Julija & Rimantas Gruodis


The documentary film duo Rimantas (born 1946) and Julija (born 1943) Gruodis have been working together since 1988. The main subjects of their films are ordinary people whose depictions pose questions about the meaning and the value of life. They remain true to classic values and the emotional plane of storytelling. They are attracted to the periphery, to those on the fringe, because, according to Rimantas, ‘the further you go from the chaos of the city, the clearer you see a person’s failures and successes.’ In 1994, they founded the Periferija studio, which has made documentary films such as Pirtis / The Bath House (1997) awarded prize for best documentary at the Festival International du Film Indépendant in Brussels, Šeimyna / Household (2001), Kaliausė / The Scarecrow (2002), Brasbendas / The Brass Band (2006) and Lieknas / The Swamp (2010). The documentary feature films Dievo paukšteliai / The Tiny Birds of God (2005) and Pieno kelias – Paukščių Takas / The Way of Milk. The Milky Way (2007) examine painful themes in Lithuanian history, such as exile, the end of the Soviet occupation, and collectivisation.

Their films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and at festivals in Bilbao, Bornholm, Regensburg and Tampere. The documentary film Upė / The River (2009) was named Best Documentary at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and DocumentaMadrid, and won a Silver Crane at the National Silver Crane Cinema and Television Film Awards. It was chosen as Best Documentary of the Year by the Lithuanian Filmmakers Union, won an Audience Award at the Festival dei Popoli in Florence, and was a prize winner at the Vilnius Documentary Film Festival.