To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Baltic republics, the Country Focus of this year’s DOK Leipzig turns its attention to Lithuania and examines the cinema of a country which defied Soviet dogma at an early stage. Frequently by drawing on subtle cinematic devices or playful approaches, Lithuanian film redefined the concept of political cinema, revealing the poetic and emancipatory power of images and questioning the political system in the process.
European Film Promotion (EFP) and its member organisations announced the 2018 line-up for EFP Producers on the Move. 20 of the most promising, up-and-coming European producers have been selected to take part in EFP’s high-profile networking platform at the Cannes Film Festival (May 8–19, 2018). During the five-day event between May 10–14, the exclusive group will take part in a tailor-made programme in order to foster international co-productions, intensify the exchange of experiences and help create new professional networks. EFP’s longstanding programme is financially backed by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the participating EFP member organisations.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the Karlovy Vary festival has put together an extensive retrospective of poetic documentary films from the Baltic region. This collection of important works of the “Baltic New Wave” dating back to the early 1960s features the world premiere of Bridges of Time, a new documentary by renowned Lithuanian filmmaker Audrius Stonys and his Latvian colleague Kristine Briede.
In April, the German city of Wiesbaden becomes a meeting point and a promotion platform for Central and Eastern European film and filmmakers. The 18th goEast festival, which kicks off today, is shining a spotlight on the Baltic States with a symposium, “Hybrid Identities – Baltic Cinema”, dedicated to the national cinemas of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, their histories, pursuits of national and cultural identities. The festival’s programme also includes some of the key recent titles of Baltic cinema. The project is part of a wide-ranging tripartite programme with which the Baltic States present their cinemas to Europe on the occasion of their centenary of statehood.
In 2018, seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe are celebrating 100 years of independence. “I picked a very special year to make my start as the head of festival,” says Heleen Gerritsen, the new director of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film. “That’s a cause for celebration, but also invites us to take stock of current circumstances. Especially in the Baltic States the history of independence is a very complicated one and the search for identity is far from resolved”, according to Gerritsen, who is looking forward to vivid discussions with a number of renowned film scholars during the 18th edition of the festival. Under the title “Hybrid Identities – Baltic Cinema” the goEast Symposium also provides ample space for lectures and discussion. The special program Prague 1968, which is devoted to the cinematic reappraisal of the events of the Prague Spring, represents a further historical focus at the festival.