Diana & Kornelijus Matuzevičius
The films by Kornelijus (born 1944) and Diana Matuzevičius (born 1948) continue the tradition of Lithuanian poetic documentary film, which emphasizes the human connection with nature, historical memory, culture, customs and traditions. With a degree in camera operating from the Moscow National State Cinematography Institute, Kornelijus Matuzevičius worked for a number of years with the well-known director Henrikas Šablevičius. In 1990, he won the Lithuanian National Prize for the films he made with Šablevičius. In the same year, he began directing, with his wife Diana (born 1948). The main protagonists of their films are prominent Lithuanian cultural figures, such as the writer Jokūbas Josadė in Iliuzijos / Illusions (1993) and the priest Julius Sasnauskas in Esu / I Am (2000), and ordinary small-town people in Sugrįžimai / Reminiscences (1996) and Už slenksčio / Beyond the Threshold (1995). In their 2008 film Pensijų diena / Pension Day, the directors follow four elderly women on a day that is particularly important to them, the day the postman brings their pension cheques. The state of anticipation changes and grows disconcerting, evoking Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot.
The films of Kornelijus and Diana Matuzevičius have won a number of awards at prestigious festivals, including Best Short Documentary at the Cinéma du Réel at the George Pompidou Centre in Paris for Šičionykštė / A Local (2001), Best Short Documentary Film award at the Mediawave International Film and Music Gathering in Hungary for Behind the Threshold (1995), and the main prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen for Illusions.