Other winnesr include Best Intentions, Untouchables, A Place We Call Home.

Polish filmmaker Greg Zglinski’s drama Courage was unanimously named Best Film in the ‘New Europe – New Names’ competition at this year’s Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (March 15-29).

The international jury, which included the Macedonian actress-producer Labina Mitevska, Cuban actress-director Mirtha Ibarra and Russian DoP-director Pavel Kostomarov, also gave a special mention for directing to Romania’s Adrian Sitaru for Best Intentions. Sitaru’s second feature film had won two Gopo Awards in his native country earlier this week for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Bogdan Dumitrache) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Adrian Titieni).

Moreover, three actresses - Anjela Nedyalkova (Ave), Isidora Simijonovic (Clip) and Ada Condeescu (Loverboy) – were awarded ex aequo special mentions.

At the same time, a jury of UK exhibitor Jon Barrenechea, Italian writer-director Francesco Clerici, and Polish distributor-exhibitor and festival organiser Roman Gutek presented the CICAE’s Art Cinema Award to Best Intentions, while the festival’s audience voted for the French box office hit Untouchables as the winner of this year’s audience award.

The audience also voted for two awards honouring local production in the Lithuanian capital’s “Cinema Spring” (the meaning of “Kino Pavasaris”) festival by voting for Anarchy in Zirmunai’s female lead Toma Vaskeviciute as Best Actress with the prize of a trip to Paris, and bestowing the title of Best Lithuanian Film on Rokas Eltermanas’ short film about love The Last Day Of The Honeymoon.

In addition, a three-person jury of local film professionals chose Albina Grinuite’s documentary A Place We Call Home about a children’s orphanage as the Best Lithuanian Debut.

Meanwhile, some 80 delegates attended the various events held as part of this year’s Meeting Point Vilnius industry programme which included script and pitching workshops as well as a seminar on rights clearance, a Film Festivals Forum, an Industry Day on public film policies, and a workshop for film critics.

International guests included Katriel Schory (Israel Film Fund), Thierry Baujard (Peaceful Fish), Ali Moshref (Film Finances), Jan Erik Holst (Norwegian Film Institute), Petri Kemppinen (Finnish Film Foundation), and UK film consultant Jonathan Davis.

The Film Festivals Forum was held for the third time this year with representatives from festivals as diverse as Minsk International Film Festival, Meeting in Katowice, International Film Festival Bratislava, Sarajevo Film Festival, Transylvania International Film Festival, and Lübeck’s Nordic Film Days.

Discussions over the two days focused on the challenges facing film festivals in the new digital age, the role of co-production markets and the potential of sponsorship as a source of financing.

In addition, delegates were shown trailers of new films from the Baltic states, ranging from Latvian documentary filmmaker Inara Kolmane’s first feature Mona to be released on April 11, to veteran Lithuanian director Algimantas Puipa’s latest film The Fortress Of Sleeping Butterflies, produced by Uljana Kim Studio, which was released in Lithuanian cinemas on January 13 and has so far posted 55,000 admissions and taken around €195,000 box-office.

Other films featured included Georgian-born Aik Karapetian’s feature debut People Out There which opened in Latvian cinemas on March 2, and Lithuania’s No. 1 film in 2011, Donatas Ulydas’ action film Tadas Blinda – The Legend Is Born about the “Robin Hood of Eastern Europe”, which took more than €1m on 10 prints last year.

The film’s performance – which was better than the next three films in the Top 10 (Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) combined – is the best recorded for a Lithuanian film over the past 20 years.

Moreover, Tadas Blinda – which will be called Fireheart internationally – had a gala premiere in Kiev and theatrical release in the Ukraine this week.


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