Vilnius International Short Film Festival 2022 announces official selection
Every year the Vilnius Short Film Festival kicks off the cultural and cinematic year in Lithuania, with the 15th edition of the festival taking place right after the winter holidays between 12-18 January 2022. With audiences poised to be welcomed back to live cinemas as well as enjoying events virtually, the films that they will eagerly await across the festival’s International and National competitions have been announced.
“We are cautiously but confidently returning to the cinemas – after last year’s edition being a virtual event, we want to bring the full cinema experience back to the audience,” says Rimantė Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė, Head of Vilnius International Short Film Festival. “So for the 15th edition of the festival, short film fans will be able to choose the format they find most convenient: virtual or live screenings. With January often a quiet month in terms of cultural events the Vilnius International Short Film Festival will allow Lithuanian audiences to dive headfirst into 2022 and engage with some wonderful films, whether in person or virtually.”
The films competing for the title of the best Lithuanian short film are divided into two national competition programmes. The first programme will start with Saulius Baradinskas’ Techno, Mama, which has already made a splash at international festivals, and whose protagonist Nikita has a dream to visit the famous “Berghain” club in Berlin. In Urtė Sabutytė’s film Interrogation the audience will spend a day at the police station with a young prosecutor investigating a human trafficking case while, in Ieva, directors Vytautas Plukas and Domas Petronis will explore how a human tries to recreate his own image. In Klementas Leonas Davidavičius’ film The Swamp, a man who rents a home to a young single mother hopes for something more while the heroine of Greta Griniūtė’s film The First Sunday after the First Full Moon will not find it easy to come home to Lithuania on Easter.
The second National programme will start with the journey of two middle-aged people on a date by the river in Jorūnė Greičiūtė’s film It’s Alright. In Places, by Vytautas Katkus, two childhood friends will spend their last days together before they move out while the main character of Lukas Kacinauskas’ film I Was Max will go on his first internet date with a guy called Tadas. In Justas Ramanauskas’ film Daddy, people who haven’t spoken for years will have to find a way to bring home the body of their dead father, while in Last Time director Rinaldas Tomaševičius’ will focus on a couple entering addiction treatment who decide to get high one more time.
“Why is it so hard to love? Can an android become human? How is it possible that a human being can endure so much, but the big celebrations with loved ones become the hardest challenge? These are just some of the questions raised by the Lithuanian films presented at the festival,” explains Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė. “With the films, the audience will be able to run the gamut of emotions, engage in nostalgic memories of youth, and experience moments of suspense and real drama. Certainly this year’s Lithuanian films show that directors are experimenting more with genre cinema with thrillers, social dramas and comedy all on offer. The shorts offer something different from the norm in Lithuanian cinema, and will undoubtedly prove intriguing to our loyal audience.”
This year, the Vilnius International Short Film Festival received around 1500 submissions from all over the world, and the festival organisers also carefully selected films for the competition programmes at Cannes, Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand and other prestigious festivals which has led to a rich and diverse International competition. The programme Scenes from a Family will explore the everyday situations and challenges of family life from all angles, while the Attention! programme brings together a series of poignant and provocative films, including Trump, Putin, COVID-19 and the Israeli army as their protagonists. No Options Except One will ask if we notice ourselves as observers, while Longing for Love will tell stories of those forms of love which require patience, sacrifice and the belief that a happy ending is possible. The characters in the competition programme On the Way will try to change their lives, or find a better one elsewhere, while the stories in Dangerous Stretch will make audiences hold their breath for at least a moment.
The films were selected for the competition programmes by director and screenwriter Andrius Blaževičius, film critic and curator, publisher Monika Gimbutaitė and film producer Klementina Remeikaitė. Competition programme assistants were film critic and journalist Ieva Šukytė, filmmaker and film journalist Jorė Janavičiūtė and film director Paulius Stankevičius.
All the films of the 15th Vilnius International Short Film Festival will be screened in cinemas in Vilnius, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Marijampolė, Ukmergė and on virtual home cinema platforms on 12-18 January. Information on the competition programmes and films can be found at www.filmshorts.lt.
The Vilnius International Short Film Festival is one of the largest festivals in the Baltic countries exclusively screening short films. Founded in 2006, it is one of the few film events in Lithuania that offers such a wide programme of recent short films from around the world. It is organised by Lithuanian Shorts, a Lithuanian short film agency.
