EXCLUSIVE: Screen award-winner among seven features funded by Lithuanian Film Centre (LFC).

Kristijonas Vildziunas’ Seneca’s Day, winner of the Screen International best pitch award at last December’s Baltic Event, is one of seven projects - six features and one short - funded by the Lithuanian Film Centre (LFC)  with a total of 4.5m LTL (€1.3m) this spring.

Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily during last week’s Vilnius International Film Festival, Vildziunas and his producer Uljana Kim of Studio Uljana Kim said that the film received 1.6m LTL (€463,300) - 1.4m LTL (€405,400) for 2014 and a recommendation of 200,000 LTL (€57,920) for postproduction in 2015.

¨According to our financing plan, we’ll apply this autumn to the LFC in order to complete the financing as now we still Have a gap for production and postproduction of 400,000 LTL (€115,840),¨ Kim explained.

She revealed that the film’s Latvian co-producer Roberts Vinovskis of Locomotive Productions is participating in the production stage with camera and other equipment (in kind) and will apply to the Latvian Film Centre for post production support the next year since Latvia’s national film agency didn’t support  minority co-productions this year, but concentrated instead on national projects.

The Estonian Film Institute has already supported the film €35,000 and the Estonian co-producer, Riina Sildos of Amrion Productions, will also apply to the Estonian Film Institute and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia during 2014.

Moreover, French co-producer Philippe Avril has already applied to the CNC’s World Cinema Support, and the co-producer partners will submit an application to Strasbourg-based Eurimages in the summer.

As the first ever co-production between the three Baltic states, Seneca’s Day is scheduled to begin preproduction in May.

Funding for Puipa, Andersen and Luzyte

The LFC also funded new projects by veteran Lithuanian director Algimantas Puipa, Dutch-born Allan van O. T. Andersen, and Lina Luzyte:

  • 1.2m LTL (€ 347,500) was awarded to Puipa’s Garden Of Eden which was presented at the ¨Coming Soon¨ showcase at last week’s Meeting Point Vilnius and will begin shooting this summer.

  • Andersen’s thriller Escaping Sunshine received 1.4m LTL (€405,400) this year and the LFC recommended that the project be allocated a further 400,000 LTL (€115,840) in 2015.

  • Luzyte’s Do You Love Me, which is being structured as a Lithuanian-French-Romanian co-production by Just A Moment, was allocated 750,000 LTL (€217,194)

LFC supports its first minority co-productions

 This funding session saw the LFC backing its first three minority co-productions with a total of 400,000 LTL (€115,840):

  • Latvian film-maker Davis Simanis’ Sanatorium Of Ashes as another collaboration between Locomotive Productions and Studio Uljana Kim.

  • Finland’s Mikko Kuparinen’s Vilnius - Inter 965, to be produced by Mjolk Movies Oy with ARTbox

  • Norwegian director Anne Magnussen’s docu-animation feature-length film The Man Who Knew 75 Languages, with Embla Film as majority producer.

Projects from Finland, Russia and UK benefit from new tax incentive

This week saw the announcement of the first three projects to benefit from Lithuania’s new tax incentive scheme which came into effect on January 1.

They are:

  • Jurijus Valisejavas’ Music On Ice (Russia)

  • Antti Jokinen’s World War II romance-drama Helena (Finland)

  • Robert Mullan’s We Will Sing (UK-Lithuania), which reconstructs the events of January 12/13, 1991 when Lithuanians travelled to Vilnius for the demonstrations at the TV tower and parliament building to protect freedom of their country. 

The scheme is open to feature films, TV films, documentary or animation which shoot for at least three days in Lithuania and spend at least €43,443 in the country.

Conditional on passing cultural content criteria, a project can receive up to 20% of the production costs of shooting in Lithuania.

Rolandas Kvietkauskas,  LFC director, added that “intensive talks” are underway with producers from the UK, Japan, Germany and Spain to apply for the tax rebate

UK’s Vinnie Jones in Lithuania’s best seller

UK actor Vinnie Jones Emilis Velyvis’ expletive-laden action-comedy Redirected, starring Vinnie Jones and other UK actors Scot Williams, Gil Darnell, Anthony Strachan and Oliver Jackson has become Lithuania’s biggest ever local box-office hit since being released in the country’s cinemas on January 10.

The Lithuanian-UK co-production between Kino Kultas and Meed Film with Wellington Films has posted more than € 1.2m with almost 290,000 admissions.

International sales outside of the Baltic states is being handled by the US sales company Content Media Corp.