European Film Forum Scanorama is a festival that takes place every year in November in the three biggest towns of Lithuania (Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda), providing some of the most distinctive cultural events of the autumn in Lithuania.
Scanorama began as a Nordic Film Forum, and in the first years of its life it attracted only fans of films from northern countries; but since then it has grown steadily in terms of the length of its programmes, the numbers of viewers, and the range of countries represented by its films. Today it is a forum for films from all over Europe. It takes place over twenty days, in five cinemas, in three towns in Lithuania, and shows more than a hundred films by European directors of various formats and genres.
Scanorama is well known for being a festival with high standards, aiming to show films that foster ethical and professional values. The exhaustive process of selecting the films for the programme takes almost a year, and seeks to include not only professionalism and innovative forms, but also ideas, creativeness and intuitive spirituality, in order to explore and protect respectable values.
The result of this thorough work is that every year viewers of the festival programme can enjoy films that counter prevailing trends, be it by their usefulness, profesionalism or popularity. It is hoped that the films that are shown, that have been shown and which will be shown at Scanorama will eventually turn out to be distinct cinematic events in Lithuania, and not just films claiming to belong to cinematically emancipated territory. Thus, through its programme, Scanorama looks critically at today’s often superficial needs, and through its example it shows us how to distinguish between commercial and artistic success.
Scanorama is especially keen to preserve and foster its origins, its link with the countries of northern Europe, from where since the very beginning the films were the main factor forming the structure of the programme’s values, aims, atmosphere and viewers. The festival’s inspiration derives from the cinema classic Ingmar Bergman and the Dogma’95 avant-garde cinema movement, with Lars von Trier at the fore. This is what determines that now Scanorama every year boldly opens up to viewers new areas of cinema, new names, and new directions and generations, at the same time as looking back to the origins and traditions of cinema.