Over 40,000 Filmgoers Attended the 15th SCANORAMA
On 30 November, along with the final repeated screenings in Šiauliai, the three-week, 15th-anniversary European Film Forum Scanorama ended. Over 40 thousand film fans attended the festival’s films in cinemas throughout Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai, as Scanorama invited them to 130 films, over 20 meetings with members of festival film crews, as well as 5 traditional Scanorama Directions film industry events. 349 film screenings were held throughout the festival.
“The anniversary Scanorama programme was indeed successful. It’s a great feeling knowing that Scanorama has a plentiful and loyal audience with new cinephiles joining in each year. Thank you for our friendship and the ever-strengthening connection between the festival organisers and the audience. I am very glad that we are able to maintain the festival’s strong core values without becoming stuck, and that we are able to offer our audiences pleasant surprises without losing our direction. This year saw the introduction of a new programme called Whatever Works as well as the first-ever Cinema Club, which, with its cosy spaces and meetings with directors and other film crew members, gave the residents of Vilnius an even stronger festive atmosphere”, said founder and art director Gražina Arlickaitė, sharing her impressions as Scanorama drew to a close.
The Festival’s Most Popular Films in Cinemas
It is no secret that the films that drew the most attention from viewers during the festival were the winners of the main film awards: The Square, a Palme d’Or winner by Ruben Östlund, On Body and Soul by the Berlin Golden Bear laureate Ildiko Enyedi, and Loveless by Andrey Zvyagintsev, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize. Lithuanian film connoisseurs also enjoyed the part of the programme that was full of strong débuts, with The Cakemaker by the Israeli director Ofir Raul Graizer attracting large audiences, and both Ása Helg Hjörleifsdóttir’s The Swan and Katja Wik’s The Ex-Wife also causing a lot of buzz.
The Square was definitely the absolute knock-out title of the festival and will go on to be shown in the cinemas of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda starting 1 December. Later on, Scanorama film lovers will have another chance to see the films You Disappear (director Peter Schønau Fog), Thelma (director Joachim Trier), Happy End (director Michael Haneke), Loveless (director Andrey Zvyagintsev), Summer 1993 (director Carla Simón) and The Swan (director Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir).
A Strong Programme of Lithuanian Films for the Hundredth Anniversary of Statehood Restoration
The unusually plentiful programme of Lithuanian premières made the mood of the festival even more festive. One after another, Scanorama screens lit up with What We Leave Behind by Jūratė and Vilma Samulionytė, Butterfly City by Olga Černovaitė, Kharms by Ivan Bolotnikov and Miracle by Egė Vertelytė. The national première of Sergey Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature also played to a full house.
The absolute winner of this year’s New Baltic Cinema short competition was the young Lithuanian director Klaudija Matvejevaitė and her film The Last Day. The piece was considered by many to be not only the best Lithuanian film but also the best film in the whole programme. Klaudija Matvejevaitė was awarded the Audiovisual Works Copyright Association AVAKA and Vilnius Film Cluster prizes.
The Scanorama team has already begun preparations for the 2018 season. The most prominent pieces from the masters of European cinema will be shown to Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai audiences between 8-25 November next year.