Cinema of Lithuania

Cinema of Lithuania

Forum Cinemas Vingis
Number of screens 95 (2011)[1]
  Per capita 3.4 per 100,000 (2011)[1]
Main distributors Acme Filmai 46.0%
Forum Cinemas 45.0%
Incognito 5.0%[2]
Produced feature films (2011)[3]
Fictional 2
Animated -
Documentary -
Number of admissions (2011)[4]
Total 2,968,028
  Per capita 1.01 (2012)[5]
National films 299,170 (10.1%)
Gross box office (2011)[4]
Total LTL 37.1 million
National films LTL 3.7 million (10.0%)

The birth of Cinema of Lithuania dates back to 1909.[6]


Before Soviet Era

The first short films in 1909 where shot by Antanas Račiūnas who filmed the sights of his native village and Vladislav Starevich who made a short film Prie Nemuno (By the Nieman River, 1909)[7] The first Lithuanian newsreel screened in cinemas in 1921 was made by Feognijus Dunajevas.

The first film production companies and first films schools were founded in 1926. In 1927 a short film Rūpestingas tėvas was produced by Lietfilm. Lithuania's most important film directors during the era were Jurgis Linartas and Vladas Stipaitis. The Soldier Lithuania's Defender (1928) and a feature film Onytė ir Jonelis (1931) produced by a film company Akis, are the most notable films of the era.

Soviet Era

After the Soviet takeover in 1940 the Lithuanian Republican Newsreel Studio was founded, in 1962 it was renamed the Lithuanian Film Studio.

The first Soviet era feature film "Marytė" using Lithuanian composer and actors was produced by Mosfilm. Until 1956 all Lithuanian feature films were made in cooperation with other motion-picture studios in Soviet Union focusing on Communist themes.

After the death of Stalin in 1953 a more liberal period in Soviet Union's cultural policies followed. Filmmakers started to enjoy greater artistic control at the same time the Soviet State Committee for Cinematography (Goskino) in Moscow provided the money, state censorship body Glavlit and CPSU Department of Culture had the control over releasing the movies.[6]

In 1957, the post-Stalinist era Lithuanian feature film Žydrasis horizontas (The Blue Horizon) was directed by Vytautas Mikalauskas.

In the late 1980s an independent Lithuanian national cinema industry was reborn during Persestroika social and political reforms in the Soviet Union. The first independent film production studio Kinema was founded by the director Šarūnas Bartas in 1987. Another notable documentary filmmaker emerged during the era is Arūnas Matelis.

Independent Era

After Lithuania regained independence on March 11, 1990 the state funding of filmmaking drastically decreased and smaller studios emerged instead. During the era about 10 documentaries and 2 feature films have been made yearly. The most notable directors have been Vytautas Žalakevičius, the director of Žvėris išeinantis is jūros (The Beast Emerging from the Sea) (1992), and Algimantas Puipa the winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Lübeck Nordic Film Days and the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Rouen Nordic Film Festival for Vilko dantų karoliai (A Wolf Teeth Necklace) (1997).

The most internationally known film director of Lithuanian descent born in Chicago, Illinois, United States is Robert Zemeckis[8]

In 2011, only one home-grown feature-length film was released in Lithuania.[9]





Acclaimed Lithuanian films

Lithuanian SSR (1940–1990)

Title Translation Year Genre
Žydrasis horizontas The Blue Horizon 1957
Adomas nori būti žmogumi Adam Wants to Be a Man 1959
Paskutinė atostogų diena The Girl and the Echo 1964
Niekas nenorėjo mirti Nobody Wanted to Die 1965 historical drama
Jausmai Feelings 1966 historical drama
Kai aš mažas buvau When I Was a Child 1968
Gražuolė Beauty 1969
Maža išpažintis A Small Confession 1971
Herkus Mantas Herkus Mantas 1972 historical drama
Velnio nuotaka Devil's Bride 1973 musical
Perskeltas dangus Shattered Skies 1974 drama
Sadūto Tūto Sadūto Tūto 1974 drama
Virto ąžuolai The Fall of Oak Trees 1976 drama
Mano vaikystės ruduo The Autumn of My Childhood 1977 romantic drama
Riešutų duona Walnut Bread 1978 tragicomedy
Faktas Fact 1981 psychological thriller
Skrydis per Atlantą The Flight Across the Atlantic 1983 historic documentary
Mano mažytė žmona My Little Wife 1984 romantic drama
Kažkas atsitiko Something Has Happened 1986 music documentary
Amžinoji šviesa Eternal Light 1987 drama
Neatmenu tavo veido I Don't Remember Your Face 1988

Lithuania (1990–present)

Title Translation Year Genre
Trys dienos Three Days 1991
Vilko dantų karoliai A Wolf Teeth Necklace 1997
Elzė iš Gilijos Elze's Life 2000
Vienui vieni Utterly Alone 2004 historic drama
Prieš parskrendant į žemę Before Flying Back to the Earth 2005 documentary
Dievų miškas Forest of the Gods 2005 historic drama
Zero. Alyvinė Lietuva Zero: Lilac Lithuania 2006 action comedy
Anastasija Anastasia 2006 historic drama
Aš esu tu You Am I 2006 romantic drama
Nuodėmės užkalbėjimas Whisper of Sin 2007 romantic drama
Nereikalingi žmonės Loss 2008 psychological thriller
Zero II Zero II 2010 action comedy
Atsisveikinimas (laimingo žmogaus istorija) Farewell 2010 drama
Tadas Blinda. Pradžia Tadas Blinda: The Beginning 2011 action and adventure
Mes už... Lietuvą! We're for... Lithuania! 2011 documentary
Aurora Aurora 2011 fantasy drama
Kita svajonių komanda The Other Dream Team 2012 documentary
Kaip pavogti žmoną How to Steal a Wife 2013 comedy
Redirected. Už Lietuvą Redirected 2014 action comedy

See also


  1. 1 2 "Table 8: Cinema Infrastructure - Capacity". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  2. "Table 6: Share of Top 3 distributors (Excel)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  3. "Table 1: Feature Film Production - Genre/Method of Shooting". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Table 11: Exhibition - Admissions & Gross Box Office (GBO)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  5. "Baltic Films - Facts and figures" (PDF). Nacionālais Kino centrs. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  6. 1 2 Culture And Customs of the Baltic States By Kevin O'Connor
  8. Robert Zemeckis @ enertainmentmagazine
  9. Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 161. ISBN 978-1908215017.
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