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Bria Vinaite, Sean Baker and Silvana Imam among the guests of Vilnius Film Festival

Festivals 2018-03-01
 The Florida Project, a drama feature by Sean Baker The Florida Project, a drama feature by Sean Baker Vilnius Film Festival


Starting on March 15th, Vilnius Film Festival Kino Pavasaris will welcome notable guests, including a Lithuanian-born The Florida Project star Bria Vinaite, Swedish queer rapper Silvana Imam, American director Sean Baker and the leading Israeli director Amos Gitai. The festival is reducing the number of programmes and is set to visit 11 Lithuania’s cities.

The festival’s carefully curated programme will bring last year’s outstanding films to Lithuanian audiences, including Luca Guadagnino‘s ambivalent tale of melancholy and love Call Me By Your Name, exceptionally made Loving Vincent, world's first fully painted feature. Its directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman will come to Vilnius to meet with festival viewers.

The list of festival guests includes Swedish queer rapper and human rights activist Silvana Imam. Born to a Lithuanian mother and Syrian father, she took the music world by storm with her feminist songs and radical attitude. Her journey is explored in the documentary Silvana.

Lithuanian-born Instagram-activist-turned-actress Bria Vinaite, together with director Sean Baker will present The Florida Project. A socially-conscious drama was praised by critics and viewers as one of the most important films of 2017. It will be the first time when Vinaite will visit her childhood country after her international success.

Vilnius IFF audience will also have a chance to meet the leading Israeli director Amos Gitai whose newest feature West of The Jordan River explores what he calls a ‘harassment‘ of peace activists in Israel by the country’s government.

New films that have competed at this year’s Berlinale were added to the Kino Pavasaris programme. Kim Ki-duk’s horror film Human, Space, Time and Human,  Polish director’s Małgorzata Szumowska’s critical yet funny look at Polish society in satirical drama Mug, which has been awarded with Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.

Other notable screenings will include Valerie Fari‘s and Jonathan Dayton‘s comic drama with Emma Stone and Steve Carell Battle of the Sexes, and Thierry Fremaux’s, director of Lyon's Lumiere Institute, fresh take on short films by the Lumiere Brothers in Lumiere!

The 23rd Vilnius Film Festival will welcome the FIPRESCI jury. For the first time, members of this prestigious association will visit Lithuania and award one film from the Baltic region their prize.

This year Kino Pavasaris introduced changes to the festival’s programme. Seventeen programmes have been merged into five: Festivals’ Favourites’, Critics’ Choice, Masters, Discoveries and European Debut Competition. Another new addition to the festival are the special screenings where feature films are accompanied by a short film. For instance, Xavier Legrand‘s Custody, chosen to open the festival, will be screened together with his short film Just Before Losing Everything nominated for an Academy Award in 2013.

This year there will be 12 Lithuanian films premiering in Kino Pavasaris. The entries include acknowledged director’s Giedrė Beinoriūtė’s newest feature dramaBreathing into Marble, based on an award-winning novel. There will be short films from an emerging young generation of directors competing in Student Filmand Short Competition programmes.

After eight years, the festival will again be closed with a local director’s film. The documentary poem The Ancient Woods by Mindaugas Survila was chosen for this occasion. The hypnotising documentary about Lithuanian woods took 10 years to complete and received great reviews after its world premiere at IDFA, the leading documentary film festival held in Amsterdam.

Sales of the tickets to the 23rd edition of Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris start today.