17th Vilnius Short Film Festival has started, with a programme beyond cinema

News 2024-01-18

The 17th edition of the Vilnius Short Film Festival opened yesterday at the Lukiškės Prison, Vilnius, Lithuania. On January 17–23, film lovers will be treated to over a hundred inspiring and moving short films in cinemas of Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai, as well as on ŽMONĖS Cinema home cinema platform, accompanied by numerous events guaranteed to bring some bright colours to the grim winter days.

“This year we are happy to offer more films than ever before, different in themes, genres or geography, yet similar in relevance or aspirations. We have also paid special attention to increasing the accessibility of the festival – viewers in all the cities will be able to watch the National Competition programmes not only with the conventional subtitles but also with additional SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. Moreover, the screenings of the National Competition at MO Museum, Vilnius, will be supplemented by audio descriptions for the audiences with sight loss. The Q&A sessions with filmmakers following these screenings will be translated into Lithuanian sign language. We have conceived a very strong programme, so we are eagerly looking forward to the viewers and wish them nice experiences,” said Rimantė Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė, Head of the Vilnius Short Film Festival.

As every year, the festival’s competitions will be assessed by an international jury, which will also announce the winners, selecting the best films of both International and National Competitions. One film will receive the Film Critics’ Special Mention, and one will win the festival’s Grand Prix.

Even with 21 programmes of different themes and genres, the festival is not only about cinema. Its atmosphere will be enhanced by many events, from Industry Days, workshops for children, meetings and conversations with filmmakers, to the Karaoke Night or even Silent Disco.

Focus on young audience development and cinematic storytelling at Industry Days

In addition to being a film fest, Vilnius Short Film Festival presents events for the audiovisual industry. This year’s Industry Days will take place on 18-19 January at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and “Meno avilys” Cinemateque, inviting its guests to talk about young audience development, film criticism and cinematic storytelling.

Short Film Night: festival’s unbreakable tradition

The festival’s annual crowd-pleaser, Short Film Night, will take place in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, and Šiauliai on January 19 only. Its generous five-hour programme contains twenty films, sure to bring you tears of laughter, make you raise brows, or test your nerves. As it is the longest programme of the festival, it presents not only a nighttime adventure but also a great way to see a large portion of the festival films in one go.

Special screenings at MO Museum

On January 21, the MO Museum, the festival’s most accessible venue for disabled persons, will showcase both of the festival’s National Competition programmes, featuring the contenders for the Best Lithuanian Short Film. The National Competition will be screened with Lithuanian SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing as well as audio descriptions for people with sight loss, and the Q&A sessions with filmmakers following the screenings will be translated live into sign language.

Also, the MO Museum will screen three exclusive Triangle programmes. Triangle project was initiated by Vienna Shorts, the biggest short film festival in Austria, which invited Vilnius Short Film Festival and Lago Film Fest (Italy) last spring to curate short film programmes under the theme dedicated to time in its most transient unit: the moment.

Focus on Underground Culture in Artūras Barysas-Baras Retrospective

The special programme Ssshhh: No Fun at the Seated Disco is a specially for Vilnius tailored retrospective of recently digitised works of the late Lithuanian film auteur, co-founder of avant-garde Pysche group IVTKYGYG, countercultural icon, Artūras Barysas. It includes films made in 1972–1982, lifted from the shelf including specially commissioned 2022 re-scored soundtracks by notable Lithuania Contemporary Composers. It will be shown exclusively at Skalvija Film Centre on January 20-21. Following the January 20 screening, curators David Ellis and Lijana Jakovlevna Siuchina will be joined by Artūras Barysas’ son Vytis Barysas, filmmaker Arturas Jevdokimovas plus writer, musicologist Robertas Kundrotas for a Q&A session.

Films and workshops for the little ones

The festival invites the youngest film lovers to learn from cinema and attend workshops in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, and Šiauliai. The workshops are oriented to curious 6–10-year-olds interested in the subtleties of animation. Following the workshop, the participants will watch Animated Frolics for Kids composed of 10 animated shorts from all around the world! The workshops will be complimentary for everyone who will have purchased a ticket to Animated Frolics for Kids online or in cinemas with online registration.

Tribute to music and joy of life

On January 19, one of the most entertaining and best-sounding events of the festival is set to take place at the bar Paviljonas, where guests, rather than actors will become the stars of the night. Already a long-time tradition, the Karaoke Night will present an opportunity to meet the festival team, international guests and Lithuanian filmmakers, all the while showcasing one’s hidden talents.

Another event, also closely related to music, is the Silent Disco, which will take place at Lukiškės Prison on January 20. The participants will dance listening to two DJs via wireless headphones rather than the usual sound system.

Also, the programme is full of meetings with filmmakers, film presentations, and festive buzz after screenings.

The festival will take place on January 17-23 in Vilnius, Klaipėda, Kaunas, and Šiauliai cinemas, as well as on ŽMONĖS Cinema home cinema platform. The festival is organized by Lithuanian short film agency Lithuanian Shorts.

Info, tickets and full programme at: www.filmshorts.lt

The festival is partially sponsored by: Lithuanian Film Centre, Creative Europe Media, Audiovisual works copyright association AVAKA. Institutional partners: Vilnius City Municipality, Šiauliai City Municipality, Creative Europe Media desk in Lithuania, LATGA Association. Main media partner: LRT Epika.