In spring 2012 Lithuanian film-makers and six production studios (Kinema, Tremora, Nominum, Uljanos Kim studija, Just a Moment, Ūkų studija) established an informal society Auteur Cinema Alliance (ACA). Active filmmakers and producers Algimantas Puipa, Gytis Lukšas, Kristijonas Vildžiūnas, Kristina Buožytė, Ignas Miškinis, Uljana Kim, Oksana Buraja, Giedrė Žickytė, Ieva Norvilienė, Janina Lapinskaitė, Mantas Kvedaravičius, Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė, Saulius Drunga, Jurga Dikčiuvienė, laureates of the National Culture and Arts Prize Arūnas Matelis, Audrius Stonys, Šarūnas Bartas use the Alliance to attract the attention of people who care about the country’s culture to auteur cinema as an important part of the national culture.
ACA is open to all filmmakers who seek that the country’s cinema interacts with the cinema goers on important things in an interesting and appealing way.
The cinematographers who have joined the Alliance underline that first and foremost, cinema forms a part of the national culture and identity. The creators who belong to the Alliance believe that the strength of the Lithuanian cinema and the thing which determines its distinctive character lie in fostering the tradition of auteur cinema that finds a huge response in the countless number of international festivals, fora and cultural events.
“Lithuania is on the World cinema map thanks to the films created by talented filmmakers,”
A comparison of the modest Lithuanian film production output with that of the developed cinema countries demonstrates an impressive achievement of the Auteur Cinema Alliance creators – they are regular participants of the world’s major Class A festivals in Berlin, Venice, Karlovy Vary, Moscow and Amsterdam; films by members of the Alliance were screened at the most prestigious International Cannes Film Festival on as many as six occasions.
Films by members of the Alliance were awarded more than eighty major international film prizes, including the award of the European Film Academy for the best documentary of the year to Audrius Stonys’ film Earth of the Blind (Neregių žemė) and the prize of Directors Guild of America to Arūnas Matelis’ film Before Flying Back to Earth (Prieš parskrendant į Žemę).
One of the principal objectives of the Alliance is the widest possible dissemination of Lithuanian films at home and abroad, therefore annual ACA prizes for international and domestic dissemination of auteur cinema are handed out since 2012. Competition for the prizes is open to all players of the Lithuanian film industry continuously working to ensure that good cinema finds its audience.
Achievements on the home turf are particularly important for directors – National Silver Crane (Sidabrinė gervė) awards to films The Collectress (Kolekcionierė), Eastern Drift (Eurazijos aborigenas), Baras, Low Lights (Artimos šviesos), Back to Your Arms (Kai apkabinsiu tave), etc. Many members of the Alliance are winners of the prize of the Lithuanian Filmmakers Union that is held in very high regard by professionals. Thanks to TV channels, film museums and cinemas, dozens of films by members of the Alliance have reached millions of viewers worldwide; retrospectives of Š.Bartas’ films have been touring world cinema fora non-stop for 20 years, every new film by A.Puipa attracts tens of thousands of faithful cinema-goers in Lithuania; 40 thousand copies of DVDs of A.Matelis’ film Before Flying Back to Earth (Prieš parskrendant į Žemę) sold in Lithuania alone, while 10 million people saw the film of TV channels worldwide.
During the period of more than 10 years, members of the Alliance have attracted more than LTL 25 million of foreign investments to the production of Lithuanian films; this serves to demonstrate the entrepreneurship of the creators and their ability to operate in the harsh conditions of today’s filmmaking.