In anticipation of the upcoming 95th Academy Awards, I chatted with Viesturs Kairiss, whose latest film January is Latvia’s official submission in consideration for the Best International Feature Category. This is the second time Kairiss has the distinction of Latvia’s official submission in this category, following his 2016 title The Chronicles of Melanie. His latest film has picked up major prizes at the 2022 Tribeca, Rome, and Warsaw Film Festivals, his a semi-autobiographical portrait of a budding filmmaker whose youthful ideations are interrupted by the Soviet Union’s attempts to maintain control of Latvia in 1991. Kairiss pays homage to Latvian director Juris Podnieks, and how the project came together with his Estonian co-writers, Andris Feldmanis and Livia Ulman (who recently penned Compartment No. 6., 2021).