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The Lithuanian Film Festival is back in town celebrating avant-garde cinema

Following a successful reception of the first Lithuanian Film Festival in Auckland last year, local expats continue the newborn tradition by offering New Zealanders the latest film gems from Lithuania


Screened at the Academy Cinemas on Sunday, 17th of July, the festival is a part of the international centennial celebration of one of Lithuania’s most prominent cultural figures - poet, filmmaker and artist JONAS MEKAS - a native Lithuanian who emigrated to New York in 1949 and became known as a godfather of American avant-garde cinema collaborating with a host of artists including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, The Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Patti Smith and Sonic Youth.



Sunday, 17th of July 2022, Academy Cinemas, 44 Lorne Street, Auckland City


10.00 AM  - A BUTTERFLY'S HEART (2021, 108 min)
Directed by Inesa Kurklietyte
Genre - Kids and Family. Language - Lithuanian with English subtitles. Recommended audience age: 7 years old and above.

Juozapas is a quiet boy who breeds insects in an abandoned house and always wears a wide sweater. That's why the other kids call him Balloon. But then Rugilė moves to the city. She becomes friends with Juozapas and is the first to learn about his secret. Thanks to Rugilė, Juozapas overcomes his fears and becomes open to the world. Friendship works wonders!

After the screening, kids are welcome to join a sustainable NATURE ART WORKSHOP at the Academy Cinemas lobby, where they will have a chance to create art from leaves, seeds, flowers and other things from your local park or the beach. Duration - 90 min. More info about the workshop can be found in A FREE Creative Nature Art Workshop.



12.00 PM - MARIUPOLIS (2016, 96 min)
Director - Mantas Kvedaravicius
Genre - Documentary. Language - Original language with English subtitles.

A man repairs his fishing net and goes out to the bridge. Two trams run into each other – nobody is hurt, and cables are fixed the same day. A small concert is given for factory workers, and the sincere performance of a violinist makes them cry. Bombs fall into the sea, but no one notices. ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED FOR UKRAINE via Lithuanian NGO Blue-Yellow.



2.00 PM - JONA MEKAS 100! (90 min)
Virtual Q&A with director Pip Chodorov after the screening
Genre - Documentary. Language - English, Lithuanian with English subtitles.

JONAS MEKAS 100! program is a joint international collaboration between leading art and cinema organisations, curators and publishers. It celebrates the life and work of Jonas Mekas, one of Lithuania’s most prominent cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries and a global cultural phenomenon in his own right, considered by many to be the “godfather of avant-garde cinema”.

Lithuanian Film Festival in New Zealand will join the celebration of Jonas Mekas’ centennial year with two films IN BETWEEN, Dir. Jonas Mekas (1978) and JONAS KEEPS SHOOTING AROUND, Dir. Pip Chodorov (2002). Virtual discussion and a Q&A session with Pip Chodorov, a filmmaker, curator and Jonas Mekas’ friend will end the celebration. More information about the celebration of JONAS MEKAS 100!

Later in the day, after the screening of JONAS MEKAS 100!, the audience is invited to the reception featuring New York-based jazz vocalist and composer Simona Smirnova. She will perform a few original Baltic folk songs giving a taste of the upcoming Multipart Singing Workshop on 23rd July at TAPAC, a closing event of the Lithuanian Days Aotearoa 2022. 



5.00 PM - PILGRIMS (2021, 92min)
Director Laurynas Bareisa. Virtual Q&A with director Laurynas Bareisa after the screening
Genre - Drama, Crime. Language - Lithuanian with English subtitles.

Indre and Paulius travel to the town where their mutual friend, Matas — Paulius’ brother, and Indre’s boyfriend — died in a gruesome crime. The pair try to retrace Matas’ footsteps from a nearby airport to an apparent bar fight — but soon find out that revisiting the past is no easy task. The case is closed, but the memories of their loved one are just as fresh.
The thriller won over the jury at the 78th edition of Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded best film in the event’s Horizons category: a section of the main competition dedicated to young and debuting filmmakers.
“Pilgrims is a striking feature debut from a director with an unconventional vision of the world and uncompromising stylistic approach; stark, minimalist execution allowing, it deserves to make an impression with niche outlets and platforms with a taste for tough-minded exploration.”, - Screen Daily review
Q&A with the director Laurynas Bareisa after the screening.


The Lithuanian Film Festival in New Zealand has been sponsored by the Lithuanian Foundation, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, March Design Studio, and the Lithuanian Society of New Zealand.

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Lithuanian Film Festival in New Zealand

8 Jul 2022