Lithuanian premiere at VDFF: Behind the scenes of the work of D. Pancerov and B. Davidonytė and the invisible everyday life of delinquent young people

September 21 The twentieth Vilnius Documentary Film Festival (VDFF) is announcing the first news: two premieres by Lithuanian creators will take place at the festival. Debutant director Živile Mičiulytė shows the behind-the-scenes work of investigative journalists in the documentary "Cabinet", while filmmaker Maratas Sargsyan shows the life of young people who have found themselves in the center of socialization for crimes. The full program of the festival will be presented on August 25.

"Both of these films were created on the principle of observational documentary; the directors managed to get extremely close to the film's characters and reveal worlds that are usually inaccessible to the audience. Mičiulytė reveals the behind-the-scenes of investigative journalism, while Sargsyan reveals the everyday life of teenagers living in a socialization center. Watching both films, it is interesting to think about what a documentary can and should reveal about its characters, how to show them. I think both directors approach this issue sensitively and present strong, topical films," says Ona Kotryna Dikavičiūtė, one of the organizers of the VDFF program.

A frame from the movie "Bogdan doesn't want to go home"

A Look at Isolated Juveniles

In the movie "Bogdan doesn't want to go home", which will premiere on September 26. In Vilnius, at the "Skalvija" cinema center, the story is told about the young people of the socialization center that operated in the village of Vėliučionii in the Vilnius district. Teenagers, who are in the center for crimes, feel quite free in front of the movie camera: they joke, push each other, have heated discussions with teachers, write essays. Looking at them, you can even forget that many have already broken the law many times or are awaiting trial.

As the school year comes to an end, many guys are preparing for summer vacation. Only Bogdan refuses to go home. The black-and-white footage of the film reveals the dark side of the boys' lives and their extremely murky future.

The director's acquaintance with the young people of the Vėliučioni Socialization Center took place thanks to the media literacy project "Big Little Screens" (implemented by "Meno Avilys" in cooperation with the British Council) - M. Sargsyans together with his colleague Andrius Blaževičius conducted film workshops for minors.

A frame from the movie "Bogdan doesn't want to go home"

"After meeting isolated young people, I realized that they are unusual people, but no less deep and sensitive than all of us. And in a sense, their fate is the result of our society's indifference. Most would write such guys off: drug addicts, thieves, they belong in prison. And probably only a few would wonder if they had a chance to live differently, or if their fate was not already determined at birth? When creating this film, I had a very simple goal: to show the lives of those who were locked up very closely. I wanted the viewer to feel an invisible presence nearby," says director Marats Sargsyans, known to Lithuanian audiences for the films "Father" and "Tvano nebusi".

What happens in the offices of investigative journalists?

In her first feature-length work, Živilė Mičiulytė captured the daily work of journalists Dovydas Pancerov and Birutė Davidonytė, who worked in the editorial office of the portal "" at the time, calls to interviewees, discussions about topics and words to reveal to them. In their office, which was filmed in 2019-2020, the highly acclaimed book "Cabinet 339" was born, as well as the beginnings of the first book "The President and the Counselor".

The profession of investigative journalism stirs the imagination, and the viewer may get the impression that a journalist's day is full of action and tension. However, the reality is much more prosaic: hundreds of e-mails, phone calls, small inclusions of personal life that occasionally diversify office life. The camera film subtly raises questions about the essence of a journalist's work, the duty and responsibility to speak out, as well as the constant state of insecurity.

A still from the movie "The Cabinet"

"This is a film about investigative journalism and two journalists. At the same time, the film also talks about broader themes, such as the line between truth and lies. I think it should appeal to those who follow the work of these two journalists, who are generally interested in the topics of media and freedom of speech. For those who are interested in seeing what really goes on in an investigative reporter's office (I was very interested in it myself - it was one of the reasons why I started making this film). But at the same time, it is also a film about a man and his struggle for a better world. Personally, the most interesting thing for me was the people themselves, the journalists, their feelings, disagreements, emotions," says director Mičiulytė.

She adds: “I'm really looking forward to meeting the audience. The film was shot quite a long time ago, the world has changed many times during that time, so it is very interesting how the audience will receive it. I would really like for this work to cause discussions and questions, and for the audience to stay at least a little bit with its subject even after the film."

A still from the movie "The Cabinet"

Meetings with the director of the movie "Cabinet" Ž. Mičiulyte and heroes in "Romuva" will be held on September 23. 18 p.m. Journalist Kotryna Lingienė will moderate. 

The Vilnius Documentary Film Festival (VDFF) is the oldest international documentary film festival in the Baltic States and, so far, the only festival in Lithuania devoted exclusively to creative documentaries. The 20th VDFF will be held from September 21 to October 1 in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Alytus. 

The festival is financed by the Lithuanian Film Center, AVAKA and the Goethe Institute in Lithuania. 

Partners: Pasaka, ArleKinas, Dainava cinemas, Romuva cinema center, Film Jam, Meno avilys, Young Programmers for Young Audiences! (Young4Film)", "VR Spot", Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuanian Cultural Research Institute, Vilnius University (VU) "Observatory of Ideas" and VU Geological Museum. 

Information partner - EPIKA. 

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