Lithuanian film was included into the competition program of the San Sebastian International Festival

Rengėjų inf.
2013 August 12 d.

For the first time Lithuanian film will take part in one of the world's most prestigious film festivals, which will be held in the Spanish city of San Sebastian on 20-28 September. Main roles in the Director Ignas Jonynas' debut film "The Gambler" were played by actor Vytautas Kaniušonis and Los Angeles resident Oona Mekas, who is the daughter of Lithuanian artist Jonas Mekas. The script for the film was co-written by the director with the philosopher and writer Kristupas Sabolius.

The A category San Sebastian Festival, which describes itself as "home for restless and creative films", is in the club of the world's exclusive festivals. The oldest event in the Spanish-speaking world became famous with premiers of Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, Melinda and Melinda by Woody Allen, Star Wars by George Lucas. Today, its focus is on the Western European and Latin American cinema, while presentations of Eastern European films are very rare.

"The Gambler" became the first feature film from the Baltic countries presenting its world premiere in San Sebastian . It tells a macabre story of almost broke gambler, emergency doctor Vincent, who gets the idea to create a work-related illegal game. This gripping story with elements of thriller and melodrama deals with ethical choice issues, revealing unique intersection between the world-views of post-Soviet conformist and capitalist winner.

"The program featuring a great variety of films prepared by our team will give pleasure and interesting discoveries to the cinema audience. We are creating this ambitious festival with great passion," - says director of one of the most-visited festivals, San Sebastian festival, José Luis Rebordinos. In the program "Kutxa -New Directors", the Lithuanian film will compete among 16 films from the USA, Israel, France, Turkey, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico, China, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Regular festival-goers and film connoisseurs from note the success of "The Gambler" as a great achievement for and the whole region. Film journalist Lolita Bytautė emphasizes that the San Sebastian International Film Festival is among the most famous festivals, including Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals. "This is evidenced by strong program of films, and names of participating directors and actors, as well as the jury composed of celebrities. Therefore, the fact that the Baltic film debuts for the first time at such festival is a very important and exceptional event for ", - says the presenter of cultural TV programs.

" San Sebastian is the favourite of the "Kino pavasaris" festival program compilers due to the diversity of carefully selected films. For , partnership with this festival is a great honour," - says director of "Kino pavasaris" Vida Ramaškienė. Exactly this year, visiting the industry conference "Meeting Point- Vilnius" of "Kino pavasaris", representative of San Sebastian festival Roberto Cueto took notice of "The Gambler's" synopsis. Intrigued by original idea of the Lithuanian film, he urged the creators to participate in the selection procedure.

"The Gambler" is the first Lithuanian-Latvian co-production feature film in history of independent film, developed in collaboration of film production companies Studio Uljana Kim and Locomotive Productions. Production of the film was supported by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, Lithuanian Film Centre, National Film Center of Latvia, the European Union's MEDIA Programme, and EURIMAGES - European Cinema Support Fund.