The 2020 cultural event calendar in Lithuania is opened by the 13 th Vilnius International Short Film Festival. More than 60 carefully selected short films from all over the world, that are part of International and National Competitions and special programmes, will be screened on 16th – 19th January in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys, Ukmergė and Marijampolė. The organisers of the festival will present family programme and the Film Night, that have become a tradition by now, and for the first time - a horror film programme.
This year lovers of the horror genre will have an opportunity to shiver their timbers in the horror shorts programme – Dreadfully Scary Stories, a part of which will be Ghostly Vilnius tour organised by Neakivaizdinis Vilnius. Film programme was compiled along with the festival’s partner Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, that has a long running genre film screening traditions. This programme will present wonderfully good horror and nightmare concoction.
Another attention worthy programme – Animadoc. It is a rare opportunity to see a synthesis of documentary and animation in as many as 8 films. Animated documentary – is a rarely found genre in Lithuania, which inspires with its boldness and search of new forms. All of the films in the programme have already drawn the attention of international audiences, have toured many international film festivals. For example, one of the films from the programme – hand drawn animated documentary Egg (dir. Martina Scarpelli) has received more than 40 international awards and was presented in more than 150 international film festivals.
Traditionally, the festival will present a special programme for children. This year it is The Animated World for Kids, which was selected by the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival (France).
For the first time in Vilnius, at the National Martynas Mažvydas Library of Lithuania, we are presenting a free screening - Creative Spotlight: Europe, during which 5 newest creations of European filmmakers will be presented. This programme was prepared along with the EU programme’s Creative Europe Desk Lithuania MEDIA Office. All of the films included in the programme were funded by the aforementioned programme and it almost automatically adds additional value to the films. In this programme the films are of very different themes – from Finnish black humour to slow documentary narrative about astronauts in the Oman desert. Films were screened at international film events and have received awards. For example, Lucia in Limbo was part of 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week; Mars, Oman – was screened at the Amsterdam (IDFA) and Vision du Reel (Switzerland) documentary film festivals; Two Bodies on a Beach – won the special prize at the Tampere Film Festival.
Well, and of course, the competition programmes, which are like the spine of the festival. This year’s renewed team of programmers consists of a film director and screenwriter Andrius Blaževičius, film critic and journalist Monika Gimbutaitė, and producer Klementina Remeikaitė. They carefully selected 41 films for the festival from almost 2000 submissions, which were categorized into 6 International and 2 National Competition programmes. Programmes this year were categorised according to interlacing themes, social issues and moods – Youth Errors, Blood Ties, High Voltage, Happily Ever After?, Upstream, Different World.
Competition programme films will be evaluated by an international jury: film director Aistė Žegulytė (Lithuania), Annecy International Animation Film Festival (CITIA) programmer Sébastien Sperer (France), and internationally recognized, producer, art house film production company’s Mindwax director Dora Nedeczky (Hungary). On the final day of the festival we will find out the winners of the best fiction, animation, and documentary film prizes and the best Lithuanian short film title.
More information can be found in the repertoires of cinema theatres and at www.filmshorts.lt.
The festival is organised by the Lithuanian short film agency Lithuanian Shorts, supported by Lithuanian Film Centre, Vilnius city municipality, and Audiovisual Works Copyright Association AVAKA.