This international event for professional documentary filmmakers is the only one of its kind in the Baltics and is held in high regard throughout Eastern Europe. Every year, the BSD gathers over 100 professional filmmakers from the Baltic Sea region, as well as from Eastern and Central Europe. Participating in the forum is an invaluable way for filmmakers to find funding for the production of their projects and to further ensure that their films reach a wide audience across Europe.
The forum is held in English and participation is free of charge.
In addition to the public pitching session, the forum holds preparatory workshop and seminars that is open to not just BSD participants, but also to students and representatives of the Latvian film scene. Apart from the professional activities, a programme of the highest quality documentaries is offered to the general public in Riga and the largest Latvian cities.
The BSD is organized by the National Film Centre of Latvia in collaboration with the European Documentary Network, an international organization of professional filmmakers. The largest financial support comes from the EU funded Creative Europe Media program.
The Baltic Sea Forum took place for the first time in 1997 in Denmark, initially it was a Danish initiative for the Baltic countries, Poland and the western part of Russia. It continued to be a Danish initiative until 2001 and then, as the Baltic countries were on their way to enter the European Union, the Danish government decided to let Latvian organisations continue this adventure. At the beginning of this “second phase”, the Baltic Sea Forum was a travelling event through the Baltic countries, but since 2005 it always takes place in Riga.