On Tuesday, September 14, Latvian film director, producer and screenwriter Ansis Bērziņš passed away, and his relatives told the social media “Facebook”.
As indicated on the website “filmas.lv”, the father of the Latvian cartoon, Bērziņš, was born in 1940 in Mangaļi, studied at Riga Secondary School No. 31 and already during his school he became interested in photography and cinema, and worked in the cinema club of the Fishermen’s Culture House.
After graduating from school, Bērziņš started working as an illuminator in the Riga film studio, he was also an assistant film mechanic in the culture house and a laboratory assistant in the cinema rental office. In 1961 he started working for Latvian Television as an assistant cameraman and in 1962 he was filming scenes independently.
In 1964, Bērziņš was allowed to direct the documentary “Your Ship”, and his successful debut paved the way for further directing works, including the 1978 musical “The Sad Story of Kerry”. Bērziņš also wrote screenplays, but in 1969 he became fascinated with animation and met Rozi Stiebu in the first joint film “Rainy Day”.
This was followed by the 1970 film Hello, Hela! both directed. Since then, Stiebra has made more than 40 animated films, and for most of them Bērziņš has co-authored as a screenwriter, cameraman or producer, he has also directed almost ten films and the 1984-1995 series “Fantadrom”.
Feeling the need for additional education, Bērziņš completed the courses of television directors in 1970, but in 1975 he entered the Department of Art History and Theory of the Academy of Arts, which he graduated in 1978.
In 1990, Bērziņš became the president of the animation studio “Dauka”, both with Stiebu they were co-directors of the first full-length animated film “Ness and Nesija” in Latvia. In 1995, they both received the Spidola Award of the Latvian Cultural Foundation for the establishment of professional animated cinema in Latvia. Eight films by Stiebra and Bērziņš have received awards at the National Film Festival “Lielais Kristaps”.
In 2017, Stiebra and Bērziņš received the National Film Award “Kristaps the Great” for a lifetime contribution to cinema.
Farewell to Bērziņš will take place in the Dome Church on September 20 at 16.00.