Poland shines a spotlight on Lithuania at Krakow
by Laurence Boyce
- At the recently concluded Krakow Film Festival, a conference explored Lithuanian documentary making
The state of Lithuanian documentary was discussed at the 55th edition of the Krakow Film Festival during a conference dedicated to the Baltic country.
On hand was Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė – producer of Giedrė Žickytė’s film How We Played the Revolution, which officially opened the Lithuanian programme, and of Master and Tatiana, which competed in the festival’s international documentary competition – who talked passionately about the reception given to Lithuanian films across the world. Also speaking was veteran Lithuanian documentary maker (and Krakow Film Festival jury member) Audrius Stonys, who talked about the new generation of filmmakers in Lithuania and how the current “process is alive” with directors bringing in new aesthetics while still representing the artistic tradition of the country’s documentary heritage.
Roland Kvietkauskas, director of the Lithuanian Film Centre, spoke about how the country was still exploring the process of solidifying its funding structures and making things even easier for domestic filmmakers and those wanting to get involved in co-productions. He noted how the Lithuanian Film Centre was still young (it is currently only three years old) and yet has already managed to help put Lithuanian filmmaking and its industry on the international map. Some Polish producers in the audience commented that they were envious of the tax incentives that exist for film production in Lithuania, as no such schemes exist in Poland. Kvietkauskas hoped that he would be able to play a role in discussing the successes that Lithuania has experienced with his Polish counterparts.
Also on the panel was Izolda Keidošiūtė, a highly respected Lithuanian film critic who also works at Lithuanian National Television, who discussed the role that the national broadcaster has to play in commissioning new documentaries. Asta Tumaitė from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, currently Lithuania’s only film school, discussed the new generation of documentary makers, while Vilma Levickaitė from the Vilnius Documentary Film Festival talked about the Lithuanian audience’s reactions to domestic documentaries.
At the 55th Krakow Film Festival, Lithuania presented a special programme of 15 documentary and short films released over the last three years. The Krakow Film Festival is the first of three Polish film gatherings where Lithuanian cinema will be presented this summer, with the tour continuing to the Wroclaw (New Horizons) and Gdynia Film Festivals.