Following a successful reception of the first Lithuanian Film Festival in Auckland last year, local expats continue the new-born tradition by offering New Zealanders the latest film gems from their home country, both for kids and adults. Screened at the Academy Cinemas on Sunday, 17th of July, the festival is a part of the international centennial celebration of one of Lithuania’s most prominent cultural figures – poet, filmmaker and artist JONAS MEKAS – a native Lithuanian who emigrated to New York in 1949 and became known as a godfather of American avant-garde cinema collaborating with a host of artists
including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, The Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Patti Smith and Sonic Youth.
This year’s festival programme consists of a film for kids, A BUTTERFLY’S HEART (2021), directed by Inesa Kurklietyte; support screening for Ukraine MARIUPOLIS (2016) in memory of film’s director Mantas Kvedaravicius recently killed by Russian soldiers while filming MARIUPOLIS 2 in Mariupol, Ukraine; an international centennial celebration of JONAS MEKAS by featuring IN
BETWEEN (1978) directed by Jonas Mekas and JONAS KEEPS SHOOTING AROUND (2002) directed by Pip Chodorov; and the best Lithuanian film 2022 and the winner of 78th Venice Film Festival in the Horizons category, a section of the main competition dedicated to young and debuting filmmakers, PILGRIMS (2021) directed by Laurynas Bareisa.
After screening the kids’ film A BUTTERFLY’S HEART, the children and adults are invited to join a special Creative Nature Art Workshop to learn how to make sustainable art pieces from natural elements led by local creative Marina Pauliukova. Later in the day, before the closing film, PILGRIMS, the audience is invited to the reception featuring New York-based jazz vocalist and
composer Simona Smirnova. She will perform a few original Baltic folk songs giving a taste of the upcoming Multipart Singing
Workshop on 23rd July at TAPAC, a closing event of the Lithuanian Days Aotearoa 2022.
The festival will host two virtual Q&A sessions with film directors – Pip Chodorov, a filmmaker, curator, Jonas Mekas’ friend, and Laurynas Bareisa, director of PILGRIMS.
All proceeds from screening MARIUPOLIS will be donated to support Ukraine’s resistance against Russian aggression.
Book your tickets via Academy cinema.