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The Second Annual New York Baltic Film Festival

The Second Annual New York Baltic Film Festival

November 7 — November 10

New York, NY — The 2019 New York Baltic Film Festival returns to NYC with screenings over a four-day period from November 7 through November 10, 2019 at Scandinavia House.

This year, the festival will feature 21 films, including 12 full-length films and 9 shorts, with six North American Premieres, six New York Premieres, and one U.S. Premiere.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way — when over two million people stood together in human chain linking the three capitals of Talllinn, Riga and Vilnius to peacefully call for their independence from the Soviet Union — this year’s festival aims to highlight the diversity of stories that make up the Baltic States. 

The festival will open with the NYC premiere of Motherland (Tomas Vengris, 2019), which follows the journey of 12-year-old Kovas and his mother Viktorija as they return to her homeland of Lithuania shortly after the fall of the USSR, following by a screening of the Estonian short film Baltic Way.

Programming continues films exploring the theme of togetherness, on a personal level as well as in relationships and family history, including in narratives such as the NYC premiere of The Little Comrade (Estonia), about a young girl struggling to understand to make sense of society when her mother is sent to a prison camp; the NYC premiere of Paradise ’89 (Latvia), which follows the summer countryside holiday of four young girls in the turbulent era of the Baltic Way; the U.S. premiere of Summer Survivors (Lithuania), in which an ambitious young psychiatrist and two patients set off on an unusual road trip; the animated film Jacob, Mimmi & The Talking Dogs, in which two young cousins must subvert a greedy neighborhood developer; and the compassionate and thought-provoking Take It or Leave It (Estonia), about a young Estonian man at a crossroads when he is unexpectedly thrust into single parenthood.

Films also include documentaries such as Ieva Ozolina’s deeply personal My Father the Banker (Latvia); Roots, a collection of short films by well-known Estonian female directors; a documentary about the famed Lithuanian bar Suokalbis in Anthology of the Plot; and observational documentaries about relationship between humans and animals in the NYC premiere of Animus Animalis (Lithuania) or in Laila Pakalnin’s ode to the lowly plastic spoon in Spoon (Latvia). The festival also includes films exploring events around the time of the Baltic Way such as Pank, about the rise of one of the most successful banks in the Baltic States just after the collapse of the Soviet Union; and about the Baltic Way itself, in the documentary The Baltic Freedom Way, which chronicles the history of Baltic cooperation, as well as in short documentaries from each of the three countries. 

Film directors, producers, and special guests will be present in person at a number of the premieres to participate in a Q&A after the screenings, including:

Tomas Vengris, director of Motherland

Paul Aguraiuja, producer of Pank

Artūras Jevdokimovas, director of Anthology of the Plot

Moonika Siimets, director of The Little Comrade

Giedre Burokaitė, producer of Animus Animalis

Marija Kavtaradze, director of Summer Survivor

Laila Pakalniņa, director of Spoon

Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo, director of Take It or Leave It

See Also

All screenings will take place at:

NEW YORK, NY 10016

The 2019 New York Baltic Film Festival sponsors and publicity partners: Consulate General of Estonia in New York, Consulate General of Lithuania in New York, Consulate of Latvia in New York, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, Lithuanian Culture Institute. The Estonian Film Institute, Lithuanian Film Center, National Film Center of Latvia. The American Scandinavian Foundation, and Scandinavia House.

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