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SPECIAL FOCUS ON LITHUANIAN CINEMA AND JONAS MEKAS AT BUSAN FILM FESTIVAL

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On 27 April, the 39th International Busan Short Film Festival opened in South Korea at which Lithuania has been selected as this year’s guest country. The festival will present as many as three special programmes of Lithuanian short films. Much attention will also be dedicated to the work of avant-garde filmmaker, film critic and poet Jonas Mekas. The film programme is presented by the Lithuanian Film Centre together with the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Lithuanian short film agency Lithuanian Shorts. These cultural events are part of the international programme dedicated to the centenary of Jonas Mekas’ birth.

The festival was opened with four films including Quartet # 1 by Jonas Mekas, as well as a musical performance by Dalius Naujokaitis. The Mekas-inspired part of the festival programme under the title Prisms will present experimental work: six short films by Mekas from 1966 to 2013 and the full-length film, As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw A Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), as well as films by other filmmakers dedicated to the artist (such as Mekas’ friend, director Julius Ziz).

Presented within the competition programme of the festival will be the premiere of a new short Lithuanian film, an animated story Elena by director Birutė Sodeikaitė. The Lithuanian short film programme Lithuania Panorama will invite audiences to see five works by Lithuanian filmmakers created in 2020-2021: Snow Shelter (dir. Robertas Nevecka), Voices Apart (dir. Elvina Nevardauskaitė, David Heinemann), Ieva (dir. Domas Petronis, Vytautas Plukas), Survey (dir. Urtė Sabutytė) and Restoration (dir. Laurynas Bareiša).

The programme Lithuania New Generation will feature as many as four short films by a director belonging to the new generation of Lithuanian filmmakers, Laurynas Bareiša. His debut feature film Pilgrims, which was selected as the best film in the competition programme Horizons at the Venice Film Festival in 2021, will also be screened.

The short film programme Lithuania Cineaste will focus on the work of director Šarūnas Bartas, presenting four shorts directed by him.

Founded in 1980, Busan International Short Film Festival is the first short film festival in South Korea. Films that get selected into the festival’s programme and receive awards go on to compete for Oscars, the British Academy Film and Television Awards BAFTA and Spain’s principal national film awards Goya.

The international project Jonas Mekas 100! is dedicated to the centenary year of the birth of the avant-garde filmmaker, film critic and poet Jonas Mekas in 2022. The programme, comprising over 50 various events, has been prepared by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the Lithuanian cultural attachés and the Estate of Jonas Mekas. Film screenings, exhibitions, video installations, concerts, poetry readings, discussion and thematic residency programmes, poetry translation workshops, publishing projects and other initiatives will take place in leading cultural institutions in many countries around the world. The programme is partially funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The Jonas Mekas 100! programme is available on the website www.jonasmekas100.com.