11.5th Vilnius International Short Film Festival reveals Its film programme

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Vilnius International Short Film Festival, one of the major short film events in the Baltics, starts in a fortnight, on January 18-20. Alongside its traditional “Short, but films”, this year’s edition sports a new slogan: “Short, but a festival”. Eleven works by young and bold Lithuanian filmmakers will compete in a National Programme; last year’s outstanding films will be screened all night long; the little film buffs will be treated to a delightful selection of shorts; and a special Trust Me programme will be analysing a surge of fake news and distrust in authority.

“We had financial challenges in the 12th year, which led to the numbering of the festival being 11.5. As a result of 50% funding cuts, the festival will only take place in Vilnius, last half as long as usual, two days and one night. Nevertheless, we have come up with a programme that’s as topical as ever, resonating with the present and so important to everybody,” says Marija Razgutė, festival’s Artistic Director.

What is contemporary Lithuanian short-form cinema like? That is the question that will be tackled by the National Competition Programme, which, in its third year, will feature a diligent selection of films to compete for the title of the Best, in addition to a prize of 1000 Euros funded by the Vilnius City Mayor. Participating in the competition are: winner of the Best Lithuanian Film at the Scanorama festival, The Last Day (by Klaudija Matvejevaitė); Silver Crane winner for best short fiction film, The Mother’s Day (by Kamilė Milašiūtė), Yana (by Saulė Bliuvaitė), Watchkeeping (by Karolis Kaupinis), Where Things, Where People Disappear (by Jorė Janavičiūtė). Also competing is a documentary Dialogue With Joseph (by Elžbieta Josadė) and an experimental documentary Remember, Thou Art Clay (by Elvina Nevardauskaitė, David Heinemann). Representing animation in the programme are the winner of the Silver Crane for best animation and Best Short Film at the Vilnius International Film Festival, Running Lights (by Gediminas Šiaulys), Mr. Night Has A Day Off (by Ignas Meilūnas), Last Stop Is The Moon (by Birutė Sodeikatė), and My Birth (by Eglė Mameniškytė). Winners will be named by a jury composed of filmmaker Tomas Vengris, film theorist Natalija Arlauskaitė and independent audiovisual industry consultant Eva Brazdžionytė.

Today, as the media is dominated by madness and extremes, as reliable information is tough to find, a question arises, who can we trust? Special film programmes Trust Me will reflect upon doubt, or rather distrust, in the European rulers, the elite, sources of mass information. Put together by the international short film festivals of Vienna, Austria and Uppsala, Trust Me is divided into two parts: Fake News. Sad. Counterfeiting Reality and (Anti)Authority: The (Dis)Illusion Of (Dis)Obedience. The films will be introduced by the festivals’ representatives Daniel Ebner and Sigrid Hadenius.

Traditionally, the viewers will be invited to spend a night watching short films. A 330-minute-long Caffeinated Cinema: Panorama is a collection of films that fascinated, moved, impressed and inspired the programmers, juries and audiences of the major film festivals of the world. Usually this is one the most-awaited screenings in the festival.

In co-operation with Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, we have prepared a third selection of entertaining and educational films for children age 4-8 and their parents, Shorties For Kids. As well as the others, this programme will be shown in Cinema PASAKA and SKALVIJA Cinema Centre.

The festival is held by the Lithuanian short film agency Lithuanian Shorts and funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius Municipality.