Baltic states join forces for 12 film festivals in centennial year

The directors of the three countries' film institutes renewed the agreement in Trieste.
The directors of the three countries' film institutes renewed the agreement in Trieste. Source: (Estonian Film Institute)

The Baltic film institutions renewed their mutual cooperation agreement at Trieste Film Festival. An addendum sets out the plan to run 12 joint film promotion projects in 2018 on the occasion of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania's centennial year.

“Three years ago, we saw more potential in presenting ourselves as one region. When working together, it is easier for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to gain access to high-profile festivals and film industry events. This year, as we are celebrating statehood centenaries of all the three nations, we have an opportunity to draw attention to ourselves and plan an intensive year of promoting Baltic cinema,” says Rolandas Kvietkauskas, CEO of Lithuanian Film Centre.

Following up on the Mutual Cooperation Agreement, signed in 2015 in Cannes, to step up joint efforts in promoting Baltic film production and marketing, the film institutions of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have agreed to cooperate on projects presenting and promoting their national cinemas in a number of European feature film, documentary and animation festivals. Baltic film industry will be presented in Glasgow, Moscow, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Reykjavik, Lübeck and Tbilisi. This includes joint film programmes, retrospectives and industry events presenting the filmmaking potential of the Baltic states.

“We are pleased to celebrate our anniversary together with our closest neighbours. Together we get more visibility than separately,” says Edith Sepp, CEO of the Estonian Film Institute.

The agreement also reaffirms the Baltic Prize, established by the national film institutions of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The prize of €3,000 will be awarded to the best Baltic project at the co-production forum “When East Meets West” in Trieste every year between 2018 and 2020. This year, it went to I’ll Stand By You, a project presented to the international audience by Virginija Vareikytė from Lithuania and Maximilien Dejoie from Italy.

“We highly appreciate the opportunity to team up and continue the successful cooperation with the co-production forum “When East Meets West”. The Baltic Special Award should foster co-productions and encourage development of new projects between our countries,” says Dita Rietuma, CEO of the Latvian National Film Centre.

By the Mutual Cooperation Agreement Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia seek to invite more co-production, promote their respective national cinemas in neighbouring countries, present more widely the Baltic film industries in Europe and beyond, cooperate more closely in European audiovisual policymaking.

In 2017, the Lithuanian Film Centre granted 7 co-productions with Latvia and Estonia. The funding of €719,260 went to 5 Lithuanian-Latvian co-productions; a Lithuanian-Estonian co-production received €45,000; and €60,000 was given to a co-production of all three Baltic countries.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: Estonian Film Institute

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