After a long break, Lithuanian filmmakers will present their works at two leading film festivals of Venice and Toronto. Lithuania is the only Eastern European country to present its productions to the audiences of the key autumn events in Europe and North America.
© DELFI / Paulius Garkauskas

The short film By the Pool directed by Laurynas Bareiša will compete in the "Horizons" programme of the Venice International Film Festival currently taking place in Italy. It is the only film from Eastern and Central Europe selected for the programme. 12 short films from all over the world are competing in the category, a Lithuanian Film Centre press release states.

Another Lithuanian entry at the Venice Film Festival is the virtual reality project Bloody Sunday VR by the filmmaker Andrius Lekavičius selected for the Gap-Financing Market which will take place during the festival's industry programme "Venice Production Bridge". The Lithuanian project was included among the top 10 virtual reality projects. A total of 47 film projects from across the world will be presented at the Market. The authors will have an exclusive opportunity to meet and network with famous and important international film industry backers, producers, distributors and sales agents.

After a 17 year break a Lithuanian film will also be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival starting next week. The tragic comedy Miracle by Eglė Vertelytė is a story of sacrifice about the collision of socialism and capitalism in a Lithuanian pig farm. The film will have its global premiere in Toronto.

Set in 1992, Lithuania has just shifted from communism to capitalism, leaving the small collective pig farm managed by Irena in dire straits. Irena struggles to keep the farm and her workers afloat when a handsome American, Bernadas, arrives pledging to save the struggling enterprise, which turns Irena's family life and the routine of the village upside-down. As Irena begins to fall for his charms, she realises that his intentions may not be entirely innocent...

The last time a Lithuanian production was screened at the Toronto Film Festival, which is considered second only to the Cannes Festival, was in 2008, when the film Freedom by Šarūnas Bartas was included in the programme.

The Toronto Film Festival focuses on gender equality and is happy to include more and more films created by female directors. This year, as much as a third of the programme consists of productions made by women. Eglė Vertelytė is one of them.

The production and presentation of the projects participating in both festivals has been supported by the Lithuanian Film Centre.

Lithuania is also pleased as the world premiere of the Netherlands, Italy and Canada coproduction Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle (dir. Mike van Diem) that was filmed in Lithuania will take place at the festival.

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