This month we interview Ruta Boguzaite manager of the Vilnius cinema Kino Pasaka.
Ruta Boguzaite, General Manager, Kino Pasaka, Vilnius Lithuania
1. What is the biggest challenge of running a cinema such as yours?
The biggest challenge of today still seems to be the very small cinema market in Lithuania with an even smaller art house section, number of films distributed and small audience for it. On top of that our biggest concern is that multiplexes tend to include more and more art house movies in their repertoire so we get only small premieres, second runs or have to distribute films ourselves. Good and diverse programming is quite tough.
Looking to the near future, digitalisation seems to be more and more inevitable and raising funds for it one of our key concerns at the moment.
2. What kinds of films do you prefer to screen and why?
We claim that we select our films using our hands and heart. Every choice is personal, every film is special. Focusing mostly on works of European directors, we seek for soul and talent. The film must give a feeling that someone would like to cherish and share.
That is why our programme varies from a generation Bulgarian drama The World is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner, to the strong political satire In The Loop, from works created by cinema kings - Woody Allen or Pedro Almodovar - to the debuts of young and talented Lithuanian filmmakers.
Those are especially important for us - for a country with one of the smallest film markets in the whole world, a filmmaker's work first of all deserves to be screened and seen.
3. The cinema is home to many festivals, events and film weeks. Why are these important and what do they achieve?
In Lithuania, where distributing art house films is not profitable and risky business, festivals and film weeks are the only possibility to see the most important, awarded and recent works of cinema. Film weeks, festivals and various events form kind of "an alternative programming" that allows the audience to see art house films that would never break through to the daily screenings.
We're proud that Kino Pasaka hosts all the biggest as well as the most important film festivals in Lithuania: from the great Vilnius International Film Festival "Kino pavasaris" to the International Women Film Festival "Šeršėliafam".
4. What is role of Europa Cinemas for cinemas such as your cinema and why is it important?
Europa Cinemas membership is prestigious and honour for us together with important financial support, of course. But even more important is the possibility to stay in touch with the other members of the network and be part of the discussion of the new trends, technologies and the future of cinema. We are very proud to become members of Europa Cinemas and we will do our best to promote the values of this organization in Lithuania.
5. How does a cinema like yours serve the local community?
Every week we have special screenings for older people and parents with their babies and families, too. We also tend to invite people from nursing homes and orphanages and try to create a welcoming and warm environment for everybody. By recycling, organising bicycle generated screenings and supporting eco-ideas in general, we try to be nature friendly, too.
6. How does the cinema fulfill its role of cultural diversity - maybe you can give some examples such as programming of European films, films from countries outside MEDIA such as Asia, Latin American and in the Mediterranean region?
European films and the good examples of American cinema are the "guests"
that come to Kino Pasaka mostly. But it doesn't mean that we don't appreciate others. However, other countries and cultures usually are represented by film festivals. The French Film Festival dedicated one of its programmes to African films; every autumn Latin American Film Week takes place in Kino Pasaka.
7. Can you say something about your work with YOUNG Audiences?
We underscore the importance of working with young audiences and started our work on that at very opening of the cinema. There are several types of activities for young audiences:
1. Activities for families (weekend workshops and screenings for families with children);
2. Activities for schools (special film programmes for schools, excursions in cinema theatre, interactive video lectures on cinema history)
3. Individual activities for youth (animation workshops, script writing workshops, lectures on cinema history, film quiz).
8. What about the upcoming digitalisation of cinemas?? How will it affect your work and you cinema?
We see the digitalisation as inevitable process for surviving in the new - digital era of cinema. We also see a positive side of it - having access to more movies and archives abroad (as there is no national film archive in Lithuania) and being able to offer a wider and more diverse programme to our audiences.
Though there's still a lot of obscurity - will we have access to materials, will distributors provide enough titles, will we manage to keep the diversity of the programming? Another issue is the digitalisation process itself. With no funding from outside (both national and international) we would not be able to digitalise on our own. For now, our national government still has no policy for supporting cinemas.
What ever the future brings us, we'll keep all our sentiments for the film and mechanical projectors and will for sure keep on regular screenings of 35mm even in digital era.
Population: 2,810,000 (2018) GDP per capita in USD: 33,125 (2018) Number of screens: 84 (2018) Digital screens: 54 (2018) Total admissions: 4,266,042 (2018) Total gross: 22,444,111 EUR (2018) Domestic films released: 21 (2018) Admissions domestic films: 1,173,713 (2018) Admissions European films: 555,895 (2018) Number of feature films produced: 21 (2018) Number of domestic releases: 21 (2018) Average ticket price in EUR: 5.26 (2018) Annual state support for film industry in 2018: 6,423,000 EUR (from the Lithuanian Film Centre)
Source: Lithuanian Film Centre, Baltic Films
Admissions Top Ten 2018
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