Gytis Lukšas (born 1946) shows the underlying foundations of the nation’s character, marked by a poetic world-view and lyrical tone. Over his entire career, since his first television film Žvangutis / The Sleigh-bell (1974), and his first feature film Virto ąžuolai / When the Oaks were Falling (1976), he has remained faithful to the work of Lithuanian writers: Kazys Saja, Juozas Aputis, Vidmantė Jasukaitytė, Juozas Baltušis, Saulius Šaltenis, and others.
His films Mano vaikystės ruduo / Autumn of my Childhood (1977), Vakar ir visados / Yesterday and Forever (1985), the TV film Žolės šaknys / The Roots of Grass (1988) have a poetic and slightly melancholic mood. Vasara baigiasi rudenį / Summer Ends with Autumn (1982) – a story about a father who just returned from prison and his son, both trying to win the favour of a young widow – won a prize for Best Acting at a film festival in Saint Petersburg (Leningrad at the time), Russia. Žalčio žvilgsnis / The Serpent’s Gaze (1989) spans a few decades at the turn of the 20th century, and examines the themes of temptation, guilt and betrayal. Žemės keleiviai / Pilgrims of Earth (1992) was the first feature film about post-Soviet life in Lithuania, and explored the contemporary situation of man’s soul (the films won the Silver Prize at a festival in Łagów, Poland). Mėnulio Lietuva / Lunar Lithuania (1998), a tragi-comic story infused with mythological elements about post-war life in a small Lithuanian town, is full of well-founded irony, sarcasm and humour. It won the Best Actress award (for Dalia Michelevičiūtė) at the First International Film Festival Eurasia. The film Duburys / Vortex (2009), based on the novel of the same name by Romualdas Granauskas, shows a turn towards psychological realism. The film’s world première took place at the Montreal World Film Festival, and it was later shown at more than 20 international film festivals. Vortex was also named Best Baltic Feature Film at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and won three national Silver Crane awards, the Lithuanian Filmmakers Union prize for best cinematographic work for 2008-2009.
In 2006, Gytis Lukšas was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of European Film Directors.