Country Focus: Lithuania
Lithuanian and French governments sign an agreement on film co-production
by Laurence Boyce
- The respective Lithuanian and French Ministers of Culture, Šarūnas Birutis and Fleur Pellerin, have signed an agreement on film co-production in Paris to facilitate cooperation between Lithuanian and French filmmakers.
In 1999, Lithuania ratified the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production, allowing the country to participate in the Eurimages fund, which provides support for co-produced films. Recently, the fund announced that two Lithuanian co-productions would receive grants: €50,000 went to Deadweight (directed by Ignas Miškinis, produced by Tremora in Lithuania and co-produced by Film Angels Productions in Latvia), while €120,000 went to Pretenders [+see also:
film profile] (directed by Vallo Toomla; a co-production involving Amrion Ou in Estonia, Locomotive Productions in Latvia and Uljana Kim ir Ko in Lithuania).
Although the convention lays out the basic requirements for co-production, a number of issues related to specific aspects of film production, funding and distribution in different countries remain unresolved. Therefore, parties to the convention sign bilateral agreements relevant to the particularities of the film industries in the given countries. The agreement addresses the issue of granting the status of co-production and provides balance in supporting the ideas of filmmakers from both countries. It also makes it clear that the films with the status of a co-production will be considered national in both countries and will be eligible for the support offered for such movies.
Fifteen co-productions have been made with French partners so far, one of the most recent including Alanté Kavaïté’s The Summer of Sangaile [+see also:
interview: Alanté Kavaïté
film profile], which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Currently, two more Lithuanian films are being made with French partners.