Greta Akcijonaite • Distributor
European Distributors: Up Next! – Lithuania
by Annika Pham
Cineuropa: Could you give us background information about your company and arthouse cinema Skalvija in Vilnius?
Greta Akcijonaite: Skalvija has existed as an exhibitor since 1962 under the name of Planeta. In 1992 it was reorganized into the arthouse cinema Skalvija. Today, Skalvija is the only arthouse cinema in Lithuania with one screen and 88 seats, owned and partly subsidized by the Vilnius Municipality. The cinema is located in the city centre; it promotes quality cinema, and pays special attention to young audiences and education. Our market share as an exhibitor is 1.11%. Two major multiplex theatres share 70 % of the entire Lithuanian exhibition market.
Skalvija has also recently developed an arthouse film distribution activity. Over the last two years we have released ten films theatrically, and another five have been acquired for Lithuania and/or all the Baltic States. As a very small and specialised distributor, Skalvija has a market share of 0.64%.
What was your most recent European hit in cinemas (in admissions) and what European films you have recently acquired?
Our most successful releases were the Danish film Adam's Apples [+see also:
interview: Anders Thomas Jensen
interview: Mads Mikkelsen
interview: Tivi Magnusson
film profile], with admissions of almost 8000, and the Spanish film Dark Blue Almost Black [+see also:
film profile], with over 6000 admissions.
Our recent acquisitions include Sam Garbarski’s Irina Palm [+see also:
interview: Sam Garbarski
interview: Sébastien Delloye
film profile] (Belgium/UK), Kornel Mundruczo’s Delta [+see also:
interview: Kornél Mundruczó
interview: Orsi Tóth
film profile] (Hungary), the Palme d’Or winning film The Class [+see also:
interview: Carole Scotta
interview: Laurent Cantet
film profile] (France)by Laurent Cantet, Thomas Clay’s Soi Cowboy [+see also:
film profile] (Thailand/UK), Ruben Östlund’s Involuntary [+see also:
interview: Erik Hemmendorff
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile] (Sweden), and Ilmar Raag’s The Class [+see also:
film profile] (Estonia).
How is the current market for European films in Lithuania?
The market share of the European films released theatrically was 25% in 2007 although the share of admissions to European films was only 11%. There is definitely a lack of venues for screening European and quality films.
What do you think could and should be done to increase the visibility of European films in your territory?
First of all, we need a clear government policy to support film exhibition and distribution, and to establish a national exhibition network. Nothing has been done in this sector so far.
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