FNE at Meeting Point Vilnius 2023: Four Lithuanian Projects Pitched at Coming Soon

    Pozerskis. In Focus by Joris Skudra Pozerskis. In Focus by Joris Skudra credit: Broom Films

    VILNIUS: Four Lithuanian projects, including a Lithuanian minority coproduction, were pitched in the Coming Soon pitching session at Meeting Point – Vilnius, which was held 20 – 22 March 2023 within the 28th Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris (16 – 26 March 2023).

    The projects include two long documentaries and two feature films, directed by Arturas Jevdokimovas, Joris Skudra, Lina Lūžytė & Nerijus Mileris, and Signe Birkova.

    Life and Death of a Christmas Tree

    Lithuanian director Arturas Jevdokimovas is in postproduction with his long documentary Life and Death of a Christmas Tree / Kalėdų eglutės gyvenimas ir mirtis, which is in early rough cut stage. The foreseen release date is November 2023.

    Eighty percent of European Christmas trees are grown in Denmark from seeds collected in a small Georgian region. The seeds are harvested every autumn in Georgia, and then sold to the Danish, who grow the seedlings for seven years to sell them across Europe. The Georgian firs grow as tall as 60 meters, and in order to reach the best cones, the pickers have to climb to the very top. Sometimes they lose their balance and fall. The Christmas tree, the well familiar festive plant, travels through countries and cultures, while the joyful hustle and bustle hides a billion-dollar business and the characters’ daily struggle for survival.

    “Presenting the lives of the cone pickers and tree growers I would like to reveal the feelings uniting people despite the historical, social, cultural or ethnic differences. The film will make the audience both laugh and cry. I seek full scale emotions for the audience, from nostalgic childhood memories to compassion for the poor and exploited cone pickers”, Arturas Jevdokimovas said in a statement.

    The film is produced by Ringaile Lesčinskienė through AnaBen in coproduction with GotFat Productions (Denmark) and Funky Production House (Georgia).

    The financial partners of the project are the Lithuanian Film Centre (LKC), the West Danish Film Fund, DR Sales and the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT).

    The total budget is 254,300 EUR.

    Požerskis: In Focus

    Director Joris Skudra is in late production with his first long documentary Požerskis: In Focus, which is planned to be finished by the end of 2023.

    The documentary explores the close relationship between artists and the context in which they live, focusing on the personal journey of Lithuanian photographer Romualdas Požerskis. Audiences follow the psychological effects of creating under the repressive conditions of the Soviet Union, and the resilience needed to adapt to a new life under capitalism. The film prompts reflections on the capacity of art to shape and be shaped by political forces, and the challenges artists face in finding their place amid shifting realities.

    “This film is about the hard life of an artist. He must adapt and find himself in a changing reality”, the director said. The total budget is 120,000 EUR, of which 110,000 EUR is already secured. The project received support from the Lithuanian Film Centre (LKC).


    The feature film Johatsu directed by Lina Lūžytė and Nerijus Mileris is currently in postproduction.

    The Japanese word Johatsu describes a phenomenon of a desire to vanish without a trace. The film is a story about Lina, a 35-year-old woman working in the morgue. One day something strange happens, when Lina takes a woman to recognise her husband who has died in an explosion. The woman confirms it was her husband, but she acts so strange that it makes Lina think she is lying. Lina takes some days off from work and, just like a real detective, she starts following scarce cues. However, she soon realises that she is not so much interested in finding the missing man as she becomes more enthralled by the very idea of disappearance.

    Johatsu marks not a momentary distraction or a need for a retreat, but a radical transformation when the whole history of a person as well as the person itself get erased”, the directors said in a statement.

    The film is set to be released in the autumn of 2023. It is produced by Uljana Kim through Studio Uljana Kim. The Lithuanian Film Centre  and the national broadcaster LRT are supporting the project.

    The total budget is 1 m EUR.


    Studio Uljana Kim is also the coproducer of the Latvian feature film Lotus directed by Signe Birkova, which is currently in the editing stage.

    Baltic-German Alice von Trotta returns to her father’s manor in Latvia in 1919. During her stay she meets some local labourers who demonstrate hostility. Moreover, Alice discovers that she has been lured into a trap. They plan to manipulate Alice, who has received good education in France, but also has had her leg amputated. They have decided to use Alice’s intelligence and artistic nature to gain control over the country by means of art: silent filmd. While trying to escape the clutches of her decadent “friends”, Alice meets Latvian cinema enthusiasts who have been working on their own silent film. Spending time in their company, she learns to edit films and starts to work on her own experimental film.

    “It’s a very intensive film, combining different styles and genres, and most of all it is a vivid story about a woman’s empowerment and a story of self discovery and rebirth by means of creativity”, said Signe Birkova.

    The film is produced by Dominiks Jarmakovics and Roberts Vinovskis through Studio Locomotive with a budget of 850,000 EUR.

    The foreseen release date is the autumn of 2023.