Lithuania plans new Film Centre

By Aukse Kancereviciute
    The Lithuanian government has approved a plan to create a National Film Centre, which set to open in 2009.
    Lithuania has been the only Baltic republic without a national film organisation. A new Cinema Law is being drafted, taking into consideration the regulations for a future centre, based on a project approved by the Ministry of Culture on July 29, 2008.

    The future Film Centre will coordinate all film production and distribution activities in the Republic of Lithuania and will replace the existing dual support system from the Ministry of Culture and the Culture and Sport Support Foundation.

    The 2008 budget for film from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture is €2.3 million. Two to three Lithuanian feature films are produced each year.

    A priority for the Lithuanian film industry is to develop international relations. The country ratified the European Convention on cinema co-production in 1999.

    Lithuania joined the European Cinema Support fund EURIMAGES in 2007. EURIMAGES has already supplied funding for two Lithuanian film projects: Low Lights (director Ignas Miskinis, producer Ieva Norviliene) received a €160,000 grant and a Lithuanian/Latvian co-production, the animated feature The Golden Horse (directors Valentas Askinis and Signe Baumane) received a €350,000 grant.

    The permanent representatives from Lithuania for the European Cinema Support Fund are director Audrius Stonys and producer Uljana Kim.