The Jonas Valančiūnas Story

ŠALFASS-LAUNA will present the World Premier of “JONAS” – the Jonas Valančiūnas documentary and special appearance to the Lithuanian Community on Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Resurrection Parish Hall (1 Resurrection Rd. in Etobicoke). Doors open at 7 pm for complimentary appetizers and cash bar. The film starts at 8 pm, to by followed by a Q&A with Jonas Valančiūnas himself and director Martynas Starkus. See the trailer at:

Entrance is complimentary, but tickets are required. Order (max. 6 per person) at: Organizers warn that the Eventbrite website has been having some technical difficulties, so keep checking it to get your tickets.

Martynas Starkus worked on the film “JONAS” for four years. It is the story of one of the brightest stars of Lithuanian basketball, showing Jonas Valančiūnas as a professional athlete and as a family man.

The film begins in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, bringing sports to a halt and returning Jonas to his family. Jonas spends quality time with his family at his country home and goes hunting, but keeps up with basketball. As you watch him take his children to school or play basketball with them, you see the warmth of his love for his family, and his priorities.

The film is also about his career with the NBA, from the early days to his painful departure from the Toronto Raptors.

His move to another team and its later success winning an NBA Championship is sure to excite viewers while showing how the career of a professional athlete can hold many surprises, and often – not necessarily pleasant ones. The film clearly shows Jonas’ efforts in maintaining his position and using his talents to the maximum as a member of the Memphis and New Orleans teams, as well as his unbreakable spirit and love for the sport.

One of the film’s themes is the meaning and value of an athlete’s career. Are the great wins the most imporant? Is a career successful even if you don’t reach the top? “JONAS” invites viewers to think about these questions, remembering that the journey is more important than the final goal. A warm, sensitive, funny, and at times dramatic story about a family and career inextricably intertwined, and the development of a unique personality.