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. In 2017, it received 114 250 viewers in 5 Lithuanian cities. This year, Vilnius IFF will take place in 11 cities over two weeks.

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 will again focus 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 will present 112 feature and 56 short 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.

Executive director of the festival Algirdas Ramaška with the team
Executive director of the festival Algirdas Ramaška with the team

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 will take part in the Competition of European Debuts.

This year’s Vilnius IFF will also be the first Lithuanian festival to welcome members of the prestigious FIPRESCI association, who will award one director from the Baltic region their prize. 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, will close Vilnius IFF. “Breathing into Marble” by Giedrė Beinoriūtė, based on an award-winning novel, is also included in the Lithuanian film programme, alongside 10 short films that signal the rise of a new generation of filmmakers.

Viewers will once again be able to vote for their favourites in the Best Lithuanian Actor and Actress Competition.

The nominees for Best Lithuanian Actor and Actress Competition
The nominees for 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, Amos Gitai, Silvana Imam and more.

Silvana Imam, the star of documentary SILVANA, will visit the festival
Silvana Imam, the star of documentary SILVANA, will visit the festival

The 9th international film industry conference Meeting Point - Vilnius expects to receive around 300 guests from all around the world. The intensive development programme for film festival professionals Developing Your Film Festival will take place during the conference. We will also 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 2017, it travelled to 33 towns and organized 63 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
Vilnius IFF also distributes films. Kino Pavasaris Distribution has acquired dozens of films that are screened during the Film Caravan and in movie theatres. We also distribute Lithuanian films. “The Invisible Front” was a big hit with audiences in 2013, “Peace to Us in Our Dreams” by Sarunas Bartas was presented in 2016, while award-winning “The Saint” by Andrius Blaževičius was distributed in 2017.
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