A room with a “Baltic View”
by Tristan Priimägi
- The online Baltic View platform aims to help spread Baltic cinema beyond the region
When Baltic View officially launched in January, it could have been mistaken for just another streaming platform following in the same vein as dozens of others, which are trying to make sense of today’s European digital market. But crucially, it boasted two unique aspects: strong curation of its content, and a clear regional focus.
Baltic View is an online environment concentrating solely on showing and promoting films hailing from the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, be they features, documentaries, shorts or animations. The brainchild of three Lithuanian film-industry professionals, Inesa Ivanova (CEO), Gabija Budreckyte and Daiva Ivanauskaite, Baltic View, an “online cinema space for the Baltics”, as they prefer it to be called, was brought to life to give access to the content that people never had access to before, and to promote the region itself. “Every week, we aim to introduce a new film from the Baltics,” adds Ivanova, stressing how important careful selection is for the whole Baltic View concept – special occasions or dates might bring along thematically focused programmes, and all of the films are carefully picked, always keeping the theme, quality and possible target group of the movie in mind.
Baltic View proposes a novel structure for such a platform, as it completely bypasses having a homepage. In order to get started, one simply needs to write to Hello@balticview.online and sign up for a newsletter to ensure reception of monthly updates on new releases and events. Currently, seven Baltic titles are available for viewing – the list can be seen on the Baltic View Vimeo page.
Baltic View’s soft launch last Christmas proved highly successful. It proposed four thematic Baltic shorts programmes for general viewing: Our Baltic Obsessions, Family and Children’s Films, Animation for Thought, and Baltic Party Time. These programmes, containing 24 films altogether, garnered 2,150 views from 65 different countries all over the world. These programmes were available for free for a period of time, and more free shorts will be added to the platform throughout the year. After a roaringly good start, it remains to be seen whether the public will also be willing to consider watching Baltic movies for a small donation, ranging currently from €1 to €4.50, depending on the length and format of the film.