cameras so that they can capture the city over a period of 24 hours. The resultant material will be used to make a 24-minute-long black and white short film – an emotional journey through the city.

“These days, this is an exclusive opportunity to work with 16mm film stock; for most of the participants, this will be their first encounter with the 16mm film process. It is precisely the uncertain gamble intrinsic to using film stock, and the moment of surprise when developing the film, that makes both the process and the results so exciting,” comments Daiga Rudzāte, Editor-in-chief of

Similar The Sound We See projects have been done in cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, London, Seoul, Berlin, Mexico City, and Vancouver, attesting to the fact that anyone, even the most diverse groups of people, can make a film. The idea for the project was sourced from the “city symphony” genre of cinema which was begun by the film directors Walter Ruttmann and Dziga Vertov in the early 20th century – they wished to capture the city’s dynamism and to portray it as an independent, live and functioning organism.

ARCHIVE: An interview with Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo from Echo Park Film Center

The project The Sound We See: Riga is being done with the support of the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation, the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, and Live Riga, in cooperation with Baltic Analog Lab, Studija Lokomotīve, and the Ērenpreiss Bicycle Workshop. 

Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo

From the left: Žanete Skarule, Karlīna Vītoliņa, Gunārs Binde, Jānis Putniņš

From the left: Miķelis Baštiks, Rolands Pēterkops (MAREUNROL’S)

From the left: Aigars Bikše, Kristians Brekte, Pauls Bankovskis, Maija Kurševa

Signe Birkova

From the left: Ieva Epnere, Sergej Timovejev

From the left: Karlīna Vītoliņa, Gunārs Binde

From the left: Paolo Davanzo, Anda Lāce, Krišs Salmanis, Atis Jākobsons

From the left: Lisa Marr, Gunārs Binde, Katrīna Neiburga, Odrija Fišere, Rolands Pēterkops (MAREUNROL’S), Ansis Starks

From the left: Karlīna Vītoliņa, Lisa Marr

From the left: Paolo Davanzo, Ansis Starks, Odrija Fišere, Katrīna Neiburga

From the left: Kristians Brekte, Odrija Fišere

From the left: Agnese Krivade, Anda Lāce, Katrīna Neiburga, Lisa Marr

From the left: Paolo Davanzo, Sergej Timofejev

From the left: Katrīna Neiburga, Krišs Salmanis

From the left: Paolo Davanzo, Rolands Pēterkops (MAREUNROL’S)

From the left: Maija Kurševa, Agnese Krivade

From the left: Maija Kurševa, Paulo Davanco, Lāsma Bērtule, Agnese Krivade, Ieva Balode