The outdoor exhibition The Land that Sings. On the Way to the Film will open in the square in front of Origo Shopping Centre

On 26 May, the large-scale outdoor exhibition The Land that Sings. On the Way to the Film, will open in the square in front of Origo Shopping Centre, and it will tell about the filming process of the upcoming historical feature film The Land that Sings (Zeme, kas dzied) and the history of the first Latvian singing festival. The exhibition brings together information on historical personalities and events to which we owe the tradition of the Song Festival, established in 1873. It will be on display throughout the summer.

The exhibition illustrates the chronology of historical events and explains the reasons why choirs from Latgale did not take part in the first singing festivals. It includes information about the men of the Riga Latvian Society who were the main organisers of the first festival, as well as the role of Latvian women in the 19th century in the context of this event. There will also be photos and footage from the making of the film The Land that Sings.

“In order to create a screenplay for the feature film The Land That Sings that corresponds to the historical reality, together with the director Māris Martinsons, we conducted in-depth research into the events of 1873. Hitherto untold facts about the path that led our nation to this tradition were revealed. We quickly realised that we could not include everything in the film. The outdoor exhibition The Land that Sings. On the Way to the Film is an easy-to-follow account of the origins of the Song Festival. In simple language, we highlight the importance of this tradition, which has long been included in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural treasures of the world, for the creation of the Latvian nation and state. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the First General Latvian Singing Festival, everyone should know this. But at the same time, the exhibition also allows us to find out more about the upcoming feature film The Land That Sings, which brings these historical events to life. The premiere of the film will be a gift to Latvia on its 105th birthday this November,” Dainis Īvāns, one of the film’s creators and co-author of the screenplay, says about the exhibition.

The Land that Sings. On the Way to the Film is being displayed at a time when we are about to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the Song Festival. It will also be open to visitors on the days of the celebrations. The large-format open-air photo exhibition in the square in front of Origo Shopping Centre is the only one of its kind in Riga – a unique urban object that can be seen at any time of the day and night and is free of charge for everyone.

“For more than ten years, the 450 square metre outdoor cultural space at Origo, a gift from Linstow Baltic and Origo to the city and the community, has provided free public access to art and culture all year round. We are delighted that at a time when choirs from all over Latvia and the world will be arriving in Riga, an exhibition about the birth of a nationally significant tradition and its history will be on display here – at the symbolic starting point of the Riga of the future. The exhibition is an important addition to the range of cultural events in the year of the Song Festival, and well worth including in your plans!” Evija Majevska, Commercial Director of Linstow Baltic and Origo Multifunctional Centre, invites you to visit the exhibition.

The outdoor exhibition is organised by Nameyse in cooperation with Linstow Baltic and Origo Shopping Centre. The historical content of the exhibition has been prepared by historian Vita Zelče, musicologist Ilze Šarkovska-Liepiņa and co-author of the film script, publicist Dainis Īvāns. It includes materials from the Latvian State Archive of Cinematographic Documents, the Museum of Literature and Music, the Riga History and Navigation Museum, the Riga Architecture Museum, as well as the research “Riga Latvian Society in Three Centuries” by Egils Zirnis. The exhibition is edited by Sandra Strapcāne, Linda Krūkle and Māris Martinsons, and the design has been created by Kārlis Dovnorovičs.

As already reported, the filming of the historical feature film The Land That Sings was completed in May. Its premiere is expected in November this year, marking the month of Latvia’s national holiday.

The characters of The Land That Sings are played by Vilis Daudziņš, Andris Bulis, Ainārs Ančevskis, Andris Keišs, Ģirts Ķesteris, Nauris Brikmanis, Marta Lovisa Jančevska, opera singer Marina Rebeka, as well as actors from Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. The director of the film is Māris Martinsons, the cinematographer is Jānis Jurkovskis, and the script was written by the director together with Dainis Īvāns, an activist and journalist of the Latvian National Awakening period. The composer is Jēkabs Jančevskis, the designer is Mārtiņš Kalseris, the costumes are by Katrīna Liepa, the make-up artist is Beata Rjabovska. The film is produced by K Films studio, producer – Linda Krūkle.

The film is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Latvian National Centre for Culture, and the film’s technology partner is Latvijas Mobilais Telefons. Informational sponsors – and Origo Shopping Centre.

Photos by Margarita Germane.

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