The 17th Vilnius Short Film Festival


The 17th edition of the Vilnius Short Film Festival opened on January 17. Until January 23, film buffs were treated to over a hundred inspiring and moving short films at theatres in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai, as well as on ŽMONĖS Cinema home cinema platform, accompanied by numerous related events.

Rimantė Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė, Head of the Vilnius Short Film Festival noted that this year there were more films on offer than ever before, different in themes, genres and geography, yet similar in relevance or aspirations. Special attention was paid to increasing the accessibility for the festival – viewers in all the cities were able to watch the National Competition programs not only with conventional subtitles but also with additional SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. The screenings for the National Competition at MO Museum in Vilnius were supplemented by audio descriptions for the audiences with sight loss. The Q&A sessions with filmmakers following these screenings were translated into Lithuanian sign language.

As every year, the festival’s competitions were assessed by an international jury, which selected the best films in both International and National Competitions. One film received the Film Critics’ Special Mention, and another – the festival’s Grand Prix.

The event included workshops for children, meetings and conversations with filmmakers, Karaoke Night and a Silent Disco. The Festival also presented events for the audiovisual industry. This year’s Industry Days took place on January 18-19 at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library and “Meno avilys” Cinemateque, when guests were invited to talk about young audience development, film criticism and cinematic storytelling.

The festival’s annual crowd-pleaser, Short Film Night, took place in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, and Šiauliai on January 19 only. Its generous five-hour programme contained twenty films. As the longest program of the festival, it presented not only a nighttime adventure but also a great way to see a large portion of the festival films in one event.

On January 21, the MO Museum, the festival’s most accessible venue for disabled persons, showcased both of the festival’s National Competition program, featuring the contenders for the Best Lithuanian Short Film.

The festival invited the youngest film lovers to learn from cinema and attend workshops in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, and Šiauliai. The workshops are oriented to curious 6–10-year-olds interested in animation.
“The gem of the repertoire, Algorithmic Mirages is a showcase of films made by, or with the help of, artificial intelligence. It will take us on a puzzling tour of synthetic films made using AI tools,” the organizers Rimantė Daugėlaitė-Cegelskienė and Gabrielė Cegialytė said in a press release.