Vilnius International Short Film Festival joined two European film festivals networks

News 2023-05-18

The largest short film festival in Lithuania – the Vilnius International Short Film Festival – this spring became an official member of two European film festival networks. Embracing the spirit of collaboration the festival joined the European Network for Film Discourse (The END) and the European Film Festival Network “Young Programmers for Young Audiences! (Young4Film)” focused on young audiences. For the next two years, the Vilnius International Short Film Festival, together with a solid group of European partners, will implement joint film screening and educational activities.

According to the organizers, the invitation extended to the Vilnius International Short Film Festival by not just one, but two prestigious European film festival networks, shows its growing importance not only in the region of Lithuania and the Baltic States, but at the level of the whole of Europe. It is especially gratifying that at the beginning of the year, the above-mentioned festival networks received funding from the EU program “Creative Europe MEDIA”. The projects that have received the attention and evaluation of the experts of this program are characterized by high quality of the content of activities and sustainable cooperation between organizations of the European audiovisual industry.

European Network for Film Discourse (The END) is a young and EU-funded alliance, closely linked to the successful online magazine Talking Shorts. The main aim of The END is to promote film criticism and audience participation. The network consists of Filmfest Dresden (Germany), Vienna Shorts (Austria), Lago Film Fest (Italy), Kortfilmfestival Leuven (Belgium), FeKK Ljubljana Short Film Festival (SIovenia) and Vilnius International Short Film Festival (Lithuania). Its main purpose is to promote critical film discourse by and for a younger generation and to familiarise new audiences with a flourishing European film landscape, including cooperative workshops, mentoring programmes and various community activities. In the upcoming two years, the network will invite film critics from different Eurpoean countries to the so-called “tandem workshops”, a series of workshops organised jointly by two festivals each. Under the guidance of established journalists and film scholars, the participants will learn the basics of film criticism by means of short films and film programmes. The first tandem in Dresden and Vienna is already fully booked, dates for Lago/Ljubljana (summer) and Leuven/Vilnius (winter) will follow soon.

European Film Festival Network “Young Programmers for Young Audiences! (Young4Film)” aims to overturn a common film festival practice, where young audience programme curation is done exclusively by grownups. In contrast, the network’s main mission is to actively include young people in the creation of five established international film festivals as Young Programmers, who will co-curate festivals’ onsite and online programmes. The network is coordinated by Kino Otok – Isola Cinema International FF (Slovenia), its members are International Documentary FF Beldocs (Serbia, since 2008), Vilnius International Short FF (Lithuania), Piccolo Grande Cinema (Italy) and Motovun FF (Croatia). In the period of 2023-2024, the Young4Film network’s members will develop collaborative activities dedicated for young audience, as well as onsite and online circulation of European films. Its overall approach of developing participatory activities for young audiences is based on the original Moving Cinema methodology for discovering, appreciating, and enjoying European cinema, that has been since 2014 cultivated by a Barcelona-based cultural organization A Bao A Qu in collaboration with several international partners.

Vilnius International Short Film Festival is organized by the Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts”. The 17th edition of the Festival will be held on 17-24 January, 2024.