On May 16th 2015 the Baltic film institutions are signing the mutual cooperation agreement in Cannes. The agreement is signed by Edith Sepp, CEO of the Estonian Film Institute, Dita Rietuma, CEO of the Latvian National Film Centre and Rolandas Kvietkauskas, CEO of the Lithuanian Film Centre.
In Cannes 2015, Baltic film institutions are signing the mutual cooperation agreement considering that Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian films a boost, especially regarding co-productions. Co-producing with neighbours is very common but not enough encouraged in Baltic region.
For this purpose, all three countries consider the possibility to establish co-production fund for films and TV-productions between Baltic States. The similar practise is already used in Nordic countries, e.g. Nordic Film and Televison Fund.
Rolandas Kvietkauskas, CEO of Lithuanian Film Centre pointed out the importance of co-productions between three Baltic countries: “This year, the Lithuanian Film Centre granted 10 co-productions with Latvia and Estonia. The funding of €234,000 went to 5 Lithuanian-Estonian co-productions and 4 Lithuanian-Latvian co-productions were given €314,000. The feature fiction Seneca’s Day (Senekos dienos) by dir. Kristijonas Vildžiunas – the first co-production of all three Baltic countries – received support not only from Lithuanian Film Centre, but also from Eurimage fund last year.”
Furtermore, institutions agreed to organise events to tackle areas of common interest. In the light of recent events in Europe, in order to be more visible internationally, countries exchange information and experience, and when required, have consultations on issues relating to the policy of the European Union in audiovisual field.
The continuous activities, like promoting distribution of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian films in Baltic States, will need to improve and institutions organise competitions for public funding to support public exhibition of the Baltic films.
“Cooperation between three countries has been good in past, but all heads of three funds were considering some improvements are needed, especailly since the situation around us is changing so rapidly. We renewed our contract so that we can start to coproduce more films together but also to promote our high-budget anniversary films in 2018. Balkan and Nordic countries are working together very well, it is time for Baltic now, “ says the head of Estonian Film Institute, Edith Sepp.