Vilnius International Film Festival, Lithuania’s biggest annual cinematic event, has returned to live screenings across the country for its 27th edition. Taking place from 24 March to 3 April, the festival is actively boycotting all Russian films, honouring Ukrainian directors and inviting audiences to immerse themselves into more than 140 works in selected cinemas across the country.
The festival is celebrating a return to live events after two consecutive years of pandemic restrictions by upscaling its main venue and hosting screenings in one of Lithuania’s most iconic symbols of Lithuanian culture and arts – the prestigious Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. By transferring to this high culture venue, the festival aims to demonstrate the undeniable value of cinema, as well as celebrate world-famous creators and films, including Annette by cult favourite French director Leos Carax, The Circus by Charlie Chaplin, and many more. Other venues will screen titles like Pilgrims, the debut by Lithuanian director Laurynas Bareiša, which won the Orizzonti Award at the Venice Film Festival 2021, as well as many other films.
A vital part of this year’s festival is Meeting Point Vilnius 2022, a work-in-progress audio-visual industry event that aims to scout, develop, and support European creators and their debut films while developing a pan-European cinematic network. The event will focus on emerging European talents and upcoming debut films with several core elements: a pitching forum, industry screenings, one-on-one meetings and panel discussions. A special one-day programme will be dedicated to Ukraine with three panel discussions on the political, institutional and film industry levels addressing both the immediate effects of the war and how culture specifically can support the Ukrainian cause.
Meeting Point Vilnius will gather up to 70 film industry professionals on site with 150 more joining them online.