About Festival

Vilnius International Film Festival (Vilnius IFF) Kino Pavasaris is the biggest and most important cinema event in Lithuania. Over more than 20 years, the festival has become a highly-attended cultural phenomenon. The 2018 edition of the festival was visited by 116,551 viewers – 2,300 more than last year. This year, Vilnius IFF took place in 11 cities over two weeks – more than ever before .

Our carefully curated programme has earned the festival recognition from viewers and industry professionals alike. Now in its 23rd year, the festival’s visual identity will encourage you to find Filmspiration. The programme again focused on a variety of international auteur cinema and events that combine audience education with the film industry, provide the opportunity to share experience as well as acquire new knowledge.

2018 visual identity FILMSPIRATION by Jurgis Tarabilda
2018 visual identity FILMSPIRATION by Jurgis Tarabilda

In 2018, Vilnius IFF screened around 170 films. including 12 Lithuanian premieres. Like always, the festival has selected strong debuts and works from masters of film. The large programme has been divided into just 5 categories: Discoveries, Festivals’ Favourites, Masters, Critics’ Choice, and Competition of European Debuts.

Every year, we hold at least 2 retrospectives of historically significant films. Viva Vigo honours the French genius and pioneer of poetic realism Jean Vigo, screening four of his newly restored films and four films that were inspired by his work. The second retrospective, 20th Century Kids, is dedicated to classic Lithuanian cinema.

Vilnius Film Festival 2018
Vilnius Film Festival 2018

Since 2009, the festival’s competition programmes have become our phenomenal calling card for international film industry professionals, and a great educational tool for festivalgoers. This year, films from debuting European directors took part in the Competition of European Debuts.

This year’s Vilnius IFF was also the first Lithuanian festival to welcome members of the prestigious FIPRESCI association. Robert Schwentke’s World War II drama The Captain was awarded by the FIPRESCI jury. The FIPRESCI Prize is significant proof of the festival’s quality being recognized on an international level.

The festival also organizes major Lithuanian premieres. This year, “The Ancient Woods”, an impressive documentary directed by Mindaugas Survila, closed Vilnius IFF. “Breathing into Marble” by Giedrė Beinoriūtė, based on an award-winning novel, was also included in the Lithuanian film programme, alongside 10 short films that signal the rise of a new generation of filmmakers.

Viewers was able to vote for their favourites in the Best Lithuanian Actor and Actress Competition.

Many renowned international guests have come to present their films and interact with viewers, including Michel Hazanavicius, Joshua Oppenheimer, Emir Kusturica, Mike Leigh, Leos Carax, Werner Herzog, Sergei Loznitsa, Krzysztof Zanussi and others. This year’s list of guests includes Sean Baker, Silvana Imam, Homayounas Ershadi and others.

Silvana Imam, the star of documentary SILVANA, visited the festival
Silvana Imam, the star of documentary SILVANA, visited the festival

The 9th international film industry conference Meeting Point - Vilnius received around 300 guests from all around the world. The intensive development programme for film festival professionals Developing Your Film Festival took place during the conference. We were also happy to continue our partnership with the Cannes Film Festival, with an international Meeting Point – Vilnius jury selecting in-development projects to take part in the special Marché du Film programme Goes to Cannes.

Meeting Point – Vilnius
Meeting Point – Vilnius

Meeting Point – Vilnius is an important event for the Lithuanian film industry, allowing cinema professionals from other countries to discover the Lithuanian cinema market’s identity and foster partnerships between major international film festivals in Eastern and Central Europe.

Vilnius IFF pays special attention to volunteering. Each year, around 300 film enthusiasts of various ages join the ranks of volunteers and become full-fledged members of the team while the festival is getting organized and taking place.

Festival volunteers
Festival volunteers

Vilnius IFF is a socially responsible organization that presents educational and social projects alongside the numerous films and competition programmes. One of our most successful projects is the Film Caravan. During May–September 2018, it travelled to 19 towns and organized 41 free outdoor screenings of films beloved by our festivalgoers. The project’s main goal is to bring auteur cinema to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it.

A moment from the Film Caravan
A moment from the Film Caravan
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