“Pilgrims” are coming home: a cinema dedicated to the award-winning film is being built in Karmėlava
When Kaunas and the Kaunas district became the European Capital of Culture, new opportunities opened up to bring culture closer to every person. That is why the Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino pavasaris” together with the main project partner Telia, which supports Lithuanian cinema, presents a unique idea – , a cinema theatre in Karmėlava, which is opened on 17 March just for a few days and dedicated to only one film – “Pilgrims”.
The film directed by Laurynas Bareiša, which has received the highest award in the history of Lithuanian cinema – the "Orizzonti" Lion of the Venice Film Festival's official selection – was shot specifically in this town of Kaunas district. The film was awarded at the Thessaloniki festival for the screenplay written by Bareiša himself. The work was favourably received at festivals in Cairo, Tallinn and Belgrade.
"Every year, the festival looks for new ways to create an exceptional experience for the audience – of course, the actual quality and originality of the films always come first. And the content can inspire the form that can be presented in an especially creative way," says Algirdas Ramaška, director of Kino pavasaris. According to him, the success of such projects as "Aerokinas" at Vilnius airport which was inactive during the lockdown, as well as the invitation to watch movies in hotels, when it was not possible to do so in cinema theatres, also inspires new unexpected solutions. This year, it is the homecoming of the film that has been well received in the world, by building a cinema theatre for it.
There are good reasons why this location was chosen for the psychological drama "Pilgrims". Laurynas Bareiša chose to shoot his first feature film in the town where he was born. The film continues the artistic process started with short films. For example, the short film "Dummy" is a kind of prelude to "Pilgrims". The main theme of the film, which is awaiting its premiere in Lithuania, is a person's handling of trauma. The story is about two people who come to a town where someone close to them has been murdered. The themes of memory, loss and revenge intertwine in the film.
"It seemed important to me, the film producer Klementina Remeikaitė and the entire crew, to show ‘Pilgrims’ here – the community of Karmėlava welcomed us very warmly, helped us a lot and contributed to the work," says director Bareiša.
After the audience sees "Pilgrims" in a pop-up cinema that will be built in one of the film's locations, they will be invited to continue the experience with the "Kosmos App" mobile application. There will be a virtual tour through the other locations, which will allow you to get to know deeper not only the film, but also the town of Karmėlava. Also, before the screenings, it will be possible to view the Lion statuette brought back from Venice and an exhibition revealing the behind-the-scenes of filming. The exact address of the cinema will be communicated to those who purchased tickets, the number of which, like the number of screenings, is extremely limited.
“Pilgrims”, produced by the film production company Afterschool, is participating in the "European Debut Competition" program of the festival “Kino pavasaris” that starts on 24 March; premiere in cinemas throughout Lithuania – 8 April. Production of the film was funded by the Lithuanian Film Centre.
The "Pilgrims" cinema theatre in Karmėlava is part of the "Kaunas and Kaunas district – European Capital of Culture 2022" program.