FNE at Cannes 2017: Lithuanian Cinema in Cannes

By Lithuanian Film Centre, VIFF Kino pavasaris

    Lithuania welcomes you at Pavilion NO.219, Village International Pantiero

    Lithuanian film industry to be showcased in Cannes

    The anniversary 70th Cannes Film Festival will be opened today with Lithuanian elements in its programme. Representatives of the Lithuanian film industry will also attend the “Marché du Film” film market organised by the festival on May 17–26.

    The Lithuanian pavilion will showcase the advantages of the tax incentives and shooting opportunities in Lithuania. It will facilitate networking with potential partners from Lithuania. The Lithuanian Film Centre’s publications Shoot in Lithuania and Lithuanian Films that contain additional useful information about film projects and production services will be available to take away.

    The latest film Frost from the leading Lithuanian filmmaker Šarūnas Bartas has been selected for the festival’s programme section “Quinzaine des Realisateurs”. This will be the global premiere of the motion picture, which tells about a young Lithuanian man Rokas who has never been in a war, but has been raised in the shadow of one. On a humanitarian mission from Vilnius to Ukraine he also embarks on a journey of sacrifice. The young man’s desire to go even further takes him to the front line in Donetsk where he finds a metaphysical connection with love in the ruins left by human hatred and violence. The film stars the French actress Vanessa Paradis, the famous Polish actor Andrzej Chyra, and Mantas Jančiauskas. It is a Lithuanian, Ukrainian, French and Polish co-production.

    The competition programme will feature a French, German, Russian, Dutch and Lithuanian co-production Gentle Creature directed by Sergei Loznitsa. The picture tells about a woman from a small Russian town who receives a returned package she had sent to her jailed spouse. In order to find out why the package has not been delivered, she travels to the prison in an outlying location in Russia beginning a story of humiliation and violence.

    Frost by Sharunas BartasSpecial screenings for film industry professionals will include Eglė Vertelytė’s film Miracle that will reach Lithuanian film theatres at the end of the year. The authors of the picture hope to pitch their work to international distributors, sales agents, festival programmers and other film professionals.

    Rita Stanelytė, the head of the “Kino pavasaris” festival’s industry event, have received invitations to help assess the films of the “Directors’ Fortnight” programme section. She will participate in the jury as members of the CICAE confederation.

    Film project New Baltic Wave will be presented by one of the film’s producers Arūnas Matelis at the “Vilnius Goes to Cannes” project development programme at the “Marché du Film” market. This film won the ticket to the Cannes during the spring film industry event “Meeting Point – Vilnius”, where it was judged to be one of the most promising international film projects currently in production. Co-produced by Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians, it is one of the several projects dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Lithuanian independence. The film focuses on the poetic documentary style of the three Baltic countries, which is rich in metaphor, has an innovative visual language, and embarks on a quest for associative thinking. The film also speaks about the filmmakers who have broken the tradition of propaganda film in the 1960s Soviet Union.

    This is the 5th year in a row when a programme of Lithuanian short films has been included in the festival’s “Short Film Corner”. It consists of seven short films and animations made in 2016 and 2017 – Watchkeeping (dir. by Karolis Kaupinis), The Mother’s Day (dir. by Kamilė Milašiūtė), Running Lights (dir. by Gediminas Šiaulys), Last Stop Is The Moon (dir. by Birutė Sodeikaitė), Bathhouse (dir. by Laurynas Bareiša), 8 Minutes (dir. by Dovilė Šarutytė), and Sigis (dir. by Tomas Gvozdas). The programme was prepared by the Lithuanian short film agency “Lithuanian Shorts”.

    The showcase of Lithuanian film industry at the Cannes Film Festival has been organised and funded by the Lithuanian Film Centre.


    Four film projects from Vilnius on their way to Cannes

    Vilnius International Film Festival is proud to present 4 film projects from the Baltic States, Slovakia and Ukraine that will be screened in the prestigious Goes to Cannes program at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.

    The selected film projects include Baltic New Wave by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), To be Continued by Ivars Seleckis (Latvia), A Long Day by Pavol Pekarcik (Slovakia) and Falling by Marina Stepanska (Ukraine).

    The film projects were picked at the Vilnius IFF's industry event Meeting Point – Vilnius.

    This year marks the first time when film projects from Vilnius will be screened at the Goes to Cannes program, which is the part of Le Marché du Film, one of the largest film markets in the world, held in conjunction with Cannes IFF.

