International Academic Conference "Baltic Sea Region Documentary Cinema: an Aesthetic and Social Phenomenon"


Centre for Scientific Research of Latvian Academy of Culture and Riga Film Museum is organizing an International Academic Conference Baltic Sea Region Documentary Cinema: an Aesthetic and Social Phenomenon.

The conference will be held on 14th-16th April, 2016, at the Department of Theatre and Audiovisual Art of Latvian Academy of Culture. The aim of the conference is to open up a broad research field of the documentary cinema from Baltic Sea Region countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Germany), studying the main movements and authors, doing comparative analysis of various national cinemas, and other topics.

Even though each country has a diverse and specific documentary film history that is explored by local professionals, it seldom is addressed by researchers of other countries or viewed in the context of processes in the neighbouring countries and the whole Baltic Sea region. Therefore this conference will serve as the first main platform to bring together academics and students who research documentary cinema to have a broader look at the social and aesthetic means, trends, theories to explore the rich history of the documentary cinema in the region.

The organizers welcome paper proposals on the topics of suggested (but not limited to) themes:

  • comparative analysis of national cinemas;
  • work of significant single author (or authors) of a national cinema from the region;
  • analysis of important documentary film movements in the region;
  • transnational themes, transnational authors;
  • documentary film theory/ criticism on a national level;
  • preservation, restauration, and access of the films;
  • etc.

Working languages of the conference: Latvian and English, simultaneous translation to Latvian/ English provided. Participation at the conference is free of charge.

The conference papers will be published in the peer reviewed collection of papers in the series Culture Crossroads („Kultūras krustpunkti“) published by Centre for Scientific Research of Latvian Academy of Culture. Publication date – November, 2016.

The conference will be accompanied by a film program, representing the classics of documentary cinema from the countries represented in the conference.


Key dates:

Submission of abstracts – until 2 February, 2016. Abstracts have to be written in English, in the length of up to 300 words. The abstract should include a title of the paper, brief desciption of the topic, name, affiliation, academic degree, contact details of applicant, and information about the equipment required for the presentation. Time for a presentation up to 20 minutes, language of the presentation – Latvian or English.

E-mail abstract to:

Until 16 February, 2016 – review of the submissions and selection of participants (all applicants will be notified by e-mail).

Until 1 March, 2016 – registration of participants.

1 April, 2016 – announcement of the full conference programme.

14-16 April, 2016 – conference and film program.

1 June, 2016 – submission deadline for the conference papers for publication (in English or Latvian). The style and submission guidelines will be sent out to participants until the beginning of the conference.

The conference is organized by financial support of State Culture Capital Foundation.