Film financing in Lithuania: Loss marketing campaign

    With no state institutional funding, the Lithuanian producers of Loss decided that a multi-pronged promotional campaign was the only way to recover their investment on the 600,000 euro project.

    "We developed a long-term marketing strategy with the distributor Forum Cinemas," the film's marketing director Inga Jasulaityte told FNE at the Arsenals film festival in Riga, where the Loss was entered in the Baltic Film Competition. With partners in five branches of media, and with a p.r. build-up that spanned months, Loss opened with Lithuania's most successful box office results for a domestic film. And the premieres continued for two months, as the creative team travelled from town to smaller town across Lithuania.

    But even a national box-office success can't turn a profit in a small Baltic country. Debuting director Maris Martinsons created a novelization of the film, with a co-ordinated marketing campaign that landed it among the top ten best sellers. The film's soundtrack was another local draw, featuring a music video and rock star. The soundtrack was sold in a package with the DVD, further enhancing revenues.

    The realistic producers figure it may take another two years before they realize a profit. International sales are just getting underway, with Russia and Latvia already sold. The producers are still looking at potential buyers for world-wide rights, but say there's interest from the U.K., Ireland, and Canada. Meanwhile, Loss picked up two awards at the Shanghai film festival and is currently screening in the first North Korean film festival open to foreign films.