BERLIN – The 18th edition of the Kino Pavasaris Vilnius International Film Festival (March 14-28) started on Thursday in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, with select screenings in Kaunas, the country’s second largest city. The festival opened with the Golden Globe-nominated comedy directed by Dustin Hoffman, and will close with the Hungarian film , directed by Gyorgy Palfi.
International guests include Croatian actor Rade Serbedzija () Russian director Alexei Fedorchenko (), Berlin-based Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa (), British actor Dexter Fletcher () and writer-producer Simon Perry, chairman of the Irish Film Board and the European independent producers’ collective Ace Producers.
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The Vilnius IFF competition “New Europe – New Names” is devoted to debuts and second films from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. This year, 12 films from Romania, Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania and Georgia will compete for the main prize.
The festival has a special showcase of American independent cinema, featuring eight films with international resonance – Roman Coppola’s , Behn Zeitlin’s , Craig Zobel’s , Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s , Antonio Campos’s , Harmony Korine’s , Derek Cianfrance’s and Ben Lewin’s .
The festival will also feature a short films competition judged by British Estonia-based film critic Laurence Boyce, filmmaker Danilo Serbedzija – Rade Serbedzija’s son, and filmmaker Oona Mekas –daughter of American experimental filmmaker and poet Jonas Mekas. Other programs include a documentary competition, a non-competitive international program, premieres of Lithuanian films, the VIASAT Comedy Festival, New Russian Cinema and a partial Jean-Luc Godard retrospective.
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“We are glad that the festival is acknowledged by international industry players,” said Algirdas Ramaska, executive director of Vilnius IFF. “We will welcome some outstanding people at our fourth industry event ‘Meeting Point – Vilnius’ (March 25-28). And we are especially glad to welcome programmers from important film festivals like San Sebastian, Rotterdam, Warsaw, Locarno, Gothenburg. We will present the newest Lithuanian and Baltic films and projects in progress for them. Our main goal is to show the regional potential and promote films from Baltics.”
“We will also be the first festival to screen [Austrian-born director] Ulrich Seidl‘s entire trilogy, with Margarethe Tiesel, the main actress from , in attendance,” added Ramaska. “We are especially proud of that!”
The jury, which consists of Palestinian film and theater actor Ali Suliman, Romanian actress Ada Condeescu, Turkish film director and screenwriter Yesim Ustaoglu, Italian film critic and curator Giovanni Ottone and Croatian actor Leon Lucev, will reveal the competition winners at the closing ceremony on March 28.
(Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, France, Turkey) directed by Aida Begic
(Poland) directed by Kasia Roslaniec
(Ukraine, Germany, Serbia) directed by Daria Onyshchenko
(Georgia, France, Luxembourg) directed by Rusudan Chkonia
(Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada) directed by Igor Drljaca
(Poland) directed by Slawomir Fabicki
(Slovakia, Czech Republic) directed by Mira Fornay
(Romania) directed by Tudor Giurgiu
(Serbia) directed by Miroslav Terzic
(Romania, France, Germany) directed by Marian Crisan
(Bulgaria) directed by Emil Christov
(Lithuania, France, Belgium) directed by Kristina Buozyte