FNE at Cannes IFF 2011: Lithuanians make Cannes debut


    CANNES: Lithuania has made its Cannes IFF debut with its first-ever market stand organized by the newly restructured Lithuanian Independent Producers Association. The stand provided an umbrella for 18 Lithuanian producers in Cannes and a number of festival directors and other Lithuanian industry professionals.

    Lithuania has shared a stand with its Baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia in Cannes for a number of years and while Rasa Miskinyte, the new head of the association, said she approved of the concept of Baltic cooperation, the lack of a film institution in Lithuania made this cooperation difficult.

    "In Estonia they have the Estonian Film Foundation (http://www.efsa.ee/) and in Latvia the National Film Center (http://www.nfc.lv/) but in Lithuania it was our Ministry of Culture that represented our filmmakers."

    One of the first tasks of the newly revitalized association according to Miskinyte will be to lobby the Lithuanian government to pass a new film law that would create a film institution similar to Estonia and Latvia.

    Lithuanian producer and Era Film (http://www.reafilm.lt/) helmer Miskinyte was elected head of the association (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at the end of last year. She said: "The association now has 38 members and a team of very active people. We now plan to cooperate with other producers associations and international organizations. We want to lobby for tax incentives to attract foreign productions. A new film law that would create an institution similar to Latvia and Estonia is already prepared, now we just have to lobby our government to get it approved."

    Miskinyte and Lineta Miseikyte of Baltic Film Services (http://www.bfs.eu.com/) spearheaded the organisation of the stand: Miskinyte said the stand was an important first step in putting Lithuania on the back on the map for film production. She said: "Having our own stand has enabled Lithuanian producers to come here and have their own space. We are here working for ourselves and for the country. Our Lithuanian producers appeared here as professionals that have projects and have ideas. We were also able to invite foreign producers to shoot in Lithuania and participate in coproductions."

    Miskinyte said that in previous years there were rarely more than two or three Lithuanian producers in Cannes. Another important step was becoming a member of the FNE (http://www.filmneweurope.com/) Green Club.