Vilnius Short Film Festival Industry Days theme: The Development of Young Audiences and Cinematographic Storytelling

News 2024-01-09

Vilnius Short Film Festival presents open events for representatives of the audiovisual industries. The 17th edition of the festival explores topics related to the development of young audiences, cinema essays, and cinematographic storytelling. Industry days’ events will be held on the 18-19th of January at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and the “Meno avilys” cinematheque. Participation is free.

Industry Days will kick off with an engaging 2-hour masterclass “Cinematic Storytelling”, where Lithuanian-born award-winning filmmaker Gintarė Parulytė will share what has helped her write scripts that move, entertain, and engage audiences in all corners of the world. While showing some examples, she will guide you through her work process and reveal specific and hands-on tools that can help anyone write stories that matter, that are relatable, and that are destined to be translated onto the big screen.

Later that day, film critics and everyone who is interested in film criticism can attend a lecture titled Film Criticism: Essayistic, Local, and Global. During this presentation film journalist Laurence Boyce and film critic Savina Petkova will talk about the place of essayism in the economy of criticism and the relationship of a critic to a festival through the essay form, the relationship between shorts and essays. The lecture, held in English, will take place at Meno avilys: Cinematheque (A. Goštauto g. 2, Vilnius).

The 19th of January – second day of Industry Days is dedicated to the development of young audiences. International film festival representatives, Lithuanian cinema theater professionals, and film distributors will share their insights on shaping youth-oriented repertoires, international audience development techniques, partnership importance in cultivating a young audience, and non-commercial family screening traditions in Lithuania. The day will conclude with a creativity session exclusively for Lithuanian film education, distribution, and festival representatives.

One of the lectures, Empowering Tomorrow’s Audience: Repertoire Shaped by the Youth, will feature Meno avilys educator Gintė Žulytė and Motovun International Film Festival’s programmer Inja Korać, sharing their valuable experiences in implementing the Young Programmers initiative. It aims to provide young people with the opportunity to ‘try out’ the profession of a film programmer.

During lecture Mechanisms of Developing Young Audiences through Cinemas and Festivals cinema theater and international film festival representatives operating in Vilnius will elaborate on various practices of festivals and non-commercial cinemas, educational strategies and mechanisms of film screening and programming will be discussed in order to develop the habits of young audiences to watch non-commercial European cinema.

Initiatives dedicated to the development of young audiences are more effective when collaborating with like-minded individuals/organizations and having a long-lasting strategy. The Slovenian non-commercial film institute “Otok Institute” has been running a rich program of international and national educational initiatives called “Submarine” for children, youth and families for many years. The representative of the mentioned institute, Tanja Hladnik, will present the initiatives of “Submarine”, which may be relevant for Lithuanian audiences as well.

Industry Days will also focus on family screenings. Starting from the spring of 2022, the Lithuanian short film agency Lithuanian Shorts is implementing a study aimed at revealing the tradition of watching family screenings in Lithuania. In this report, the head of the study, researcher-educator Gintarė Gilaitiene, will present the results of the second phase of the study, which will reflect the practices and trends of European film festivals and regional cinemas offering non-commercial content for families.

Vilnius Short Film Festival’s Industry Days will end with a creative workshop, moderated by researcher Gintarė Gilaitienė: “Strategies for Young Audience Development in Lithuania: How to create a successful network?” This workshop is a platform for exchanging ideas, sharing success stories and brainstorming strategies to enhance young audience involvement in film festivals and art-house cinemas. Participants will be able to share insights and create new successful collaborations between film festivals, cinemas, and the industry to create events, workshops, and educational programs specifically targeted at young audiences.

All events are free, and participants only need to register in the form here. More information about the Industry Days can be found here. The events will be conducted in English, except for the creative workshop on January 19th, Strategies for Young Audience Development in Lithuania: How to create a successful network?

The main Industry Days partner is the association AVAKA. The 17th Vilnius Short Film Festival will take place from January 17th to 23rd in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, and the virtual cinema platform ŽMONĖS Cinema. For more information and the festival’s program, visit