- Daddy (dir. Justas Ramanauskas, Lithuania, 2021, fiction, 14 min.)
- I Was Max (dir. Lukas Kacinauskas, Lithuania, 2022, fiction, 21 min.)
- Ieva (dir. Vytautas Plukas, Domas Petronis, Lithuania, 2021, fiction, 14 min.)
- Interrogation (dir. Urtė Sabutytė, Lituania, 2021, fiction, 14 min.)
- It’s Alright (dir. Jorūnė Greičiūtė, Lithuania, 2020, fiction, 17 min.)
- Last Time (dir. Rinaldas Tomaševičius, Lithuania, 2022, fiction, 18 min.)
- Places (dir. Vytautas Katkus, Lithuania, 2020, fiction, 12 min.)
- Techno, Mama (dir. Saulius Baradinskas, Lithuania, 2021, fiction, 18 min.)
- The First Sunday after the First Full Moon (dir. Greta Griniūtė, Lithuania, 2022, fiction, 15 min.)
- The Swamp (dir. Klementas Leonas Davidavičius, Lithuania, 2021, fiction, 20 min.)
- A Quiet Man (dir. Nyima Cartier, France, 2021, fiction, 14 min.)
- An Invitation (dir. Zhao Hao, Tung Yeung, China, 2021, fiction, 13 min.)
- Beyond is the Day (dir. Damian Kocur, Poland, 2020, fiction, 26 min.)
- Binge Loving (dir. Thomas Deknop, Belgium, 2021, fiction, 22 min.)
- Bracha (dir. Mickey Triest, Aaron Geva, Israel, 2020, fiction, 13 min.)
- Citadel (dir. John Smith, United Kingdom, 2020, experimental, 16 min.)
- Doll (dir. Elahe Esmaili, Iran, 2021, documentary, 31 min.)
- Grab Them (dir. Morgane Dziurla-Petit, Sweden, 2020, fiction, 13 min.)
- Horacio (dir. Caroline Cherrier, France, 2020, animation, 10 min.)
- I’m Not Telling You Anything, Just Sayin (dir. Sanja Milardovic, France,Croatia, 2020, fiction, 18 min.)
- Lili Alone (dir. Zou Jing, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, 2021, fiction, 22 min.)
- Lou’s Neighbour (dir. Victoria Lafaurie, Hector Albouker, France, 2021, fiction, 18 min.)
- Love Stories on the Move (dir. Carina Dasoveanu, Romania, 2021, fiction, 21 min.)
- Mission: Hebron (dir. Rona Segal, Israel, 2020, documentary, 23 min.)
- My Uncle Tudor (dir. Olga Lucovnicova, Belgium, Hungary, Portugal, Moldova, 2021, documentary, 20 min.)
- Naya – Der Wald hat Tausend Augen (dir. Sebastian Mulder, Netherlands, 2021, documentary, 24 min.)
- Night Visit (dir. Mya Kaplan, Israel, 2021, fiction, 25 min.)
- Sisters (dir. Andrea Szelesová, Czech Republic, 2021, animation, 11 min.)
- Souvenir Souvenir (dir. Bastien Dubois, France, 2020, animation, 15 min.)
- Squish (dir. Xavier Seron, Belgium, 2020, fiction, 21 min.)
- Still Life (dir. Carolina Astudillo, Spain, 2020, documentary, 6 min.)
- Store Policy (dir. Sarah Arnold, France, Switzerland, 2020, fiction, 17 min.)
- Swimmer (dir. Jonatan Etzler, Sweden, 2020, fiction, 13 min.)
- Tanaka’s Diary (dir. Filip Jacobson, Poland, Germany, 2021, hybrid, 23 min.)
- The World Within (dir. Jean-Charles Finck, Sandrine Stoïanov, France, 2020, animation, 19 min.)
- VO (dir. Nicolas Gourault, France, 2021, documentary, 20 min.)
- What We Don’t Know About Mariam (dir. Morad Mostafa, Egypt, 2021, fiction, 25 min.)
- Your Street (dir. Güzin Kar, Switzerland, 2020, documentary, 7 min.)
- Zonder Meer (dir. Meltse Van Coillie, Belgium, 2020, fiction, 14 min.)