On June 13, Eglė Vertelytė’s debut film Miracle – first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival – was awarded the Silver Crane for the best feature film of the year at the 11th Lithuanian Film Academy Awards. Vertelytė also received the prizes for the best writing and directing, while the award for the best acting went to Eglė Mikulionytė who appeared as the lead actress in the Miracle.
Vertelytė’s tragicomedy Miracle which transplants the viewer back to the first years of independence from the Soviet Union has already gained international acclaim. It has toured a dozen or so festivals and is currently distributed in France, the USA, and a number of Asian countries.
Silver Crane Award for Best Director went to Eglė Vertelytė (Miracle)
Wonderful Losers: A Different World by the Lithuanian filmmaker Arūnas Matelis – recognised the best documentary at the international festivals of Trieste, Warsaw, and Minsk – received three trophies back home too. The author of the film co-produced by eight countries was awarded the Silver Crane for the best documentary as well as the Audience Choice prize, while Alberto Lucendo from Spain who wrote the original score for the film was announced the composer of the year.
Silver Crane Award for Best Documentary Feature: Wonderful Losers: A Different World by Arūnas Matelis
The Golden Crane – lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to Lithuanian cinema – went to the legendary cinematographer Algimantas Mockus, well known for the films Adam Wants to Be a Man by Vytautas Žalakevičius (1959), The Beauty by Arūnas Žebriūnas (1969) and The Devil’s Bride by Arūnas Žebriūnas (1974) among others.
The Golden Crane Award winner Algimantas Mockus
Last year Laurynas Bareiša’s short film By the Pool received its world premiere at the Venetian Film Festival, while this year it was awarded the Silver Crane for the best short film.
Mindaugas Survila whose documentary The Ancient Woods captured the audience at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam received the award for the best cinematography, while the sound editors of the film Saulius Urbanavičius and Jonas Maksvytis were acknowledged for their professional work.
Silver Crane Award for Best Professional Work went to Saulius Urbanavičius and Jonas Maksvytis for sound editing in The Ancient Woods
This summer Giedrė Beinoriūtė’s film Breathing into Marble will be premiered in Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. So far the youngest nominee of the national film awards Joris Baltrūnas was awarded the Silver Crane for the best supporting role in the film.
Before the ceremony, the guests including celebrated filmmakers such as Krzysztof Zanussi, Sergei Loznitsa, Audrius Stonys, Giedrė Žickytė, Sharunas Bartas, Kristijonas Vildžiūnas and Arūnas Matelis, voiced their support for their Ukrainian colleague filmmaker Oleg Sentsov who is currently suffering an unjustified imprisonment in Yakutia, Russia. This was done in unison with the European Film Academy’s efforts to free the innocent filmmaker.
Meanwhile, the women of the Lithuanian film community followed the example of the Cannes Film Festival and took a group picture representing the unity of all women against discrimination, violence and sexual harassment, as well as their common aspiration towards equal rights.
All of these events as well as the national and global recognition of debuting filmmakers signals a promising future for the Lithuanian cinema marked with positive change.
Silver Crane Award for Best Picture went to Miracle directed by Eglė Vertelytė (producer Lukas Trimonis)
The winners of the Silver Cranes at the Lithuanian Film Academy Awards 2018:
Golden Crane: cinematographer and director Algimantas Mockus
Best Student Film – the Silver Crane Egg: The Last Day (directed by Klaudija Matvejevaitė)
Best Professional Work: Saulius Urbanavičius and Jonas Maksvytis for sound editing in The Ancient Woods
Best Original Music: Alberto Lucendo (Wonderful Losers: A Different World, directed by Arūnas Matelis)
Best Cinematography: Mindaugas Survila (The Ancient Woods, directed by Mindaugas Survila)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Joris Baltrūnas (Breathing into Marble, directed by Giedrė Beinoriūtė)
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Eglė Mikulionytė (Miracle, directed by Eglė Vertelytė)
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Giedrius Savickas (Three Million Euros, directed by Tadas Vidmantas)
Best Original Screenplay: Eglė Vertelytė (Miracle, directed by Eglė Vertelytė)
Best Director: Eglė Vertelytė (Miracle)
Best Documentary Feature: Wonderful Losers: A Different World (directed by Arūnas Matelis; produced by Arūnas Matelis, Algimantė Matelienė, Studio Nominum)
Best Short Film: By the Pool (directed by Laurynas Bareiša; produced by Klementina Remeikaitė, Afterschool)
LRT.lt Readers’ Choice: Wonderful Losers: A Different World (directed by Arūnas Matelis)
Best Picture: Miracle (directed by Eglė Vertelytė; produced by Lukas Trimonis, In Script)
The Silver Crane Awards are organised by the Lithuanian Film Centre and the Lithuanian Film Academy. Official broadcaster: Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT).
The Lithuanian Film Academy founded in 2010 gives out the annual Silver Crane Awards to foster Lithuanian film culture on both national and global scale.
Photos by Audrius Solominas ir Robertas Daskevičius.