Results of the 29th Vilnius International Film Festival

    Results of the 29th Vilnius International Film Festival credit: Kino Pavasaris

    The 29th edition of the Vilnius International Film Festival attracted over 105 000 spectators

    Vilnius, Lithuania - [April 11, 2024] - The largest film festival in Lithuania, Vilnius International Film Festival (VIFF), has pleased auteur cinema lovers all over the country for two weeks, attracting 105,408 people on March 14–27. The festival organizers say that this year, VIFF has returned to the volumes of previous editions, leaving behind the challenges of the pandemic.

    “In recent years, the film industry has been discussing whether audiences will return to cinemas after the pandemic – there were all kinds of opinions, and it was tough to predict trends. However, we already saw the spectator curve going upwards in 2023. The screenings started to fill up again, and we had to face the pleasant problem that not everyone who wanted to attend certain screenings could do so,” recalls Konradas Kazlauskas, the Executive Director of VIFF.

    “So this year, when planning the festival, we decided to fully return to pre-pandemic volumes, planning 1,300 screenings in 12 cinemas all over Lithuania. Also, we returned to the usual two-week format so that as many people as possible can enjoy the festival compared to 2023. And so the audience flocked to the 29th edition of VIFF. Of course, this couldn’t have been possible without an exceptional film programme. This year, we screened numerous award-winning films, such as The Zone of Interest, Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers, and more. In total, we screened 85 long and 62 short films during the festival, accompanied by more than 70 special festival events,” says Kazlauskas.

    One festivalgoer watched over half of the festival’s feature-length films – 47. “For the second year in a row, we have offered an innovation for such dedicated viewers – the ability to purchase an accreditation. This practice is slowly but surely gaining ground at the festival. Initially, the audience was cautious, but the statistics speak for themselves – it has clearly paid off for the most active ones. Hundreds of people with purchased accreditations watched 20 to 40 films during the festival,” says Kazlauskas.

    The 29th edition of VIFF was attended by 54 foreign guests from 15 countries, including the juries of short film and feature film Competitions. The Best Feature Film Award went to In The Rearview (dir. Maciek Hamela), whereas Resentment (dir. Gleb Osatinski) received the Best Short Film Award. The Festival’s Audience Award went to The Peasants (dir. DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman).

    The annual event dedicated to the industry, Meeting Point Vilnius, taking place during VIFF, was also well attended by 260 guests from all over the world. During the event, professionals from the film industry met in Lithuania’s capital to network, present their projects, enrich their knowledge at seminars and leave Vilnius with new ideas or partnerships. Thanks to Meeting Point Vilnius, the festival’s audience could also experience an exclusive screening of Vika, HBO Max and Warner Bros. Discovery documentary, with the 84-year-young DJ from Poland attending the screening and even performing at the afterparty.

    “All this was made possible thanks to the efforts of 96 team members and 268 volunteers, who organized the 29th edition of VIFF. This year, a record number of 150 partners also supported VIFF, helping to turn our ideas into reality. And we have already started to prepare for the 30th-anniversary edition of VIFF – we will surprise our audience and the film industry with some impressive ideas,” Kazlauskas intrigues.