The director, screenwriter, animator and artist Antanas Janauskas (1937) graduated from the Telšiai School of Applied Art, and worked in the titling section at the Lithuanian Film Studios. In 1965 he began making animated insertions for documentary and feature films, and experimented with animation. His first animated film Mergaitė ir velnias (The Girl and the Devil, 1967) was a silent film. In 1970, he produced the black-and-white animated film Iniciatyva (Initiative), which was the first animated film to be made at the Lithuanian Film Studios in the postwar era. It alluded to the Prague Spring in 1968.
Other films he made at the Lithuanian Film Studios include Antspaudas (The Stamp, 1986), Užkrečiantis pavyzdys (A Catching Example, 1987) and Palankios aplinkybės (Favourable Conditions, 1989). Janauskas founded his own studio in 1991, called A. Janausko animacinių filmų studija AJ, where he made films such as Kėdė (The Chair, 1996), Ovacijos(Ovations, 1998), Telegastrovizija (Telegastrovision, 2000), Trumpas sujungimas (Short Circuit, 2003) and Urzgianti pagalvė (The Growling Pillow, 2010).
The film Trumpas sujungimas was praised at the 2004 Riga International Film Forum Arsenals for its ability to create ‘a perceptive and fascinating story of one lifetime in a few minutes’. It also won a Spirit Award at the 2005 Brooklyn Film Festival. Telegastrovizija won the Grand Jury Prize in the Diesel Online Shorts Competition at the 2010 Miami International Film Festival.
Janauskas’ films are characterised by a well-defined narrative and recurring characters that experience an overpowering conflict with their surroundings, and embody him and his ideas. His mesmerising creative style is achieved without words, employing just the movements and mimicry of the characters, along with background music.