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Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino pavasaris“ figures

Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino pavasaris“ was saluted by Emir Kusturica

Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino pavasaris“ ended last week with the remarkable record of audience attendance. During the Festival (1-14 of April) the cinema “Lietuva“ was attended by 41 251 spectators: 13 000 more than last year. Lithuanian spectators proved once again their interest in European, Asian, African, American and Oceanian cinema.

This year celebrating the 10th anniversary the Festival “Kino pavasaris“ presented 52 films representing 34 countries. The program included such works as Ousmane Sembene‘s “Moolaade“ (the laureate of Cannes Film Festival program‘s “Un Certain Regard“), Gu Changwei‘s “Peacock“ (the winner of Silver bear in Berlin Film Festival), Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s drama “The Downfall“, Chinese action drama “Kekexili: Mountain Patrol“, documentaries “Super Size Me“ and “Darwin‘s Nightmare“ and many more.

The spectators had the opportunity to vote for their favourite films. From 14 000 votes, the majority was given to Kim Ki-duk‘s film “3-Iron“. South Corean director Kim Ki-duk‘s work is very popular and appreciated in Lithuania. Last year his film “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and ... Spring" was also the audience‘s favourite. Alejandro Amenabar‘s “Sea Inside“ which opened the Festival and Iranian drama “Turtles Can Fly“ were left not far behind.

Lithuanian film critics voted for the Hungarian Nimrod Antal‘s stylish thriller “Kontroll“ as the best Festival‘s film.

The most attended films were : “Unconscious", "2046", "Innocence", "Consequences of Love", "Moolaade", "Machuca", "Whisky", "Somersault" and "Le Grande Voyage", projected in the crowded hall of 1000 places.

In a rich Lithuanian films program the most appreciated was Giedre Beinoriute‘s documentary "Vulkanovka. After the Great Cinema" shot as an after making-of on the shooting set of Sarunas Bartas‘ film "Seven Invisible Men" (this year presented to the selection commission of Festival de Cannes).

On the 10th of April the Festival was honoured by Balkans cinema master Emir Kusturica, who the day before had a concert in Vilnius with the group “The No Smoging Orchestra". The director stepped on the scene at the end of the screening of the Spanish comedy "Unconscious". He saluted the Festival‘s spectators and guests and was welcomed with the stormy plaudits. Emir Kusturica shared his joy to see such a crowded cinema hall. The President of the 58th Festival de Cannes jury lifted his sweater showing his T-shirt with Che Guevara and wished the spectators to support the real cinema such as Tarkovski‘s, Fellini‘s and their disciples‘ films against the dominating Hollywood production.

The Festival developed an intensive and original educational program. This year a world known professor of script writing Simon van der Borgh was giving lectures to the young Lithuanian and British film-makers. The producer from Israel Marek Rozenbaum organized a meeting with the audience and journalists.

In 2004 in Lithuania 51 new films were released in the cinemas, but the commercial repertoire almost without reserve was dominated by the Hollywoodian production. Even if the Lithuanian distributors presented 55 independent movies from Europe, Asia and America, they were seen only by 254 000 spectators, the number which represents 17% of the whole audience.

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