The 23rd Vilnius IFF – More Viewers with Fewer Films and Debuts Discovered for Cannes (video)

The 23rd Vilnius IFF Kino Pavasaris proved to be a great success, with fewer programmes and films achieving audience growth nonetheless.

The 2018 edition of the festival was visited by 116,551 viewers – 2,300 more than last year. These numbers have increased annually since 2005, thanks to organizers who aren’t afraid to experiment and introduce global innovations to Lithuanian audiences. Ticket sales have quadrupled over the same period.

“This year was special: we try to be brave and relevant. The festival, which took place in 11 cities, attracted new viewers while keeping the old ones, for whom each Vilnius IFF is a celebration. We ascertained the existence of new audiences who crave cinema. By clearly addressing both existing and potential viewers, we can help each find a film that interests them. We already have countless ideas for next year. We will keep on innovating, addressing important global topics with quality cinema, and voicing a clear position on social issues,” commented executive director Algirdas Ramaška.

Best of Vilnius IFF Kino pavasaris 2018:

Vilnius IFF showed 168 films during 1,183 screenings. Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s fully painted feature “Loving Vincent” became the audience favourite. The festival received such famous guests as American independent film director Sean Baker and Swedish hip-hop star Silvana Imam. Her eponymous documentary and more of the festival’s most popular films can be seen using Telia television’s video rental service.

1,550 film industry professionals, filmmakers, journalists and partners from over 35 countries were accredited for the festival. The film industry conference Meeting Point – Vilnius received 300 professionals from the audio-visual field, including 19 film festival representatives who took part in Developing Your Film Festival – the leading programme for festival organizers.

Photo credit: Tautvydas Stukas
Photo credit: Tautvydas Stukas

Vilnius IFF organizers were happy to continue their partnership with the Cannes Film Festival, having focused even more significantly on debuting directors. An international jury selected three in-development feature debuts that will be presented at Cannes during the special programme Vilnius Goes to Cannes on May 14th, 12–2 PM.

Three winning projects to be featured in the Vilnius Goes to Cannes session include “Izaokas”, the feature debut from Lithuanian director Jurgis Matulevičius, Annagret Sachse’s “Russia Today” (Germany, Russia), and “Eva” by Kristians Riekstins (Latvia).

July will see the start of Vilnius IFF educational project Film Caravan, which will bring the 2018 festival favourites to the regions of Lithuania.

The 24th Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino Pavasaris” will take place March 21– April 4, 2019.