e-Meeting Point—Vilnius Announces 2021 Award-Winners
VILNIUS, April 19, 2021. E-Meeting Point—Vilnius, this year’s virtual edition of the leading Lithuanian film industry forum, concluded Friday, April 19 with the announcement of Talents Nest and Coming Soon award winners. The motto for the 2021 edition of this major audiovisual event was “Join us in Vilnius anytime, from any place, for ten days,” which was reflected in the approximately 320 audience members who connected to the program platform from 52 countries every day and night of the session.
During the April 14-16 program, e-Meeting Point hosted 14 hours of live streaming events, 18 hours of live streamed industry screenings, 10 hours of sessions for Talents Nest participants, and nearly 350 individual meetings organized.
As Head of Industry Alessandra Pastore comments, “Last year, we were the first industry event to be cancelled due to COVID. For this year, we wanted to turn the weaknesses that Covid is bringing us into opportunities: we enlarged the number of projects and countries represented, we invited higher number of professionals with a higher level exposure for the filmmakers. For the first time, people that usually were not able to come to Vilnius had the possibility to participate, to virtually explore the city and to discover new voices from Eastern Europe. This resulted in a larger audience of decision makers to create connections with.”
Participating filmmakers were also eligible for a range of prestigious awards with cash and industry opportunity prizes. Awards were determined by a jury of accomplished film industry leaders: Busan Film Festival programmer Karen Park, Intramovies sales agent Marco Valeria, and producer Mina Mileva.
In the TALENTS NEST program, emerging professionals in all film disciplines from Baltic, ex-Soviet, and Caucasian countries participated in industry and networking opportunities with professionals in the field. This year’s Basic Pitching Forum Award was presented to Belarus’ Yanina Rashchynskaya, and the Torino Short Film Market award was presented to Russia’s Toma Selivanova and Estonia’s Bojana Babic.
The centerpiece program of Meeting Point—Vilnius is COMING SOON, a work in progress session dedicated to the development of 25 debut films, selected from applicants across Europe, who have the opportunity to pitch their projects, set individual meetings with industry professionals, and qualify for awards with cash prizes. This year’s winners include the Lithuanian Film Center Award winner A Hero of Our Time by Mirac Atabey, in which Lermontov’s infamous hero crosses paths with a contemporary Anatolian; the AVAKA - Best Lithuanian Pitch winner, Doviljė Šarutytė’s Feature Film about Life, a formally inventive family portrait with documentary elements; the Marché du Film Producers Network Award winner Aurora’s Sunrise, by Armenian director Inna Sahakyan and producers Vardan Havhannisyan and Justė Michailinaitė, presented by ARTBOX, Lithuania; a second Marché du Film Producers Network Award winner, the tragicomic A Dying Showgirl and Her Son in Space by the debut Sweidish team of director Charlotte Eliasson and producer Elin Bennett; and the Sunny Side of the Doc Award winner Aurora’s Sunrise, by Armenian director Inna Sahakyan.
See below for a full list of award-winners:
TALENTS NEST PLATFORM:
Baltic Pitching Forum Award: Yanina Rashchynskaya (Free accreditation, 2021Baltic Pitching Forum)
Torino Short Film Market: Toma Selivanova and Bojana Babic (Free accreditation, 2021 TSFM)
Lithuanian Film Center Award: A HERO OF OUR TIME (5000 EUR)
AVAKA - Best Pitch Award: FEATURE FILM ABOUT LIFE (1000 EUR)
Marché du Film Producers Network Award: AURORA’S SUNRISE (Free accreditation, Cannes Marché du Film Producers Network)
Marché du Film Producers Network Award: A Dying Showgirl and Her Son in Space (Free accreditation, Cannes Marché du Film Producers Network)
Sunny Side of the Doc Award: AURORA’S SUNRISE (Free accreditation, 2021 Sunny Side of the Doc)
The Vilnius Film Festival is supported by the Lithuanian Film Centre, co-funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Vilnius City Municipality and Go Vilnius. Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris is an independent private initiative.