Lithuania at the Festival de Cannes - Exceptional Premieres and a Spotlight on the Film Industry
The 75th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival and the Marché du Film, the trade fair for the film industry, open today in France. This year, Lithuanian filmmakers will participate in the festival’s competition programme and seek international attention at the fair’s events whilst the Lithuanian stand will present the most exciting new developments from the country’s film industry.
One of the most important, and unexpected, events is the world premiere of Mariupolis 2, a documentary by filmmaker and cultural anthropologist Mantas Kvedaravičius, who was murdered at the end of March in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine. The film will premiere in the official special screenings programme Cannes Premieres on 19 May. Mariupolis 2 tells the story of everyday life in a city that is being destroyed as we watch. At the Cannes premiere, the film will be accompanied by words explaining the reasons behind Kvedaravičius’ return to Mariupol even as it was being destroyed by Russian invaders. Mariupolis 2 is one of two films by Kvedaravičius that have been left unfinished due to his death.
Another Lithuanian world premiere, that of Lithuanian director Vytautas Katkus’ latest short film Uogos(Cherries) will participate in the Cannes Short Film Competition, alongside eight other works from around the world. These nine short films were selected from over 3,500 entries from all over the world. Uogos (produced by Marija Razgutė) is the third short film directed by Katkus. It tells the story of a hot summer’s day, a father, a son, and their relationship. It will be presented at Cannes on 27 May.
On 23 May, the festival will host a special world-premiere of Ukrainian director Sergej Loznitsa’s documentary, a Lithuanian-Dutch co-production, The Natural History of Destruction (produced by Uljana Kim).
This will be the 12th appearance of the Lithuanian stand at the festival. Visitors will be invited to explore the latest news in Lithuanian cinema, and to discover the numerous advantages of film production in Lithuania and the record-breaking success of the country’s ninth year of corporate income tax relief for film production.
This year, two Lithuanian producers, Lukas Trimonis and Živilė Gallego, will take part in the Producers Network programme for Europe’s most promising producers.
In addition, Lithuania, together with Latvia and Estonia, will present short films from the Baltic States in the Short Film Corner, a trade fair for the short film industry that happens during the Cannes Film Festival. Two out of the seven works by Baltic filmmakers that will be showcased in the Baltic Shorts programme are from Lithuania: 2.2. Atmosferos arba vidutinis slėgis (2.2 Atmospheres or Medium Pressure) (dir. Akvilė Gelažiūtė, prod. Emilija Sluškonytė) and Kaip būti žmogumi (How To Be A Human Being) (dir. Jorė Janavičiūtė, prod. Greta Akcijonaitė).
This year, the Short Film Corner has launched a new programme called the New Producers’ Room for producers who are actively working on short film projects and are interested in international co-production.
Ten producers from France, Croatia, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Latvia and Lithuania will participate in this, the first year of the programme, including Lithuanian producer Justė Michailinaitė (Broom Films).
Lithuanian director Romas Zabarauskas will also take part in a discussion on collaboration between British and European screenwriters at the British Pavilion.
The presentation of Lithuania and its talents at the Cannes Film Festival and Fair is funded by the Lithuanian Film Centre.