The animator, screen writer, director, and producer Valentas Aškinis (born 1960) graduated from the Vilnius Engineering Construction Institute in 1983 with a degree in urban planning and construction. He made the hand-drawn animation television lullaby Dėdė Miegas / Uncle Sleepy (1986) at the Commissioned Film Studio. The film Kaktuso paslaptis / The Secret of a Cactus (1989), which was co-produced by Lithuanian Film Studios and Mosfilm, established Aškinis as an animation film maker and launched his career. Since 1991, he has been head of the Vilanima Animation Film Studio, where he has made his films: Sidabrinis mėnulio šuo / The Silver Dog of the Moon (2004), Man reikia / I Need It (2008), Senelės pasaka / Granny‘s Tale (2012), and others. Aškinis’s 1998 film Odisėjo nuotykiai / The Adventures of Odysseus is considered the first Lithuanian full-length animation film. The adaption of this classic by Homer was filmed in 35mm. Using a palette of bright colours, the stories from antiquity about Odysseus are put into visual form.
His second full-length animated film Aukso žirgas / The Golden Horse (2014) is a joint production between Lithuania, Latvia and Luxembourg, and is based on a play by the Latvian writer Janis Rainis, as well as Baltic fairy tales. At this time, Aškinis is working on another full-length animated film based on the book Kelionė į Tandadriką (Journey to Tandadrika) by Vytautė Žilinskaitė. He also produced the following films: Metamorfozės / Metamorphoses (1996), directed by Jūratė Leikaitė, Saga (2012, directed by Ieva Miškinytė), Ne ožkoje laimė / The Goat Luck – Bad Luck (2017), directed by Ilja Bereznickas). Aškinis has made the following documentary films: Filmas po Margučių ryto / Easter Morning (2007), Šokančios Vilniaus verbos / The Dancing Easter Palms of Vilnius (2010), Animacijos magija / The Magic of Animation (2012).
Aškinis has written the textbooks Animacijos pagrindai (The Basics of Animation), Animacijos istorija (A History of Animation) and Animacijos kadruotė ir kompozicija (Animation Storyboard and Composition). In 2003, he established the International Animation Film Festival Tindirindis. Since 1999, he has been director of the School of Animation, and a professor of animation at the Vilnius College of Design and Technology. Aškinis is the chairman of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) Lithuania and a member of the European Film Academy.