VILNIUS - Vilnius International Film Festival (Vilnius IFF) “Kino Pavasaris” is unquestionably one of the most anticipated annual cultural events in Lithuania – perhaps even the most important one.
Every year in March, Vilnius IFF presents more than 180 films divided into a number of categories, from Horizons and Brave Vision to Hot Documentary and various retrospectives, and everything in between. The public’s interest in independent international cinema has been increasing ever since 2005, when the then 10-year-old Vilnius IFF witnessed a record number of visitors, when more than 72,000 people attended the festival – a really impressive number in a country of less than three million people.
In 2009, Vilnius IFF introduced “New Europe - New Names,” a competition program with a solid international jury aimed at the best talent among debuting Central/Eastern European filmmakers. The program was so successful that it became one of the IFF’s constant features. This year the festival presents 12 impressive works from Eastern and Central Europe, which are debuts or second feature films, selected from more than 80 contestants.
Vilnius IFF programmers travel to all major international film festivals for a reason – not only to select the most fascinating premieres, or the ones that have gathered the most prestigious awards, but also to find and present to their audiences the masterpieces from recognized filmmakers. Vilnius IFF visitors will find these works in a special program “Masters.” Among Lithuania’s favorites are Kim Ki-Duk and M. Winterbottom.
Enthusiasts of Vilnius IFF always await Kim Ki-Duk with appreciation, and this year he will surprise the audiences with a new work – “Pieta.” It is already the 18th film from this filmmaker, which premiered at Venice film festival where it received the “Golden Lion” award. The plot features a cold-blooded debt collector who unexpectedly meets a mysterious woman, insisting to be his mother. Kim Ki-Duk chose the name of Michelangelo’s masterpiece to convey modern man’s suffering and cruelty.
Another favorite of Vilnius IFF is director Micheal Winterbottom, who never stops to amaze with the quantity and quality of his films. During the last 15 years he directed 17 films. This March Vilnius IFF will present Winterbottom’s most recent picture “Everyday,” which unveils the family life of a prisoner. It is a story of separation and passing time. The film took five years to create, and since four out of six main characters are children, we can follow them growing up.
Each year Vilnius IFF brings carefully selected and festival awarded films to Lithuania. This year it also holds a special surprise for the fans of sound. From March 14-18 cinema and music lovers will be presented with a special “Music films” program, in which presents not only the sounds of well-know songs, but also unheard stories of the artists. The name of a famous Lithuanian performer will shine brightly in this program as well.
Fans of music that choose this program at Vilnius IFF will have an exclusive chance to get to know the biographies of famous artists, their impressive life stories, and will also see unreleased cuts from their concerts. Various music genres will be on display: from classical to modern, electronic to alternative. “Music Films” will allow taking a closer look at such famous names in the music industry as “LCD Soundsystem” and Bob Marley himself.
In its 18th year, it is the largest cinematic event in the country, known and loved for its high quality film program and rich accompanying package of cinema-related events, workshops, and special activities. So there will be plenty of things to do and to see for every taste.
The festival will be held from March 14 – 18.
For more information, film schedule and event program please visit: www.kinopavasaris.lt