“Before Flying Back to the Earth" Has Been Awarded the Big Stamp

Nominum, LFC inf.
2006 February 26 d.

A film by Arūnas Matelis, Before Flying Back to the Earth, has won the main prize, Big Stamp, at the largest documentary film festival in the Balcans: Zagreb DOX (). 30 most famous films produced last year from all over the world were included in the competition programme. According to a member of the festival jury, Rada Sesic (she is a member of the Jan Vrijman Fund supporting documentary films and selection committees of many festivals), the jury liked the film very much and there were hardly any discussions over the main prize, despite the fact that among A. Matelis’s rivals was the winner of the Joris Ivens Award of the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, a prize winner of Sundance Film Festival and an Oscar nominee. The audiences of the festival were overfilled, and the festival received not only attention of people from Zagreb , but also from Croatian politicians. The President of Croatia, Stipe Mesić, participated in all screenings of Croatian films to support documentary filmmakers of his own country, and he also communicated informally with the authors of the films and guests from other countries in the traditional place of festival receptions: the Hemingway Club. 

A. Matelis’s film was favourably met also by the audience: he was the first in the voting for the audience’s prize for a long time, but, at the end of the festival, he was pushed to the second place by Sasvim Licno, a film by Nedžad Begovic, a director from Bosnia and Herzegovina (it got only 0.05 point more than the Lithuanian film), which won also the award of the Balcan regional competition programme. 

This is the third festival for this film by A. Matelis, and it has been awarded the main prize for the third time. Before this, the film was awarded the main prizes of the most famous documentary film festivals in Leipzig and Amsterdam . Before Flying Back to the Earth was nominated for the European Film Academy Documentary 2005 – PRIX ARTE, and in it won the National Prize for Culture and Art as well as the Lithuanian Cinematographers’ Union award.