Lithuania will be one of the four countries under the spotlight of the 11th Les Arcs Film Festival, which will take place from 14-21 December. The country’s presence is quite impressive, as one film will be screened in the Official Competition, three projects are ready to be presented in the industry section, and three features and two shorts will be screened under the festival’s spotlight. In addition, the gathering will welcome the biggest delegation of almost 20 Lithuanian film professionals to the event.
Starting with the Official Competition, Invisible [+] (Lithuania/Latvia/Ukraine/Spain), the sophomore feature by Ignas Jonynas (The Gambler [+]), will enjoy its French premiere and will be one of the ten films in with a chance of winning the Crystal Arrow. The film, a brilliant and disturbing piece of craftsmanship that world-premiered in the New Directors section of the 67th San Sebastián International Film Festival, seals Jonynas’ reputation as a bold voyager into the human soul.
In the industry strand – and, more precisely, in the Coproduction Village (14-17 December) – out of the 22 projects selected (see the news), two Lithuanian ones will be there in search of future partners. Karolis Kaupinis, whose historical debut feature, Nova Lituania [+], premiered at Karlovy Vary this year, is presenting his sophomore film project, Kaspervizija, in which he once again deals with his country’s history, as the story is set in the midst of Lithuania’s independence, where a young journalist starts working for his arch-enemies in order to serve the recovering state. As was the case for his debut, this film is being produced by Marija Razgutė, of M-Films. The other project due to be presented is The Grand Piano Room by first-time filmmaker Laura Tamošiūnaitė Šakalienė, produced by Teresa Rożanowska for Ketvirta Versija.
In the Work in Progress sidebar, which this year will be held on 16 December, among the 18 titles that have been picked (see the news) is In the Mirror, the latest effort by award-winning Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalniņa, whose Spoon [+] premiered this summer at Karlovy Vary. The project, which has been chosen in partnership with Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event and was previously screened at their Works in Progress event, is an experimental fairy tale and transposes the traditional Snow White story to the youth-centric present day (see the news). The film is being produced by Pakalniņa for Riga-based outfit Hargla Company and Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė for Lithuanian firm Just A Moment.
Finally, in partnership with the Lithuanian Film Centre, and under the umbrella of this year’s Les Arcs Focus, the audience will have a chance to discover a new generation of talents and more established filmmakers through a selection of three features and two shorts. The features are Sasha Was Here [+] by Ernestas Jankauskas (Lithuania/Finland), with both the director and the leading actress Gabija Siurbyte attending; Miracle [+] by Eglė Vertelytė (Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland), who is also attending along with producer Lukas Trimonis; and The Summer of Sangailė [+] by French-based helmer Alanté Kavaïté (France/Lithuania/Netherlands), who is currently preparing her upcoming feature (see the news). Both of the latter films have previously been released in France. In the shorts selection, The Mother’s Day by Kamilė Milašiūtė and The Camel by Laurynas Bareiša will get an airing.
Vassilis Economou (www.cineuropa.org)