The first triumph of Lithuanian film in “Scanorama” contest

The first triumph of Lithuanian film in “Scanorama” contest

The closing ceremony of the 13th European Film Forum “Scanorama” was held in Vilnius on Sunday evening. The film feast, which took place for almost two weeks, was ceremoniously closed by awarding the “New Baltic Cinema” winners and screening Sparrows (2015) by Rúnar Rúnarsson, a film depicting the incredible Icelandic nature.

As every year, the guests of the “Scanorama” closing ceremony were greeted by the festival director Grazina Arlickaite. “No one likes sad goodbyes. Let’s rather think about the future encounters and the fact that “Scanorama” is moving to other cities. I hope that these days were full of memorable rendezvous, meetings and personal discoveries. I wish this to continue in one’s thoughts, conversations and further cultural endeavors,” – told G. Arlickaite.

After director’s greeting, the award ceremony of the “New Baltic Cinema” took place. Traditionally, two winners are selected in this programme: the best film of the Baltic countries and the best film made by a Lithuanian director.

14 films participated in the programme: 5 Lithuanian, 6 Estonian and three short films from Latvia. The winners were selected by the experienced international jury: Neil Young, a jury chairman and film critic, who writes in “The Hollywood Reporter”, Anja Breien, one of the most prominent Norwegian directors and screenwriters, and Linde Fröhlich, the creative director of Breien and Lübek Nordic Film Days.

This year, “Bridges” by Austeja Urbaite was selected as the best short film in the programme. For the first time, a Lithuanian film wins the “New Baltic Cinema” contest. For the 26 min. length story about the desire to uncover the bridges between people, A. Urbaite was awarded 10 000 euros worth film equipment rental services for her upcoming project. The prize is given by “Vilnius Film Cluster”.

This night was a complete success for the young Lithuanian director, because her film “Bridges” was also recognized as the best Lithuanian short film. A. Urbaite received another prize worth 3000 euros, given by “Avaka”, an audiovisual copyright association.

“Pa Pa” by Valērijs Oļehno (Latvia) and “The One” by Ivan Pavljutskov (Estonia) were also granted special acknowledgments.

The closing ceremony was crowned by “Sparrows” (Rúnar Rúnarsson, Iceland). This story about a lonely teenager, who is made to leave his home in the city and move to a remote village in Iceland, was presented at the Toronto Film Festival and won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastián Film Festival. This is not the first movie by Rúnar Rúnarsson screened at “Scanorama”. A few years ago, the festival screened his movie “Volcano”, which was also presented at the Cannes Festival in the “Directors’ Fortnight” programme.

Even though “Scanorama” has ended in Vilnius, the festival continues in the other cities. Up until 22 November “Scanorama” is taking place in Kaunas, until 19 November in Klaipeda, and 19-22 November in Siauliai.

European Film Forum “Scanorama” still has some surprises for the citizens of Vilnius. Today and tomorrow (16-17 November) “Scanorama” will hold additional screenings of the most popular films this year.