email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

VILNIUS 2020 Awards

The Metamorphosis of Birds flies away with the main award at the Vilnius Film Festival

by 

- During the awards ceremony, which was streamed online due to the pandemic, Lynn + Lucy was also recognised, with Nova Lituania scoring the Cineuropa Prize

The Metamorphosis of Birds flies away with the main award at the Vilnius Film Festival
Vilnius Film Festival CEO Algirdas Ramaška and Catarina Vasconcelos, the director of The Metamorphosis of Birds, during the online awards ceremony

The 25th-anniversary edition of the Vilnius Film Festival (19 March-2 April) might have concluded with an online gathering instead of an epic party, but the mood was celebratory nonetheless, with CEO Algirdas Ramaška serving as a master of ceremonies, happily welcoming his “guests”: including Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius (accompanied at home by his dog), festival director Vida Ramaškienė, and jury representatives Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and Katarzyna Sinarska, who chose the winners alongside Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, Boyd van Hoeij and Jonas Holmberg. But most of all, he also welcomed the audience, who were later also invited for the screening of the closing film, Matthias & Maxime.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

“Of course the viewing experience was different, as was the immediacy of the contact you get when you discuss the films face to face. But we still managed to get a certain sense of community,” assured Siniarska, of New Europe Film Sales, before announcing the winner of the Cineuropa Prize, Nova Lituania [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Karolis Kaupinis
film profile
]
by Karolis Kaupinis, noticed for “creating an absurd yet elegant commentary on Europe’s colonial misadventures, showing the falsehood in the pretences of colonisers as saviours or bringers of ‘civilisation’ and how hard it is for a subaltern culture to keep its voice.” Ramaška concluded: “Everybody in Lithuania is popping the champagne right now!”

The Best Actor Award went to not one, but three men – Jérémie Laheurte, Djanis Bouzyani and Anthony Bajon – for their “effortless and acute work” in You Deserve a Lover [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hafsia Herzi
film profile
]
. “Acting is sharing and coexistence. It’s an open interplay of energies and sensibilities that transcends an individual presence and creates a special, all-embracing atmosphere in a film,” argued the jury. This was fitting, as the Best Actress Award was to be shared, too, by Lynn + Lucy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fyzal Boulifa
film profile
]
’s Roxanne Scrimshaw and Nichola Burley. “To be recognised for doing something you love is absolutely amazing,” said Burley in her video, with Scrimshaw adding: “I am sorry that due to the current events we couldn’t be there in person, but hopefully one day I will get to meet everybody. Until then, stay safe and carry on watching lots of films!”

That wasn’t the only award for Lynn + Lucy, with Fyzal Boulifa named Best Director, while the title of Best Film – and the €5,000 prize established by the municipality of Vilnius – went to Catarina VasconcelosThe Metamorphosis of Birds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Catarina Vasconcelos
film profile
]
, which premiered at the Berlinale earlier this year. “We had a polyphonic ensemble of opinions in our jury, and this film brought those voices together,” admitted Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, before praising it for being “bold in its form and sincere in bringing up deep longing – and indeed saudade – on screen. Exploring family roots in parallel with plants, as well as life at sea, where rooting is impossible, the film combines stylistic experiments in a musical way, so that each element becomes an inseparable part of one glorious symphony.”

“Thank you for the beautiful words; it feels completely right!” said Vasconcelos to the online audience. “It is indeed a polyphonic festival, and I would like to say: Bravo! Bravo Vilnius Film Festival for your bravery in deciding to do it in such complicated and harsh times. We need cinema. I feel really honoured to be a part of it, even if it’s digital and we can’t touch each other.” Her sentiment was echoed by the winner of the Audience Award, Jan Komasa. “I wanted to express my gratitude to the whole team for organising the event regardless of the hardships the whole world is facing now. I wanted to create Corpus Christi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bartosz Bielenia
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile
]
to try to make the viewers believe that we all, as a community, can come together against all the odds, that there is still hope for us to reconnect, despite populism and hatred being used by the movers and shakers to manipulate us and turn us against one another.”

Over 100 features and short films have been made available on Lithuanian streaming platforms following the festival’s decision to move online.

Here is the complete list of winners:

European Debut Competition

Best Film
The Metamorphosis of Birds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Catarina Vasconcelos
film profile
]
– Catarina Vasconcelos (Portugal)

Cineuropa Prize
Nova Lituania [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Karolis Kaupinis
film profile
]
– Karolis Kaupinis (Lithuania)

Best Director
Fyzal Boulifa – Lynn + Lucy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fyzal Boulifa
film profile
]
(UK/France)

Best Actress
Roxanne Scrimshaw and Nichola Burley – Lynn + Lucy

Best Actor
Jérémie Laheurte, Djanis Bouzyani and Anthony Bajon – You Deserve a Lover [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hafsia Herzi
film profile
]
(France)

Audience Awards

Best Film
Corpus Christi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bartosz Bielenia
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile
]
– Jan Komasa (Poland)

Short Film Competition

Best Short Film
Journey Through a Body – Camille Degeye (France)

Special Mention
Inflorescence – Nicolaas Schmidt (Germany)

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.

Privacy Policy