European Debut Competition Entries Include Winners from Cannes and Berlinale

Each year, Vilnius IFF highlights the most remarkable films created by rising talents in its main European Debut Competition. 13 films are set to compete for the award at the 24 th VIFF Kino Pavasaris, while Scandinavian and Baltic narrative films will also be eligible for the FIPRESCI Prize.

Two of the contenders come from Lithuanian directors. Marija Kavtaradzė’s “Summer Survivors” mixes comedy with moving examinations of mental illness. The debut feature premiered in Toronto and has been named the Best Baltic Film at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Aistė Žegulytė’s documentary “Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things)”, which premiered at DOK Leipzig, follows a taxidermist, a deer farmer and a zoological museum worker, blurring the line between life and death.

One of the strongest entries in the European Debut Competition is the Golden Bear-winning no- holds-barred examination of intimacy “Touch Me Not” by Adina Pintilie. The true-to-its-title “Sauvage” by Camille Vidal-Naquet follows a male sex worker looking for love in the streets of Strasbourg. Darko Štante’s debut feature “Consequences” explores the life of a troubled teenager struggling to stay true to himself amidst dangerous circumstances. All of these directors will attend Vilnius IFF.

Journey to a Mother’s Room” by Celia Rico Clavellino received two awards at San Sebastian for its intimate look at a mother/daughter relationship. “One Day” by Zsófia Szilágyi, who will also visit Vilnius, won the FIPRESCI award at Cannes Critics’ Week for her portrayal of a day in a mother’s life.

Raúl De La Fuente and Damian Nenow’s Best Animated Feature at the European Film Awards “Another Day of Life” proves that animation has no limits by following a reporter on his journey across war-torn Angola. A mystery is at the centre of Anja Kofmel’s animated documentary “Chris the Swiss”, who seeks to uncover the circumstances behind her journalist cousin’s death during the war in Yugoslavia. Cannes Critics’ Week winner “Diamantino” by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt brings viewers a bizarre tale of a disgraced football star that’s bound to become a cult favourite.

The claustrophobic thriller “Cutterhead” by Rasmus Kloster Bro traps its protagonists underground, where they struggle to survive and reconsider their lives. Artist Richard Billingham will visit the festival to present his award-winning autobiographical drama “Ray & Liz”, which offers a vivid portrayal of a dysfunctional working-class family. Festivalgoers will also have the chance to ask Florian Seufert questions about his documentary “Pamparios”, featuring the director’s alter ego moving from the German countryside to the Mexican high mountains.

Another competition programme at Vilnius IFF is dedicated to short films. The Short Competition will screen 32 entries, three of which come straight from Berlinale: the animated “Mr. Mare” by Luca Tóth, as well as documentaries “In Between” by Samir Karahoda and “Past Perfect” by Jorge Jácome. Five of the entries were created in Lithuania: “Family Unit” by Titas Laucius, “When Children Come Home” by Kamilė Milašiūtė, “The Juggler” by Skirmanta Jakaitė, “Windows” by Akvilė Žilionytė, and “Caucasus” by Laurynas Bareiša. 

Find all Short Competition contenders here.

Finally, the most ambitious Lithuanian student films varying in genre and subject matter have been selected for the Student Film Competition. All of them can be found here,

Find the complete 24 th Vilnius IFF programme here.