Vilnius Short Film Festival: six cities, awards, animation for adults, unforgettable experiences for the tiniest and the bravest

The 2020 cultural events calendar is kickstarted by the 13th Vilnius International Short Film Festival. On January 16th – 19th in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys, Marijampolė, and Ukmergė, more than 60 thoroughly selected films from all over the world will be presented. Assorted films will be shown in International and National Competition programmes. As well as, special programmes, which include programmes for the whole family, film night, and for a first time in the festival –  the horror film and animadoc programmes.

International Competition: a trip through heterogeneity of human life

The international short films will be presented in six separate programmes, selected according to the overarching themes in the narratives.

Blood Ties is a programme in which intimate and personal stories of individuals, the struggle of ageing and the wonder of youth intertwine.

Youth Errors presents six stories of brave and lost young adults. Expect butterflies in your tummies, but also be prepared to gaze into the dark side of humanity.

In Happily Ever After?, the protagonists are overwhelmed in the face of love with a whole palette of emotions: provocation, humiliation, the highest peak of pleasure, and at the same time, complete emptiness.

A trip through heterogenous human lives, inner conflicts, absurdity, claustrophobia, and love without return in programmes High Voltage, Different World, and Upstream.

The thirty-two films for the international programme were chosen by director and scriptwriter Andrius Blaževičius, film critic and journalist Monika Gimbutaitė, and producer Klementina Remeikaitė.

Films of the International and National Competition programmes will be judged by an international jury: director Aistė Žegulytė (Lithuania), Annecy International Animation Film Festival (CITIA) programmer Sébastien Sperer (France), and award-winning producer, head of non-commercial production company Mindwax Dora Nedeczky (Hungary). On the final day of the festival, we will find out who will win the best fiction, animation, and documentary film prizes and the best Lithuanian short film title.

National Competition programme: nine films competing for one winning title

The two National Competition programmes will present the best Lithuanian short films of the recent years and will showcase what common themes are examined by the emerging generation of Lithuanian creators.

In the National Competition programme I: Marija Stonyte’s documentary film One Life about nature’s relationship and struggle to survive in modern-day society. Eglė Mameniškytė’s animated story about engraved memories inside a thread of hair in Combing. Tragicomic family quarrel will be shown in Kamilė Milašiūtė’s fiction film When Children Come Home and Titas Laucius’ film Family Unit

Also in the National Competition programme II, five sensitive and reflective representations of the world will be shown, which reveal the eerie and unknown parts of our lives (The Juggler, dir. Skirmanta Jakaitė, Caucasus, dir. Laurynas Bareiša), inevitable choices (A.A.A., dir. Karolina Nadzeikaitė), a life threatening infatuation (Quartz, dir. Odeta Riškutė, Klaudija Matvejevaitė), and behind the scenes of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language’s work. (Comission, dir. Vytautas Oškinis).

Festival’s special programme: horror short films, animation for adults and films for the whole family

Vilnius International Short Film Festival director Rimantė Daugėlaitė is joyous, that this year’s programme accurately represents the festival’s slogan – “Short, yet films”.

“We want the festival to not only be a celebration for short film enthusiasts, the film industry, or for the filmmakers. Our aim is that every filmgoer would leave the theatre filled with a whole spectre of emotions and new experiences from the carefully selected films by our organisers, partners, and film experts”, – says R. Daugėlaitė.

As every year, the inspiring and educational short film programme The Animated World for Kids awaits the very youngest of spectators and their families. One of the most anticipated special screenings – Film Night. This year, the night owls will be able to see 23 films, which left the biggest impression on the spectators and the judging panels from the most acclaimed film festivals around the globe. The special animation documentary programme Animadoc will reveal the limitless possibilities of this unique genre to represent personal experiences and current political climate.

First time in the festival, we present a short film programme for adrenaline seekers Dreadfully Scary Stories (18+). According to R. Daugėlaitė, from these stories you will witness just how much horror a short film can pack. This film programme was prepared by the prestigious Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (Estonia). A maximum dose of adrenaline will be reached in combination with the special horror tour of Vilnius, prepared by “Neakivaizdinis Vilnius”.

The perspective of the new filmmaking generation will be revealed in the only programme free of charge Creative Spotlight: Europe – five emerging European talents.

Through the 16th to 19th of January, the 13th Vilnius International Short Film Festival will take place in the capital’s theatres Pasaka, Skalvija, MO museum theatre, and in the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. A part of the festival’s programme will be presented in Romuva cinema theatre, Kaunas; Arlekinas cinema theatre, Klaipėda; Cultural Centre of Ukmergė; Film Centre Garsas, Panevėžys, and Spindulys film theatre, Marijampolė.

More information can be found in the repertoires of listed theatres and at www.filmshorts.lt.

The festival is organised by the Lithuanian short film agency Lithuanian Shorts, supported by Lithuanian Film Centre, Vilnius city municipality, and Audiovisual Works Copyright Association AVAKA.