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The 15th annual Vilnius international film festival "Kino pavasaris" will help you rediscover film

Spring has sprung and Kino pavasaris" (or Cinema spring) is fast approaching. This year the motto of the Festival is "Reborn at the Cinema" and from March 18 to April 2 you are all invited to rediscover the magical world of film.















2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Festival and 100 films from over 50 countries will be screened, including Vietnam, Iran, Cyprus, Greece, Palestine, Peru, Uruguay and Chile.


This year's Festival offers a wide variety of programmes including: "The New Europe - New Names" (a juried competitive programme for films from new directors in Eastern and Central Europe), "Festival Pearls" (films drawn from prize-winners of the most famous film festivals 2009), "The Masters" (the newest films from some of the best known directors around the world), "Discoveries" (new names, exotic locales and intriguing debuts from new, bright directors), "Brave Visions" (shocking, provocative and scandalous films for those with strong nerves, open minds and generous tolerance), "Smiles" (this is a new programme offering a slice of comedy), "Actual Documentary", "Chinese Stories", a retrospective of the films of actress Fanny Ardant and a Lithuanian film programme.


What's New?

One of the most important pieces of news from this year's Festival is the continuation of the educational programme "International Film Festival Forum", the awarding of the European Parliament LUX Prize, as well as the national film education project "Cinema Book" which has been organized by "Cinema Spring" and will be available to all of the students of Lithuania. This year, for the first time ever, the cream of the crop of student screenwriters have been invited to Vilnius during the course of "Cinema Spring" to participate in creative workshops led by film professionals. The educational programme will also be augmented with the creative workshops "SCRIPT+" for cinema dramaturges, to be held March 30 and 31.


Festival director Vida Ramaškienė has this to say about the Festival: "This year's "Cinema Spring" repertoire will give you a look at the newest trends in global filmmaking - the combination of documentary and feature film - and how both types of filmmaking convey a very real, actual everyday life. Over the past years the themes of ecology, human estrangement, tolerance and migration have risen to prominence and it has also become clear that we often speak of these themes in our everyday life, between friends. This year the Festival's repertoire reflects these contemporary tendencies - the painful realities captured in documentary films and the shocking themes, situations and important historical events examined in feature films."

Brave, Funny, Real

The strongest and most serious "artillery" of this year's Festival are films that take on not so pleasant themes. These films will be shown as part of the "Current Documentary" programme and include films that take on important global themes such as Afghan Star (UK), We Live in Public (USA), The Red Chapel (Denmark) and Starsuckers (UK). Without a doubt one of the most notable films in the "Cinema Spring" documentary film programme is the Oscar winner film The Cove. This film about the dolphin slaughter in a Japanese town and the Japanese government's coldblooded lies has garnered praise from film critics and aroused as much sympathy from viewers as animosity from the Japanese government. Also this year the Ecoinstitute, in partnership with "Cinema Spring", will present the European premier of Full Signal (Talal Jabari, USA), a film that reveals shocking facts about mobile phones and the health effects of the electromagnetic radiation they emit.


We are sure that the comedic programme "Smiles" will also attract its fair share of viewers. This is the first year for this programme, and the line up includes ten films. The strongest in this suit are Life During Wartime and Matter of size.  


The Festival has plenty of films from directors with "Brave Visions", including Dogtooth (Greece), Women Without Men (Germany, Austria, France), Adrift (Vietnam) and Vegetarian (South Korea).


Shining Pearls in the Cinema Dark


Many exquisite and long-awaited films will be shown in the "Festival Pearls" programme including Fish Tank, Dabareye Elly, Me Too, The Milk of Sorrow, She, A Chinese, Woman Without Piano, Blessed and The Secret in Their Eyes.


The Spanish film - Woman Without Piano - also debuted at the San Sebastian Film Festival and was awarded the Silver Shell for Best Director. The lead of the film is played by one of Spain's most famous television actors, Carmen Machi, who also appeared in Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces.


The thriller The Secret in their Eyes is the return to film of Argentinean director Juan Jose Campanella after five years working in Hollywood. Born in Buenos Aires, he has been nominated for two Oscars and is well known in Lithuania for his work in television as a director and screenwriter for popular TV series including "Law and Order", "House" and "30 Rock".


Strong "Masters" and Charming "Discoveries"


In "The Masters" programme cinema lovers will be able to enjoy such acclaimed and masterfully created films as White Ribbon (Michael Haneke), The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch), Five Minutes of Heaven (Oliver Hirschbiegel), Air Doll (Kore-eda Hirokazu), A Prophet (Jacques Audiard), A Serious Man (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen) and Bright Star (Jane Campion).


The "Discoveries" programme has always been path to personal discovery for viewers and this year there really are many films to choose from. The unbelievably similarly and unforgettably named films in this year's "Discoveries" programme include: 77 Doronship, The Cow, Black Sheep, Crab Trap and others. The absolute frontrunner candidate for favourite-film in this programme is Lee Daniels' film Precious, Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire. Nominated for six Oscars, the film tells the story of sixteen-year-old Clarissa Precious Jones who has big dreams but even bigger problems. For those who aren't interested in the works of American filmmakers, an equally strong but totally different stylistic alternative is offered: the film Nothing Personal by director Urszula Antoniak.


China - Lithuania


The Chinese Film retrospective promises a lot of Eastern aesthetic. This year filmgoers will be introduced to new and highly acclaimed Chinese films. Of the five films presented the most anticipated is City of Life and Death (China, Hong Kong). This epic drama from director Lu Chuan was overlooked at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals but received the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival. The film tells an authentic and touching story about Chinese, Japanese and German people whose fate carried them to different sides of the barricades of war.


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