The Gambler plays the odds for Lithuania at the Academy Awards
by Laurence Boyce
- Ignas Jonynas’ debut feature is to be the Lithuanian submission for Best Foreign-language Film
The Gambler [+see also:
interview: Ignas Jonynas
film profile], the feature debut by Ignas Jonynas, will be this year’s submission from Lithuania for the Best Foreign-language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards.
The film is a stylish thriller about a gambling addict and ambulance driver who decides to play a new game that involves his patients’ lives. Starring Vytautas Kaniusonis and Oona Mekas, the title has garnered praise for its strong performances and stylised aesthetic.
The movie premiered last year in San Sebastian’s Kutxa-New Directors section – making it the first Lithuanian film to play at San Sebastian – and then successfully toured around more than 30 festivals. The title will be domestically released on 24 September. It has been sold to Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sales agent for the film is Wide Management Enterprise.
Speaking exclusively to Cineuropa, Jonynas said: "It is a great honour for me to represent my country at the most important international awards in the industry. The Gambler was partly inspired by the best examples of American cinematography. It is really thrilling to get feedback and assessment from those who served as a creative inspiration."
The Gambler is a Lithuanian-Latvian co-production, produced by Studio Uljana Kim (LT) and Locomotive Productions (LV). The movie was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Film Centre, the Latvian Film Centre, Eurimages and the MEDIA Programme.