    The Goes to Cannes program invites the largest film festivals to present local films to the international film industry. The films must not yet have agents, distributors or set premiere dates. Other festivals, presenting films in the Goes to Cannes program are Dubai IFF, Thesaloniki IFF, New Horizons Polish Days, Hong Kong Film Market, Annecy Animation Film Festival.

    Vilnius IFF Goes to Cannes screenings will take place on Monday, May 22.

    The power of collaboration

    "Collaboration with Le Marché du Film will foster films’ journey across the Europe and will help them to be noticed by an even larger audience. This is the main goal of the Meeting point – Vilnius event. We want future films from the region to travel more and to find their audience" says Rita Stanelytė, head of Meeting Point – Vilnius.

    She adds that "this is a unique chance for our young talents, creating their first films, to be shown in the most influential market in the region. Likewise, this is an opportunity for international film industry professionals to meet up-and-coming filmmakers from New Europe and the Baltic region."

    Stanelytė will be the member of the CICAE jury of the Cannes IFF in a program Quinzaine des Realisateurs (Directors' Fortnight). The program includes the world premiere of one of the most prominent Lithuanian film directors Sharunas Bartas' new drama Frost, starring a French actress Vanessa Paradis. It will be the only Lithuanian film in this year's Cannes festival. Frost is the fifth film by Bartas in the Cannes, following Peace to Us in Our Dreams presented in 2015.

    Cannes will also welcome the winners of Vilnius IFF Student Film Competition. Anouk Chambaz and Julija Paškevičiūtė, the directors of Vegetation Walk. The filmmaker duo won the accreditation to the producers workshop in Le Marché du Film.

    Discover the Films

    Vilnius IFF and Meeting Point – Vilnius selection is a perfect representation of filmmaking of the Eastern and Central European region and the Baltic States. Three documentaries represent the very strong documentary film school of the region, including first time filmmakers (like Pavol Pekarcik from Slovakia) as well as established directors (Audrius Stonys from Lithuania and Kristine Briede from Latvia), also even a legendary filmmaker (Ivars Seleckis from Latvia). The upcoming fiction feature from Ukraine by first time filmmaker Marina Stepanska symbolises the new talents from the region with a lot of enthusiasm, potential and new stories to tell.

    directed by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede
    written by Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys with participating Ramunė Rakauskaitė, Arūnas Matelis and Riho Vastrik
    Lithuania, Latvia Estonia

    A story about a unique phenomenon in the history of cinema – the Baltic school of poetic documentary and its creators. Filmmakers from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia who broke the dogmatic tradition of propaganda documentaries in the Soviet Union during the 1960s. They created films that were completely different: humane, meaningful and poetic. The story is told as a poetic road movie with elements of mystery by two filmmakers – contemporary director Audrius Stonys (LT) at the peak of his career, and Herz Frank (LV/ISR), his late friend and mentor. Frank guides Stonys and the audience by following the Map of Ptolemy – a symbolic cinematographic code-book that suggests new discoveries both in poetic filmmaking and its meaning.

    directed and written by Marina Stepanska

    A story about the post-revolutionary generation of young Ukrainians looking for their place in modern Ukraine. It follows two bewildered people who meet at a crucial moment in their lives and experience seven days of happiness together. Marina Stepanska’s first feature delivers the message that you should learn to live in the moment, which is the only way to find yourself and your inner power.

    directed and written by Pavol Pekarčík

    An observational documentary about hearing impaired children living on the fringe of society. The film uses long shots to give viewers a closer look at the reality of the four main characters: Sandra, who loves Ronaldinho and soccer; Alena, who is scared to have children because she fears they would be deaf; Patrícia, who can’t hear because she doesn't have batteries in her hearing aid; and Bajaja, who dreams of becoming both a train driver and Van Damme.

    directed by Ivars Seleckis
    written by Dace Dzenovska

    The documentary captures Latvia’s future as seen by children, while observing how children's lives are shaped by the situation in their country. Shot over the course of two years, the film follows seven children from all around the country who started attending school in 2015. Each of them leads different lives. One resides in the Latvian countryside, with parents who hope their child will become a farmer, another is staying with their grandmother while their mother works in the UK, the third child, whose grandparents came to Latvia after World War II, dreams of becoming a businessman. They are seven children at the intersection of various historical, social and economic processes.