The Pažaislis Church and Monastery complex is the winner of the 2020 EUFCN Location Award
- The site in Kaunas (Lithuania) has scooped the fourth edition of the award for best European location in the film and TV industries organised by EUFCN, in collaboration with Cineuropa
Situated on the Kaunas Lagoon Peninsula, the Pažaislis Church and Monastery complex helped to recreate the splendid and tumultuous reign of Empress Catherine II of Russia (Helen Mirren) in the HBO and Sky Atlantic miniseries Catherine the Great.
The award was received by Kaunas Film Office representatives Aurelijus Silkinis and Goda Gajauskaite during the EUFCN Location Award ceremony at the Berlinale's European Film Market. “We are really glad to be receiving this award. There is no doubt that the EUFCN Location Award will contribute to revealing the uniqueness of the Kaunas region even more and will increase its international visibility not only in the field of film production, but also in film tourism. We would like to thank HBO, Sky Atlantic, director Philip Martin, film producers and the entire crew.”
The Pažaislis Church and Monastery complex, one of the most magnificent examples of Baroque architecture in North-Eastern Europe, had never hosted a shoot of this scale before. Art-department endeavours to convert the Pažaislis Catholic church into an Orthodox church were completed with the utmost care and attention.
“EUFCN represents a window into filming Europe for foreign producers, and as such, the Location Award is a powerful way to focus on stunning and remarkable filming-friendly locations,” says Pavlina Zipkova, co-president of EUFCN. “It also helps us to spread the word about the work of film commissioners, who really are mediators and negotiators between governmental institutions and filmmakers. If all that work results in such beautiful locations being put on the screen, it is a great feeling,” adds Zipkova.
During the first phase of the competition, EUFCN film commission members had the opportunity to submit one location from a film, a TV series or a documentary shot in their country and released between 2 July 2019 and 20 September 2020.
The EUFCN Location Award jury, a five-member group of distinguished professionals comprising Lori Balton (international location scout, co-founder and former president of the LMGI), Valerio Caruso (director of Cineuropa), Matthijs Wouter Knol (director of the European Film Academy, former director of the European Film Market), Julian Newby (founder and editorial director of Boutique Editions Ltd) and Julie-Jeanne Régnault (secretary general at EFAD – European Film Agencies) selected the five locations on the shortlist. The general public then had the chance to vote for their favourite on the Cineuropa website.
One lucky name picked from among the voters will experience the location in the most authentic way possible by spending two nights in Monte Pacis, the elegant hospitality complex in the Pažaislis Monastery.
Here is the list of finalists for the 2020 EUFCN Location Award:
Banská Štiavnica for Dracula – Slovak Film Commission (Slovakia)
Moritzburg Castle for Charlie’s Angels – MDM Film Commission (Germany)
Pažaislis Church and Monastery Complex for Catherine the Great – Kaunas Film Office (Lithuania)
The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 94 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.
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