After 16 years, Latvia is submitting a film for the consideration of the Academy Awards. Historical film "Rigas Sargi" ("Defenders of Riga") was chosen to compete for the Oscar in the Foreign Language Film category. The decision to submit the film was made in order to promote the film industry and to ensure that Latvian films would be seen by a wider audience. In order to pick a film, the Culture Ministry set up a panel of experts to chose from three films, the other two being "Midsummer Madness" (2007) and "The Amateur" (2008). Latvia last competed for the Academy Awards in 1992 with "A Human Child," a film by Janis Streics.
The sale of bells made from a statue of Lenin that used to stand in the port city of Liepaja has raised 10,000 euros for an elevator at an assisted living facility in Liepaja. Gunta Jakobsone, for the Liepaja city council, said that the elevator would be installed before Nov. 18, 2008, the 90th anniversary of Latvia's independence. Waltraut von Tiesenhausen, a patroness from Germany, donated the bell money as well as her personal money for the elevator. Of the money raised from selling the bells, 8,336 euros have been generated in Germany and 1,098 lats have been raised from selling the bells at the Liepaja regional tourism center. West East Industries, meanwhile, has contributed 61,000 lats (86,800 euros) of the 80,254 lats needed for the elevator.
The government on Oct. 14 supported the amendments to regulations prepared by the Justice Ministry to increase charges for brochures and books offered by the Naturalization Board, meaning that the cost of becoming a citizen will nearly double. The ministry's press department said that the amendments were prepared to update the price list of books and services offered by the board in accordance to the general growth of costs in the state. The paid services are not directly related to functions of the institution, but they help the candidates for citizenship to obtain the information necessary for tests. The revenues from paid services are used for publishing study and methodological aids. According to the amendments, a brochure on the Latvian Language Test will cost 1.50 lats (2.10 euros) instead of 0.40 lats, and a book on Latvian history will cost 2.80 lats instead of one lat. The amendments will come into effect from January 2008.
Information about Latvia will be included in two travel books by American writer and journalist Patricia Schultz: "1,000 Places to See in Europe Before You Die" and "1,000 Places To See Before You Die", the Latvian Tourism Development State Agency reports. To prepare materials for the books, U.S. journalists and Schultz will be in Latvia Oct. 12-15. The agency reported that journalists will be visiting the most significant sights in the Old Town of Riga, the Dome's Church, The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, Riga's central market, and Lido recreation center. The journalists will also tour seaside resort city Jurmala and the picturesque town of Sigulda.