- Cinema of Lithuania
The birth of Cinema of Lithuania dates back to 1909. The first short films in 1909 where shot by Antanas Račiūnas who filmed the sights of his native village and Vladislav Starevich who made a short film Prie Nemuno (By the Nieman River, 1909) The first Lithuanian newsreel screened in cinemas in 1921 was made by Feognijus Dunajevas.
The first film production companies and first films schools were founded in 1926. In 1927 a short film Rūpestingas tėvas was produced by Lietfilm. Lithuania's most important film directors during the era were Jurgis Linartas and Vladas Stipaitis. The Soldier Lithuania's Defender (1928) and a feature film Onytė ir Jonelis (1931) produced by a film company Akis, are the most notable films of the era.
After the Soviet takeover in 1940 the Lithuanian Republican Newsreel Studio was founded, in 1962 it was renamed the Lithuanian Film Studio.
The first Soviet era feature film "Marytė" using Lithuanian composer and actors was produced by Mosfilm. Until 1956 all Lithuanian feature films were made in cooperation with other motion-picture studios in Soviet Union focusing on Communist themes.
After the death of Stalin in 1953 a more liberal period in Soviet Union's cultural policies followed. Filmmakers started to enjoy greater artistic control at the same time the Soviet State Committee for Cinematography (Goskino) in Moscow provided the money, state censorship body Glavlit and CPSU Department of Culture had the control over releasing the movies.
In 1957 the post Stalinist era Lithuanian feature film Žydrasis horizontas (The Blue Horizon) was directed by Vytautas Mikalauskas.
In the late 1980s an independent Lithuanian national cinema industry was reborn during Persestroika social and political reforms in the Soviet Union. The first independent film production studio Kinema was founded by the director Šarūnas Bartas in 1987. Another notable documentary filmmaker emerged during the era is Arūnas Matelis.
After Lithuania regained independence on March 11, 1990 the state funding of filmmaking drastically decreased and smaller studios emerged instead. During the era about 10 documentaries and 2 feature films have been made yearly. The most notable directors have been Vytautas Žalakevičius, the director of Žvėris išeinantis is jūros (The Beast Emerging from the Sea) (1992) , and Algimantas Puipa the winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Lübeck Nordic Film Days and the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Rouen Nordic Film Festival for Vilko dantų karoliai (A Wolf Teeth Necklace) (1997).
- Regimantas Adomaitis
- Donatas Banionis
- Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė (Seven Years in Tibet)
- Laurence Harvey
- Aurelija Mikušauskaitė
- Antanas Škėma
- Adolfas Večerskis
- Arūnas Matelis -critically acclaimed
- Šarūnas Bartas
- Artūras Barysas
- Romas Lileikis
- Adolfas Mekas
- Jonas Mekas
- Jonas Vaitkus
- Vytautas Žalakevičius
- Algimantas Puipa
Acclaimed Lithuanian films
- Before Flying Back to the Earth (2005) A Documentary on a child with Leukaemia. Best Lithuanian Film of 2005.
- Forest of the Gods (2005)
- Sidabrinė gervė
- Ciaba Film Festival
- Kaunas International Film Festival
- Kino pavasaris
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