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VILNIUS 2018

The Vilnius Film Festival celebrates the masters

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- During its 23rd edition, the biggest film festival in Lithuania will present an array of critically acclaimed films and welcome such directors as Sean Baker and Amos Gitai

The Vilnius Film Festival celebrates the masters
West of the Jordan River by Amos Gitai

This year’s edition of the Vilnius Film Festival, which will run from 15-29 March and is set to visit 11 cities, promises its attendees a unique chance to have face-to-face encounters with numerous acclaimed filmmakers, such as Amos Gitai, who will also show his recent documentary West of the Jordan River [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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, Swedish rapper and human rights activist Silvana Imam, Loving Vincent [+see also:
film review
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interview: Dorota Kobiela
film profile
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’s Oscar-nominated directorial duo Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, as well as Sean Baker, recently catapulted onto the A-list thanks to his award-winning drama The Florida Project. Baker will come to Vilnius accompanied by his star, Lithuanian-born debuting actress Bria Vinaite, who has since been cast in Harmony Korine’s upcoming film.

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Apart from the retrospective of innovative French director Jean Vigo, who died of tubercolosis aged 29, and Lithuanian classics focusing on the theme of childhood, among the selected films are Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name [+see also:
film review
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Q&A: Luca Guadagnino
film profile
]
, Małgorzata Szumowska’s recent Silver Bear winner Mug [+see also:
film review
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interview: Małgorzata Szumowska
film profile
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, popular tennis drama Battle of the Sexes and Xavier Legrand’s divorce drama Custody [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile
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, which has been chosen as the opening film and will be shown alongside the director’s similarly themed short, Just Before Losing Everything. It won’t be the only screening featuring shorts, though, which have been added to the programme only this year. Interestingly, the line-up also includes 12 Lithuanian films, including The Ancient Woods [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– a documentary by Mindaugas Survila, which took ten years to complete and will close the event.

For the first time, the festival will also welcome a FIPRESCI jury, which will award one film from the Baltic region. Moreover, the organisers have decided to establish the Competition of European Debuts. “There was a time when we needed to support the new European cinema from post-Soviet countries. However, these films can now hold their own when compared to Western European cinema. That’s why we made debuting European directors our priority,” underlined senior programmer Santa Lingevičiūtė. Also for the first time, the Cineuropa Prize will be awarded at the festival, in the European Debut Competition.

Algirdas Ramaška, executive director of the festival, will host the participants in the Independent Cinema Office’s Developing Your Film Festival course. Partly funded by Creative Europe, it will be held from 20-25 March, followed by the ninth edition of the Meeting Point – Vilnius industry event. Organised together with the Lithuanian Film Center, the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Creative Europe Media Desk Lithuania, the Audiovisual Authors Producers Rights Association (AVAKA), the Danish Cultural Institute, Baltic View, Noir Lumiere and Vilnius Film Cluster, it will serve as a platform for several new projects in development. By hosting discussions with creative director and founder of Have Communications Cristian Have, founder and managing director of the Rights Stuff consultancy Wendy Bernfeld, founder of Ideal Filmworks Linda Beath, sales agent from Film Republic Xavier Henry-Rashid and festival strategist Kathleen McInnis, Meeting Point – Vilnius will also focus on new ways to distribute and create marketing strategies for independent cinema.

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