Lithuania to Open Vilnius Film Office

By Auksė Kancerevičiūtė

    The mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuokas, met with the head of the Independent Producers Association (NPA) Rasa Miškinytė, the NPA and the representatives of the Lithuanian film industry to discus the possibilities of implementing incentives that would revive film production in the capital. The film industry in Vilnius is currently dwindling.

    The participants agreed to establish a Vilnius Film Office, consisting of representatives of the film industry and the city. This office will be based on the best of the European models, formulating a film industry incentives program and supervising the development of infrastructure required by the Lithuanian and foreign films shooting in Vilnius.

    Since approving a film support package in the recent years, the neighboring Latvian capital Riga has become an active player in the film industry, attracting new film funds. Meanwhile, the film industry in Vilnius is now attracting only one quarter the money it brought into the country in 2006-2007, with 2010 spend of 9 million Litas, compared to 36 million Litas in 2010.

    "I am sure, that Vilnius will become a film capital. Our city is a great place to shoot Lithuanian and foreign films. The film industry will increase new job opportunities for film professionals and will promote tourism. Moreover, the additional funds received from the film production in our city could be invested back into Lithuanian cinema," Zuokas said.

    The City of Vilnius has already begun promoting the growth of the film industry in the capital. Lithuanian film companies in the Kirtimai region are formulating new ways to promotion the country to large film projects that could be filmed in Vilnius.