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CANNES 2020 Marché du Film

Lithuania celebrates its tenth time at Cannes’ Marché du Film

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- With the upcoming Šarūnas Bartas movie in the Official Selection and 9 more films getting market screenings, the Baltic country is bringing its biggest line-up ever to the Marché du Film Online

Lithuania celebrates its tenth time at Cannes’ Marché du Film
In the Dusk by Šarūnas Bartas

The Lithuanian Film Centre (LFC) is putting the finishing touches to its virtual stand, as the country is about to attend the Cannes Marché du Film for the tenth consecutive year. The Baltic nation will welcome accredited professionals during the Marché du Film Online, which will be held from 22-26 June, promoting a record-breaking selection of ten films (the biggest-ever Lithuanian line-up at the event) that are featured in various sections, a specialised panel on the short-film industry, and some more positive news on the tax incentive scheme.

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The most prominent of the selected films is, without a doubt, In the Dusk by acclaimed Lithuanian helmer Šarūnas Bartas, which has received the Cannes Official Selection label. This is Bartas’ sixth time at the festival, the last time being with Frost [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sharunas Bartas
film profile
]
in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. The film is set during the desperate guerrilla war that took place during the latter phases of World War II and the first few post-war years. During that period, between 1944 and 1953, Lithuania witnessed turbulent battles between local partisans and Soviet forces, which resulted in more than 50,000 casualties on both sides and a failed attempt to restore the Baltic country's independence (see the news). In the Dusk is a co-production between Lithuania, France, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Portugal and Latvia by the director himself and Jurga Dikčiuvienė, for Vilnius-based Studio Kinema, and French sales agent Luxbox is handling the world sales.

At the Marché du Film digital screenings, five films are having their premieres and will be available for upcoming festivals, potential buyers and press coverage. The selection includes the sophomore efforts by Andrius Blaževičius (The Saint [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrius Blazevicius
film profile
]
), Runner, a film about love and freedom, produced by Marija Razgutė for M-Films, and the coming-of-age drama The Castle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Lina Lužytė (Together for Ever [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), a Lithuanian-Irish co-production staged by Kęstutis Drazdauskas for Artbox (see the news). Furthermore, two first-timers will be introduced to professionals along with their films. The Flood Won’t Come by Marat Sargsyan, a magical realist tale that follows a famous colonel who finds himself in a strange situation when a civil war breaks out in his home country, is produced by Ieva Norvilienė (Tremora), while People We Know Are Confused by Tomas Smulkis, a drama revolving around three people trying to find themselves in interconnected stories, is staged by Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė for Just A Moment. The selection is rounded off by Giedrė Žickytė’s third feature-length documentary, The Jump, which tells the story of a Soviet sailor who jumped on a US Coast Guard boat in 1970. The Lithuanian-Latvian-French co-production is being produced by Žickytė herself for her company, Moonmakers.

Four more Lithuanian productions and co-productions that have already premiered at various festivals will also be screened at the Marché du Film. The movies are The Lawyer [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the third feature by Romas Zabarauskas; the debuts Isaac [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jurgis Matulevičius
film profile
]
by Jurgis Matulevičius and Motherland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Tomas Vengris; and the documentary The Earth Is Blue as an Orange [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Iryna Tsilyk
film profile
]
by Ukrainian filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk, a Ukrainian-Lithuanian co-production with Giedrė Žickytė (Moonmakers) serving as a minority partner.

As for the special events, in partnership with the Baltic Pitching Forum, the LFC is organising a specialised panel called “Myths About the Short Film Industry: Is There Any Money?” on 25 June at 1 pm. During this discussion, short-film experts Sari Volanen, commissioning editor at Yle (Finland); Wouter Jansen, sales and festival distributor at Square Eyes (Netherlands); Marcin Łuczaj, sales agent at New Europe Film Sales (Poland); and Laurent Crouzeix, coordinator of the European Short Film Co-production Forum at Euro Connection (France), will try to answer the panel’s titular question, bust the myths surrounding the short-film industry and give some real-life examples of how shorts can be monetised. More information can be found here, and you can register to attend the event by clicking here.

Finally, the LFC has released the figures for its tax incentive scheme for the first half of 2020. Continuing the positive streak seen in previous years (see the news), in the past six months, and despite the COVID-19 restrictions, a total of €9.7 million have been spent in Lithuania (€7.6 million for foreign films, while the rest was invested by local companies), with a total of 14 films being supported by the scheme (broken down into five foreign productions, two co-productions and seven national movies).

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