Winners of the 29th Vilnius International Film Festival

Winners of the 29th Vilnius International Film Festival

News March 28, 2024

Vilnius, Lithuania – [March 28, 2024] – The 29th edition of the Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris has drawn to a close, marking the end of two weeks filled with captivating cinema, thought-provoking discussions, and memorable moments. The festival bid farewell with an award ceremony honoring exceptional films and filmmakers.

“Over 100,000 people visited the festival, and I believe each found a film that positively impacted them,” remarked Algirdas Ramaška, Festival Director. “It was heartening to witness packed screenings, spirited discussions, and the excitement surrounding the festival. We eagerly anticipate our next edition – the 30th anniversary edition of Kino Pavasaris” – he added.

The festival’s closing night featured an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding contributions to European cinema, with international juries determining the winners. This year’s Kino Pavasaris Competition, which was open to first or second feature-length films by European directors, featured 10 films. The festival jury – Polish director Paweł Łoziński, film journalist Marta Bałaga, actress Elit İşcan, Jenni Zylka, head of the Berlin Film Festival’s Perspective Deutsches Kino department and journalist and producer Klementina Remeikaitė – chose the best of the bunch. Here are the distinguished films and their jury statements:



FILM TITLE: In The Rearview

DIRECTOR: Maciek Hamela

Photographer T. Stukas

One car, one destination, one pain, shared by many: The idea of filming people fleeing a war-torn country and preserving their stories and experiences is formally convincing. But above all, it is deeply human. Because it is the director himself who drives the getaway car.

In the backseat of the vehicle, the refugees talk about what they had to leave behind – their house, their animals, their family and their belief in a peaceful life – filling it with the fate of an entire nation. On its way out, it passes ruins, soldiers and tanks. In its rearview mirror you can see more than just a destroyed country – it also shows destroyed hope. But at least its passengers managed to escape.

Best Film receives a €8000 prize established by the Vilnius City Municipality.



DIRECTOR: Luna Carmoon

A special mention from the jury of the Kino Pavasaris Film Festival 2024 goes to Saura Lightfoot Leon for the fearless, present, and very tactile acting as an enormously complicated young woman in the film “Hoard” by Luna Carmoon.

The best of the short competition

This year’s Short Film Competition featured 33 feature, documentary, animation and experimental short films from all over Europe. The international jury included Thibaut Bracq, programmer at „Angers Premiers Plans Film Festival” and „La Fabrique Cinéma” in Cannes, Estonian director Sander Joon and Lithuanian screenwriter, director and cinematographer Eitvydas Doškus. 



FILM TITLE: Resentment

DIRECTOR: Gleb Osatinski

Photographer T. Stukas

For it’s impressive cinematography, dealing with the inner feelings of a main character struggling with a violent environment. For the strong atmosphere depicting life in the 90’s Ukraine. For its final scene symbolizing the inner turmoil and the catastrophy the character has to face. 

Best Short Film receives a €3000 prize established by the Vilnius City Municipality.


FILM TITLE: The One Who Knows

DIRECTOR: Eglė Davidavičė

Photographer T. Stukas

For its sensitive approach to portray overcoming anxieties through finding a healing and supportive sisterhood. For its strong sense of style and fluid movements that dove deep into the main character. 

Best Lithuanian Short Film receives a €2000 prize established by Telia Play.



DIRECTOR: Leila Basma

Photographer T. Stukas

For its surprising and creative editing.For its ability to switch realities and deal with powerful symbols. For its unexpected and strong woman character. For the way it captures something from the city of Beyrouth. 

Audience Award, Best Lithuanian Premiere and Smart 7 programme 

“The Peasants” by DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman garnered acclaim, winning the Audience Award and Best Lithuanian Premiere, as voted by accredited journalists and film critics, including Austėja Kuskienė, Audra Avižiūtė, Gediminas Kukta, Milda Govedaitė, and Ieva Šukytė. Notably, the Best Lithuanian Premiere award includes a €3000 prize established by the Audio-visual Works Copyright Association (AVAKA).

Photographer T. Stukas

The festival also introduced the Smart 7 program, an annual programme of films travelling through 7 countries by a network of seven European film festivals with similar visions, culminating in a final winner announcement at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece in November.

About Vilnius International Film Festival (VIFF)

Established in 1995, the Vilnius International Film Festival is a premier cinematic event in the Baltic region, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their work. With a diverse lineup of films, panel discussions, special events and a rich history spanning nearly three decades,  VIFF remains a pivotal platform for international cinema.


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