The Lithuanian Film Centre announces its first 2019 funding slate and "accepts new challenges"
by Vassilis Economou
- Almost €3 million have been allocated to film projects at all stages of production, while last year’s international investments in Lithuania totalled €45 million, smashing all previous records
The Lithuanian Film Centre (LFC) has announced its latest round of funding pre-approvals for 2019, which covers 42 projects spread across various programmes. The support granted totals over €2.9 million, with €2.6 million earmarked for the production of 28 films, and the rest for the development of 12 features and two interactive film projects.
More precisely, eight feature-film projects will be supported with a total grant of more than €1.6 million. The selection includes Andrius Blaževičius’ sophomore feature, after his successful debut, The Saint [+see also:
interview: Andrius Blazevicius
film profile], entitled Paralysis (producer: Čiobreliai); Kristijonas Vildžiūnas’ (Seneca's Day [+see also:
film profile]) musical drama Songs for a Fox (Studio Uljana Kim); Ernestas Jankauskas, whose debut, Sasha Was Here [+see also:
film profile], competed at Tallinn Black Nights last year, and whose LFC-funded sophomore project, Oxygen (Dansu Films), was first introduced at the Baltic Event Co-Production Market at the same gathering; Family (Fralita Films) by Austėja Urbaitė; Romas Zabarauskas’ The Lawyer (Naratyvas), which was selected for Pula’s Matchmaking Forum; The Year Before the War (Studio Uljana Kim) by Latvian filmmaker Dāvis Sīmanis (D Is for Division [+see also:
film profile]); Georgian duo Davit Abramishvili and Giorgi Gogichaishvili with Inga (Filmai); and finally, Šarūnas Bartas’ latest effort, In the Dusk (Studio Kinema – see the news). Also, two first-time filmmakers have received LFC support: Dovilė Šarutytė, for Long metro film about life (Studio Uljana Kim), and Irma Pužauskaitė, for Step 9 (In Script).
Furthermore, seven international co-productions (three fictions and four documentaries) will be supported with a grant of €434,000. The long-awaited sophomore feature by Serbian director Stefan Arsenijević (Love and Other Crimes [+see also:
film profile]), Strahinja (Lithuanian producer: Artbox), will be the first co-production between Lithuania and Serbia. The rest of the co-productions include Estonian director Ilmar Raag’s (The Class [+see also:
film profile]) Eric Stoneheart (Studio Uljana Kim), Georgian helmer Ioseb Bliadze’s Cost of Living (Čiobreliai), and the documentaries Limits by Vytautas Puidokas (In Script), Blue as Orange Land by Iryna Tsylik (Moonmakers), Soviet Man by Ivo Briedis (Monoklis) and Trains by Macej Drygas (Era Film).
Also, four feature-length documentaries will be supported: Burial by debutant Emilija Škarnulytė (Just A Moment), Returning from New York by Ramunė Rakauskaitė (Ultra Nominum), winner at WEMW 2018 (see the news) I’ll Stand by You by Virginija Vareikytė and Maximilien Dejoie (In Script), and Moncys. A Samogitian From Paris by Linas Mikuta (Monoklis). The rest of the funding will be distributed among seven short projects – two fictions, two documentaries, two animations and one virtual-reality effort.
Finally, as part of the “Challenge Accepted!” campaign, the LFC will be present at Berlin’s European Film Market (EFM) to welcome potential new international partners wishing to collaborate with Lithuanian producers. As Rolandas Kvietkauskas, director of the centre, recently revealed (see the news), the tax incentives have been increased to 30%, which, coupled with some impressive recent results (see the news), makes Lithuania extremely attractive. The results from 2018 also demonstrated that eight international productions spent over €45 million (more than all of the investments from 2014-2017 combined), with Lithuanian input verging on €9 million.
Some of the productions that have so far placed their trust in Lithuania include the HBO/Sky series Chernobyl (see the news) and Catherine the Great, while Norway also clearly had faith in the country, with Hans Petter Moland’s Berlinale title Out Stealing Horses [+see also:
interview: Hans Petter Moland
film profile], the series Beforeigners by Jens Lien (see the news) and The Oil Fund by Harald Zwart (see the news). Finally, Sweden also demonstrated its commitment, with Mikael Håfström’s series The Conductor (see the news).
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