Lithuania at the Berlin Film Festival
Lithuania will be hosting a stand at the European Film Market, an international film industry event that takes place during the Berlin International Film Festival and opens today. The stand will present Lithuanian film industry, tax concession for film production, and the latest Lithuanian projects. Two feature films supported by Lithuania will be screened for foreign film professionals, and a Lithuanian project will be introduced in the special “Berlinale Talents” programme.
Like every year, the latest national productions will be presented for film professionals from around the world. 124 projects including 14 films dedicated to the centenary of the restoration of national independence have been included in the special bilingual publication Lithuanian Films 2016–2017, released by the Lithuanian Film Centre. The digital version of the book can be found online.
Special screenings for film industry professionals will include the Lithuanian Miracle directed by Eglė Vertelytė and the co-production of three Baltic states titled Pretenders and directed by Vallo Toomla.
After the screenings attended by international film distributors, sales agents, festival programmers and other film professionals, filmmakers hope to strike a dialogue with potential film buyers and festival organisers.
Mircale is a co-production of the Lithuanian company “In Script” and the Bulgarian “Geopoly Film”. The story takes us back to 1992. Lithuania is overwhelmed by an economic crisis; jobs are scarce, banks are crashing, inflation is soaring. Irena, the head of the local pig farm, struggles to maintain the company and her employees. But everything changes when a handsome American man shows up in the village… Pre-production and production of the film have been co-funded by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme, Lithuanian Film Centre, Bulgarian National Film Centre, and European Cinema Support Fund “Eurimages”. The film is expected to premiere in autumn 2017.
“With the post-production nearing the end, the distribution strategy comes to life”, says Lukas Trimonis, producer of the film. “Finding an international sales agent is one of the major challenges. A debut film in a non-English language without an international festival premiere rarely secures international representation. I am very happy that Miracle has found its international sales agent – company “Wide” that will present the film at the festival through closed screenings and private meetings. This shows the international potential of the film. I hope we will find a festival for an international premiere and distributors from different countries who might be interested in commercial distribution.”
Three Lithuanians – actress Aistė Diržiūtė, director Jonas Trukanas and producer Goda Siurbytė – will take part in the “Berlinale Talents” event for budding filmmakers. Their project When the Lights Go Out has been selected for the short film development programme.
250 young talents from 71 countries have been invited to the “Berlinale Talents” this year. They were offered to submit projects echoing this year’s slogan of the event – “Courage. Against all odds”. The selected project When the Lights Go Out was first presented at the Baltic Pitching Forum that took place in Vilnius, in the autumn of 2016.
“I hope to make successful progress with the development of the script within this programme and find potential partners”, says Jonas Trukanas. “It’s my second time at the “Berlinale Talents” and I know that this event gives inspiration to move forward.”