2022 New York Baltic Film Festival Opening Night Film Announcement

The Fifth Annual New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) presented by Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America returns on November 2-13, 2022 as a hybrid festival screening the best new and critically-acclaimed Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian films in-person in NYC Nov. 2-6 and virtually Nov. 4-13.

The festival will kick off on Wednesday, November 2 with the animated feature My Love Affair With Marriage (Latvia/USA/Luxembourg, 2022) by Latvian-born and Brooklyn-based Signe Baumane, a wild semi-autobiographical musical journey inside the mind of Zelda, exploring the notions of love, sex, and romance through the lens of neurochemistry. Baumane’s fiercely original and visually arresting work was recognized with the Jury Distinction for Feature Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival this year.

My Love Affair With Marriage perfectly embodies the theme of this year’s festival: Past or Present, inspired by the intense emotional response felt in the Baltic countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Jūle Rozīte, the festival’s Head of Programs: “When the war started, Eastern Europeans and many of us globally experienced the dissonance of seeing both past and present play out at the same time. Suddenly, family traumas and collective memories were forced to the surface, as the inherited stories of occupation we have grown up hearing were playing out in real-time in Ukraine. This year’s program reflects this collective cognitive dissonance of past and present coexisting, internally and externally, on a personal and national level. We need to simultaneously recover from and remember the past, celebrate the present, and look toward the future. Here, culture can help. Cinema from the Baltics can remind us of what was, act as a warning, elicit communal resistance and instill hope for a better tomorrow.”

Signe Baumane, My Love Affair With Marriage director: “As Ukraine is fighting for its right to sovereignty and independence, people are increasingly tuning in to the history and politics of Eastern Europe, making the Baltic Film Festival more relevant than ever. I am honored to present My Love Affair With Marriage as the festival’s Opening Night film in person, and I am equally thrilled to bring the unique, particular world of where I am from to New Yorkers. This intimate story of a woman trying to find love and her place in the world against the backdrop of major historic events in Eastern Europe will resonate with American audiences like it was their own.”

The Opening Night celebration will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave., NYC), starting with My Love Affair With Marriage in-person screening at 6:30 PM, followed by the Opening Reception, open to VIP Passholders and special guests. My Love Affair With Marriage will have an encore screening later in the festival.

From Nov. 2-6, festival in-person screenings and events will take place at Scandinavia House in New York, presented in accordance with current Covid-19 safety guidelines and protocols. The online version will once again be available to viewers all across the U.S. via a streaming platform Nov. 4-13.

The full line-up presenting the latest award-winning and critically-acclaimed films from the Baltic region of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be announced in the last week of September. Festival passes and tickets will go on sale on Saturday, October 1st.

For program announcements, please subscribe to the festival newsletter at balticfilmfestival.com and Scandinavia House newsletter at scandinaviahouse.org. For more immediate updates, follow NYBFF on Instagram and Facebook.