Lithuanian Film Festival – Auckland

On Sunday, 18 July, one day only, New Zealanders will have the opportunity to enjoy a selection of award-winning short and feature-length films from Lithuania. Organised by a team of Lithuanian expats, the Lithuanian Film Festival will shine a spotlight on the rich cinematic stories from this Northeastern European nation. The festival will be held at Academy Cinema in Central Auckland and six films will be screened over the course of the day.

“We are thrilled to be able to invite New Zealanders to view films created by talented Lithuanian filmmakers and share our contemporary culture. For us, Lithuanians living in New Zealand, it is a celebration of not only our native film industry bustling on the global independent film industry scene but also the openness, diversity and richness of New Zealand’s culture”, says festivals’ curator Egle Simkeviciute Kulvelis.

The Lithuanian Film of 2020

5.00 PM – NOVA LITUANIA (96min)
Director Karolis Kaupinis. Live Q&A with director Karolis Kaupinis after the screening.
Genre – Drama, History. Language – Lithuanian with English subtitles
NOVA LITUANIA is a period drama which takes place during the interwar period and tells a story of real-life geographer Feliksas
Gruodis, who had an original idea to create a “backup Lithuania” in Africa by establishing a Lithuanian colony overseas. The film
won the Best Lithuanian Film of 2020 at National Film Awards.


12.00 PM – THE ANCIENT WOODS (64min)
Director – Mindaugas Survila
Genre – Documentary (children’s version). Language – sounds of nature.
The Best Lithuanian Documentary of 2018 THE ANCIENT WOODS was filmed for four years in one of the last remaining patches of old growth forest in Lithuania, where the boundaries of time melt and poetry is born. The film became the most popular documentary in Lithuanian film history and received numerous international awards. The festival will screen a shorter children’s version of the film so kids can visit the wolves’ caves, black storks’ nests and other natural wonders of the ancient forest.

2.00 PM – THE JUMP (85 min)
Director Giedre Zickyte. Live Q&A with director Giedre Zickyte after the screening.
Genre – Documentary. Language – English, Lithuanian with English subtitles

The newest award-winning documentary THE JUMP tells the story of Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka who in 1970 jumped off a Soviet vessel to board a US coast guard cutter, in search of asylum. His leap for freedom set off a chaotic series of events in the Cold War period. Director Giedre Zickyte will take us on this stranger-than-fiction journey that had stirring outcry in the world media reaching all the way to the White House.

Kids and Family

10.30 AM – three short award-winning animated films in Lithuanian with English subtitles:

  • MILKSHAKE BAR 12 min

The Best European short film for children of 2020 MATILDA AND THE SPARE HEAD introduces us to a girl who wants to be the smartest person in the world.

MILKSHAKE BAR tells a story about modern families, true friendship and cinnamon. The Best Lithuanian animated film of 2017,

RUNNING LIGHTS, provides a fantastic and picturesque answer to the question, “What is death?”. After the screening, the children and their parents are invited to meet with the magician Andy Wonder.