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FESTIVALS Lithuania

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Festive opening for the 20th Kino Pavasaris topped off with fireworks

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- Thursday 19 March marked the official opening of the 20th Vilnius Film Festival

Festive opening for the 20th Kino Pavasaris topped off with fireworks
The opening ceremony of the Kino Pavasaris

On Thursday, guests gathered in Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall to celebrate the opening of the 20th Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris. The largest film festival in Lithuania will run until 2 April and will bring audiences 270 hand-picked films, visits from some of the world’s most influential filmmakers and a celebration of cinema in five cities across Lithuania.

The ceremony started with a live performance of this year’s festival song from Leos Carax’s Holy Motors [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Leos Carax
film profile
]
, played by a band of accordionists. Carax will have a retrospective dedicated to his work during the festival.

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The opening ceremony was attended by nearly 700 people. Among the esteemed guests were the former mayor of Bogotá, Professor Antanas Mockus, and Nicolas Servide, the Danish director of Life Is Sacred, a documentary about Mockus’ life, who will present his film at the festival over the weekend. 

The opening ceremony was also attended by Jasmila Žbanić, director of the comedy Love Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Palestinian actor Ali Suliman from the film Dancing Arabs [+see also:
trailer
interview: Eran Riklis
film profile
]
, actor Þorsteinn Bachmann from the Icelandic film Life in a Fishbowl [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and the Croatian director of the documentary Naked Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Tiha K Gudac.

The opening ceremony screened Charlie Chaplin’s short A Night in the Show, as the festival prepares to celebrate the centenary of his career in Hollywood. After the festivities, guests gathered at the Town Hall Square to watch Asta Einikytė’s documentary 20 Moments from Kino Pavasaris, created specially for the festival’s anniversary. The screening was topped off with a fireworks display, marking the start of this year’s cinema celebration.

As the festivities went on, movie theatres in Vilnius screened the festival’s opening film, Mommy, by Xavier Dolan.

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