The Lithuanian program in "Scanorama": searching for a distinctive voice at the intersections of the present and the past

In the anniversary Lithuanian program of the European film forum "Scanorama", there is a bold search for a unique voice in the premieres of documentary films, the horizon of the latest short film, a gesture of respect to the creators and film music who shaped the Lithuanian film tradition. 

"Lithuanian cinema premieres this year present a bright and memorable documentary cut, revealing the polyphony of voices of recognized and beginning creators, forming the strong character of national cinema. You will also be surprised by the newly opened pages of cinema history, which prove that the search for unique artistic expression is not an isolated exception, but a direction that consistently supports the tradition of Lithuanian cinema", says festival founder and artistic director Gražina Arlickaitė.

Deep Time and Imagination Structures 

Emilija Škarnulytė, an artist and filmmaker recognized in the international field of contemporary art, will present her feature-length documentary film "Graveyard" at the festival. The director directs the camera to the Ignalina nuclear power plant, where the decommissioning process is underway. The author of the tape reflects from different perspectives on the impact of nuclear technology and the eternal cycle of energy. Precisely composed images and original research themes of deep time and invisible structures will extend the intellectually and physically engaging installations of the artist, and the meaningful context will be broadened by the director's workshop "Anthropocene, deep time and geological traumas" and a special film screening with live music in the event space "Gallery 1986". in 2019 E. Skarnulytė was awarded the "Future Generation Art Prize" (Future Generation Art Prize) and represented Lithuania at the 22nd Milan Triennale. Currently in Radvilau In the palace art museum, the artist's personal exhibition "Swimming rooms" is open, the center of which is the above-mentioned award-winning work "t ½".

Margins of the Global World: Sacred Rituals of Survival

The memory of director, anthropologist and geologist Mantas Kvedaravičius, who was killed by the Russian occupiers in Mariupol this year, will be honored at the festival with his documentary essay "Prologue", presented at the Locarno Film Festival. The origins of Prologue go back to preparations for the first feature film, The Parthenon, in 2019. which became the closing film of Scanoramas. The tape combines the resolution of documentary and feature cinema, extending the existence of people on the margins of the global world explored in the director's previous films.

The daily life of Mehdi and his compatriots living in an abandoned textile factory is at the center of the film, M. Kvedaravičius captures it as a mosaic of sacred rituals of survival. Images and sounds of carnal desires and prayers, hopes, concern for loved ones and animals intertwine with the motifs of crowding of nations, weakness and indifference to the fringes of civilization. 

Collectors of images and sounds

The ranks of Lithuanian premieres will be complemented by the documentary "Antanas Sutkus: scenes from the life of a photographer" by the long-time director of Scanorama, Vytautas V. Landsbergis, which creates a personal and poetic portrait of a living classic of Lithuanian photography. The film explains the phenomenon of the photographic genius, the ability to tame the environment and people without conflict - to reveal their lives without fighting, without rudely breaking in and without crossing personal boundaries, but smiling ironically, saddening, not judging, listening to the complex experiences of his family.

Director Vytautas Tinteris will present a portrait of sound artist Audrias Šimkūnas in his debut feature film "Frequency Fishing" and will invite you to live acoustic experiences in different spaces. Following the movie hero's passion for sounds and their combinations, he supplemented his film with a 24-channel soundtrack, which was created in collaboration with the LMTA Music Innovation Study Center and installed in a spherical surround sound hall. It will also host the remaining screenings of the film after the premiere screening. 

Short metro horizons

This year, Scanorama presented an expanded short film competition program "Blinks of Europe". The competition, which is held for the thirteenth time and replaced the regional short film competition program "New Baltic Cinema", will introduce new film talents from all over Europe and selected works of Lithuanian directors during the festival. Four works were selected for the Lithuanian competition program: "Shokis" (dir. Danielius Minkevičius), "Blausos" (dir. Arnas Balčiūnas), "Before the war and the pandemic there was love and bugs" (dir. Nuruzzaman Khan) and "Kaprizas" (dir. Beatričė Bukantytė, Raskto Novaković).

Retrospective of cinema language searches

In the program "Open History of Lithuanian Cinema", which every year recalls the personalities who shaped the Lithuanian cinema tradition and their most significant works, this year special attention is paid to the author's reflections of poetic dramatic cinema and reflections of film music.

The collection dedicated to the director Algimantas Puipa, which includes his films "Day of the Fish" (1989), "Lightning Up" (1996) and "Wolf's Tooth Necklace" (1997), created at the beginning of Independence, presents the search for an original voice in the tradition of feature cinema, combining strong perspectives of personal imagination and interpretations of reality that acquire the dimension of artistic reality.

A triptych of short documentaries dedicated to the memory of film director and cameraman Vytautas Damaševičius, who passed away last year, included "Sad Venice" (1990), "Lietuvos kronika" (1990) and "Draugas. The story of one poem by Česlov Miloš" (Č.M. for the century) (2011), looks closely and delves into the essence of a historical era, place and person. 

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the birth of one of the most interesting and original Lithuanian composers, Broniaus Kutavičius, a film directed by Jonas Vaitkaus is included in the program "Strazdas – green bird" (1990) introduces the combination of stage and cinematography of the same work and the sound library of Lithuanian cinema soundtracks. When creating music for this film, the composer used his own work consistently developed principles of pagan minimalism and sought to revive the structure, dynamics and harmony of the pantheistic world structure with sounds. 

This year, the film forum of European countries "Scanorama" will be held on November 10-20, in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai, Panevėžys and Alytus. 

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