It's less than two weeks before Kaunas begins accepting special guests including world-famous filmmakers, critics, film industry representatives and even actors. This year, Kaunas International Film Festival will host a record number of guests and organise events in various venues all over the city. The organisers of the Festival promise to turn Kaunas into a real capital of film in October.
"The legendary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr will visit the Festival on October 8-11 to make an introduction to the retrospective of his films. Polish animator Piotr Dumala will visit Kaunas Film Festival to present his animation retrospective and also the new feature fiction film "Forest" (Las). Pietro Marcello, the filmmaker of the young Italian generation whose films have already been screened at the Kaunas Film Festival, will present his latest work The Mouth of the Wolf (La bocca del lupo) awarded at the Berlin Film Festival. Finnish director Saara Cantell will introduce a sensitive drama Heartbeats (Kohtaamisia) recognised at the Lubeck Film Festival in Germany and "Festroia" film festival in Portugal," Ilona Jurkonytė, director of Kaunas Film Festival, said in a press conference on Thursday. Lithuanian filmmakers will also honour the Festival with their presence. The artist Deimantas Narkevičius will make an introduction to the retrospective of his works. Documentary filmmakers Julija and Rimantas Gruodis will meet with the viewers of this year's best Lithuanian documentary The River (Upė) which will be screened during the Festival. On October 1, Šarūnas Bartas will introduce the Festival's opening film Eastern Drift (Eurazijos aborigenas), which was awarded the Best Lithuanian Film prize this year. "It is no coincidence that the Eastern Drift premiers in Kaunas," said the film's producer Jurga Dikčiuvienė. "Šarūnas Bartas' filmmaker's career began in this city. He became the manager of "Banga" film studio at the age of 19 and made his first film experiments here." The Festival will also be visited by the famous film critic and producer of the Moscow Film Festival programme Kiril Razlogov who will speak about the significance of film criticism, which will hopefully promote deeper understanding and love of film art. Daniel Chanoch, the protagonist of the documentary "Pizza in Auschwitz" is coming to Kaunas. In the film he recites his journey to his painful past in Nazi concentration camps - Chanoch survived five of them as a child. Daniel Chanoch was born in Kaunas and he spent the first 8 years of his life here, therefore this visit is very special for him and the city's community. Very few are aware of the fact that the famous Soviet film "The Invisible Man" created in 1984 by Aleksandr Zakharov was filmed in Lithuania with the critical scenes shot in the Old Town of Kaunas. Together with the actor Romualdas Ramanauskas, who played one the leading roles in the film, the fact will be honoured with a special performance "Monument for the Invisible Man" at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers in Kaunas. "I am glad that Kaunas Film Festival has gained momentum and is discovering new venues in the city and including Lithuanian cinema in its programme," said Sigitas Šliažas, Head of the Culture Department under Kaunas City Municipality. "Since its second year, the Festival has already become the representative event of the city." Film theatre as a home for films and a place of gathering and communication for cinephiles is integral to Kaunas Film Festival. On October 4, a discussion will take place about the significance of film theatres to the society, economy, and architecture, with the participation of philosophers Gintautas Mažeikis and Viktoras Bachmetjevas, architect Julija Rėklaitė, and Jon Barrenechea, the representative of the oldest UK film theatre "Duke of York". People from the film industry will be interested in the important visit of Sharon Pinkenson, the representative of the US film industry and the CEO of Philadelphia Film Office; she will present the film "Night Catches Us" by the American filmmaker Tanya Hamilton, and discuss the potential of cooperation with representatives of the Lithuanian film industry. Daniel Spokojny from the US embassy in Lithuania, which is co-organising Pinkerton's visit, said: "The US embassy wants not only to introduce American films, but also to help the Lithuanian film industry gain momentum and point out the economical aspect." The 4th Kaunas International Film Festival will take place on October 1-17 at "Forum Cinemas" in Kaunas and Vilnius, and "Pasaka" and "Skalvija" in Vilnius. The Festival's programme will be announced this week. For more information about the festival please visit www.kinofestivalis.lt