Greta Akcijonaite • Distributor, Kino Pasaca
by Vitor Pinto
22/03/2011 - Cineuropa: You run an arthouse cinema in Vilnius, Kino Pasaka, which is also a distribution company. What made decide to expand beyond exhibition?
Greta Akcijonaite: The poor choice of films to screen. Rather – no films to screen. First of all, nowadays in Lithuania, distributors don’t take the risk of bringing arthouse titles. Second, even if they do, they prefer to give all the prints to multiplexes. We didn’t want to become a second screen cinema with a majority of US films, so it was the only way to secure exclusivity and variety.
How would you describe Pasaka’s position in Lithuania’s distribution sector?
The share of the market in numbers is very small but all the titles are special and guarantee a satisfaction for educated, intellectual audiences. I believe that Pasaka has created a strong alternative to major distributors. However the most arthouse titles still remain only festival pearls, as we cannot afford to buy them.
How is independent distribution doing in Lithuania nowadays?
Depends upon the title, but in most cases we are very happy if we reach the break-even point. A very good result is if 3,000 people have seen the film. We couldn’t do any distribution without MEDIA support. The state funds do not support distribution. So the publicity and marketing campaigns are always on very low or almost no budget.
What place do Latin American productions occupy in your line-up?
We haven’t released any Latin American films, but have been considering few titles. Especially films for young audiences. However it is always a question how to co-finance the release. In this case we cannot benefit from MEDIA Distribution support.
What kind of films seems to attract Lithuanian’s audiences the most?
[For] arthouse cinema, most important is a good story and the overall quality of the film. The Stars or well-known names are not necessary. For example, our best sellers include The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner [trailer] and Me, Too [trailer].
What do you expect from the Cinemalab workshops?
To finally release our first Latin American film. We also have plans to present a special programme, Latin Women, at the 2012 International Women’s Film Festival in Vilnius. We organize the event so I will be looking for good films to include.