May 30, 2024

Once in Vilnius App Wins Gold Award at WorldMediaFestivals in Germany

The documentary collection, Once Upon a Time in Vilnius, made from images and videos captured not only by professional filmmakers but also by city residents and guests through the app, involved a record-breaking 159 creative contributors.

May 30, 2024 – Vilnius, Lithuania. Once in Vilnius, a mobile app, through which users submitted their personal stories and experiences that contributed to creating Vilnius’ first collective documentary film Once Upon a Time in Vilnius, has won the intermedia-globe Gold Award at the WorldMediaFestivals Television & Corporate Media Awards at their May 29th ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.

The film, directed by two female directors, Elvina Nevardauskaitė and Lina Lužytė, was created in 2023 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Vilnius. It was produced using content uploaded through the app by users. This approach set an official Lithuanian record for the most film authors, with 159 contributors, including both professionals and the public, as confirmed by The Lithuanian Records Academy.

It comprises 7 short films featuring 7 distinct sides of Vilnius, based on the idea that it’s the people who make a city, those who live, work, create, experience, visit, and discover it.

“We wanted to show Vilnius as it truly is, as experienced by those who live and visit here. Instead of presenting a polished, façade version of the city, we aimed to capture its authentic, natural identity, revealing an authenticity and diversity that even surprises many locals,” said Diavara.

More than 4,500 people of various ages, genders, and social statuses, including Vilnius residents and city guests, submitted personal moments, stories, and other content through the Once in Vilnius app.

“This app is like Vilnius' Instagram. It captures the essence of a vibrant city with an active cultural scene. Its searchable categories like Green Vilnius, Tasty Vilnius, and Romantic Vilnius mirror the diverse experiences awaiting tourists,” – said Živilė Diavara, producer of the film and head of the whole project.

The project’s team selected 129 videos for use in the film from those generated. Over 500 videos and photos were selected for the project's publicity campaign.

“Vilnius is so diverse, so universal, so mysterious, so rich in its history, so green, so creative, so crazy, so cosmopolitan. It's a young, modern city that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of previous eras – a hospitable, energetic, green European city that has won the hearts of foreign guests. The best way to present and talk about Vilnius is through the stories and experiences of its people, and we’re grateful that so many people contributed to this film, capturing new, unseen, and unheard features of Vilnius,” said Dovilė Aleksandravičienė, head of Go Vilnius, Vilnius' development agency, which was behind the city's 700th-anniversary program.

The WorldMediaFestivals are a global competition, renowned as one of the most important events in the industry. For 25 years, it has recognized excellence in television, corporate film, online, and print productions. The awards are judged by professionals from across the globe based on criteria such as sound, editing, visuals, insights, and execution, particularly in addressing the defined target audience.