10-09-2020

PRODUCTION: Lithuanian Family Moves Into Postproduction

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Family by Austėja Urbaitė Family by Austėja Urbaitė

VILNIUS: Austėja Urbaitė has completed shooting on her debut feature film Family / Šeima, which is produced by the Lithuanian production company Fralita Films, under producer  Živilė Gallego.

Family tells a story about a French couple, Jacqueline and Leon, who adopt two Lithuanian children, Karolina and Rokas. In order to help the children adapt to their new environment, a medical student named Gabrielė comes from Lithuania to join them for the summer. For her it is a chance to briefly get away from her life, where she feels imprisoned. The relationship with the children gives her an opportunity to rediscover herself in a bright light, while her resistance to the parents’ methods of upbringing – in a dark light. 
Instead of helping the children create a life, the two women, full of maternal feelings, start an outright war for the children’s affection. 

Director Austėja Urbaitė is known for her award-winning short films The Etude / Etiudas (2013) and Bridges / Tiltai (2015). 

"I’m most interested in the duality of human nature -- that thin line between love and selfishness. What right one person has regarding another, even if it is a member of your family? How can you learn to love a child if you avoid accepting your own shadows?" Urbaitė said.

The leading roles are played by the Lithuanian actress Dovilė Kundrotaitė and French actress Anne Azoulay. The cast also includes Arthur Igual and two non-professional child actors, Inesa Sionova and Ajus Antanavičius. The film is shot in Lithuanian and French. 

“Producing a film with foreign actors is a new experience for me. A nice one, in that the French actors were very warmly involved in the creative process. I very much hope that the film will find its audience not only in Lithuania, but also abroad,” said film producer Živilė Gallego.

The film was shot in August 2020, mostly in the Vilnius region. 

The planned budget is 520,000 EUR. The picture received production funding from the Lithuanian Film Centre in the amount of 376.000 EUR.

The theatrical release is planned for 2022.

Production information:  

Fralita Films
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Credits:
Director and Scriptwriter Austėja Urbaitė
DOP Julius Sičiūnas
Production: designer Justė Vazgytė
Cast: Dovilė Kundrotaitė, Anne Azoulay, Arthur Igual