The film was first introduced in Berlin Film Festival and has already received critical acclaim in many countries including Lithuania. This spring, Eastern Drift won three Silver Cranes – Lithuanian national film awards. Klavdiya Korshunova was acknowledged the best actress, Šarūnas Bartas was titled the best director, and the film itself received the award of the best Lithuanian film 2010.
“Paradoxically, it is not an easy matter to open a Lithuanian international film festival with a Lithuanian film”, said Ilona Jurkonytė, director of Kaunas International Film Festival. “This premiere is special for us, not least because the film is exceptional in the context of other films by Šarūnas Bartas. It is completely different and may take the audiences by surprise with intense action and even sexuality. On the other hand, sworn fans of Šarūnas Bartas will undoubtedly recognise the filmmaker’s thoughtfulness. I am certain that this film will indulge a wide audience.”
„I agree that the film is different: there is more action and more dialogue, but I can not say that the shift is drastic. Five years (the time from my last film) is a long period of time, during which I myself have changed”, said Bartas. “Although I have had the idea for this film for quite a while, I had to wait for the opportunity to implement it. But the wish to know the world around me did not change. By telling the story, I wanted to show what I feel and what I see. The three countries where the story evolves – Lithuania, Russia and France – may seem very far away and different, but the cities (there are several high-angle shots of cities in the film) look similar. One may easily get confused whether it is Moscow, Paris or Vilnius. Those three territories are the three topics of the film. The East represented by Russia where the legacy of the Soviet empire can be felt even today, dramatically changed and enlarged Europe, and Lithuania – embraced by the West but perpetually stranded “on the crossroad”.
Bartas did not only direct the picture – he was also the cinematographer, co-writer and lead actor of the film which tells about the former drug dealer Gena’s nomadic search for new life, intimacy and freedom stretching among Vilnius, Moscow and Paris.
The Eastern Drift was created by a diverse international crew of film professionals. The Lithuanian filmmaker’s supporting actress Klavdiya Korshunova is already titled the face of the independent Russian cinema. Elisa Sednaoui, a model and actress of Italian-Egyptian origin, was Bartas’ another partner in the film.
The picture also features Lithuanian actors Arūnas Storpirštis, Ineta Stasiulytė and Raimundas Šilanskas.
The 4th Kaunas International Film Festival will take place on October 1–17 in film theatres “Forum Cinemas”, “Pasaka” and “Skalvija” in Kaunas and Vilnius. For more information about the festival please visit: www.kinofestivalis.lt
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