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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Lithuania / Ireland / Latvia

EXCLUSIVE: Tomas Vengris’s new film 5 & 1⁄2 Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania in production

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- A co-production between Lithuania, Ireland and Latvia, the director’s sophomore feature has been described as “a collection of stories revealing the elusive but real beauty in ordinary life”

EXCLUSIVE: Tomas Vengris’s new film 5 & 1⁄2 Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania in production
Actors Marijus Mažūnas, Doireann May White, Ella Lily Hyland, Alison Oliver, Maria Oxley Boardman and Valene Kane in 5 & 1⁄2 Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania (© Martynas Norvaišas)

Tomas Vengris is now filming his sophomore feature, titled 5 & 1⁄2 Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania, Cineuropa has learnt. The director’s debut, Motherland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, premiered at Busan and won the Best Baltic Film Award at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in 2019. Set shortly after the fall of the USSR, the film followed a 12-year-old boy called Kovas, who travelled to his mother Viktorija’s homeland for the first time.

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5 & 1⁄2 Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania revolves around five guests who experience a romantic crisis in an Airbnb in Vilnius, unaware of the stories that have transpired within the same walls and under the same bedsheets. Between each episode and the next, the quiet cleaning lady, Jolanta (Velta Žygure), arrives to wipe away the evidence of their joys and tragedies, while her own love story unfolds. We will spend the entirety of the film within these walls, following “a collection of stories revealing the elusive but real beauty in ordinary life”. The script was penned by the director himself alongside Tatia Rosenthal.

Speaking about his directorial vision, Vengris disclosed to Cineuropa: “We are so excited to be working with such a strong international cast. The film, which includes dialogue in more than five languages, sheds light on Vilnius’s unique character and rich, vibrant history – all revealed through the perspective of a single apartment nestled in the city’s old town. This is especially important in light of current world affairs.”

The international cast includes Vidas Petkevičius, Valene Kane, Alison Oliver, Marijus Mažūnas, Yiftach Klein, Hadar Ratzon Rotem, Ieva Andrejevaitė, Šarūnas Datenis, Géza Röhrig, Adelė Šuminskaitė, Skomantas Duoplys, Juliusz Krzysztof Warunek, Magdalena Celówna-Janikowska and Jonas Braškys.

Jurģis Kmins (Songs for a Fox [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kristijonas Vildziunas
film profile
]
, 1906, Bille) is attached as the feature’s DoP, whilst veteran Irish composer Stephen Rennicks (The Quiet Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Colm Bairéad
film profile
]
, Frank [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Room [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
) is in charge of its score. The technical crew is rounded off by editor Julian Ulrichs (Sing Street [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, the TV series Modern Love), sound designer Julius Grigelionis, production designer Sigita Šimkūnaitė (Pilgrims [+see also:
film review
interview: Laurynas Bareisa
film profile
]
), costume designer Liene Dobraja, make-up designer Jurgita Globyte and veteran Hollywood casting director Nancy Bishop.

5 & 1⁄2 Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania is being produced by Uljana Kim for Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim, and co-produced by Alicia Ní Ghráinne for Ireland’s Tiger Darling Productions and Roberts Vinovskis for Latvia’s Studio Locomotive. The project has received additional backing from the Lithuanian Film Centre, Eurimages, Screen Ireland and the National Film Centre of Latvia.

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