The documentary by Maciek Hamela emerged victorious in the Artdocfest Open program, while Agnieszka Zwiefka's hit production was awarded in the Baltic Focus section during this year's edition of Artdocfest in Latvia.

Artdocfest in Riga stands as one of the major film events in Latvia dedicated to documentary filmmaking. The festival gathers both local filmmakers and international guests, presenting diverse perspectives on the world through the art of cinema. Its rich program includes film screenings, panel discussions, and meetings with creators, fostering an inspiring environment for documentary cinema enthusiasts.

The winning In the Rearview shows the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Suspended in time and space, facing an uncertain here and now, a group of people decides to abandon what's most precious to them and without hesitation get into a dusty van on foreign plates. The car covers thousands of kilometres, serving various functions: a waiting room, a hospital, a shelter, and above all, a space for confessions and admissions, which the fellow travellers start to share naturally. In The Rearview is a collective portrait composed of the experiences of people who have one goal: to find a safe haven. In the van, their temporary asylum, differences of gender, age, skin colour, physical ability, origin, identity, views, or beliefs fade away altogether. The Ukrainian and Polish titles (Zvidky kudy, Skąd dokąd), “where from” (звідки / zvidky) and “where to” (куди / kudy) are also routine questions asked when passing through numerous checkpoints scattered all across Ukraine.

In turn, the documentary Vika! follows the titular Vika. At 84 years old, she is one of the oldest DJs in the world. Through her approach to life, she escapes the stereotypical perception of senior citizens. Adored and surrounded by a young audience, she proves that age is just a number. Her life is filled with music, dance, and unrestrained jory. But there's also a second side to this story. To pursue her dreams, Vika had made life decisions that left their toll on the relationship with her family. Agnieszka Zwiefka's latest film is a bittersweet documentary musical about committment to following one's own path and fighting for one's dreams.

You can find out more about the festival here.