Films past

Motherland With Baltic Way New York Baltic Film Festival Opening Night


THU—November 7—6:30 PM
Passholders only
Festival Pass $110 ($80 ASF Members)

The 2019 New York Baltic Film Festival opens 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 after it becomes independent, following a short screening of Baltic Way.

Baltic Way /Balti tee
10 min. In Estonian with English subtitles.

Screening with Motherland, director Ants Vill’s short film presents newsreel footage of the Baltic Way from 1989.

96 min. In Lithuanian, Russian and English with English subtitles.

Shortly after the fall of the USSR, 12-year-old Kovas travels with his mother Viktorija to her homeland of Lithuania for the first time. Twenty years after she escaped the Soviet-occupied country for the United States, she has now returned to reclaim her beloved family estate, with the help of her old flame Romas, who escorts them into the countryside. Even though he speaks the language, everything is new for Kovas; having been raised with the stories of his mother, his observations of the country show a different side to nostalgia and longing, of belonging and trying to fit in. When they finally arrive at their long-awaited destination on Viktorija’s family’s land, only to find a run-down house occupied by an impoverished Russian family, they must reconsider what it really means to come home. Directed by Tomas Vengris (Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Greece, 2019) 

The screening will be followed by a reception. This event is open only to festival pass holders and invited guests; Motherland will be re-screened on Sunday, November 10 at 6:45 PM.

About the Director

Tomas Vengris studied at Columbia University and is a graduate of the Vilnius Academy of Arts and the American Film Institute Conservatory. His short films include Squirrel (2014), Kalifornija (2013), For Abigail, Love Benjamin (2012). From 2009 to 2016, Vengris has worked as an editor and assistant editor on several films and TV productions, including collaborations on the films of Kelly Reichardt, Terrence Malick and others.



Festivals and Awards:
Busan International Film Festival (World Premiere)

2019 New York Baltic Film Festival

ASF is pleased to co-present the second New York Baltic Film Festival at Scandinavia House with motion pictures from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This year’s programming encompasses the theme of togetherness: on a personal level as well as in relationships and family history, and through the cooperation of various Baltic co-productions. It also shines through in films attempting to incorporate difficult or previously untold stories into contemporary national consciousness.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way — when over 2 million people stood together in human chain linking the 3 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. As a chain is made up of links, so a nation is made up of stories.


The 2019 New York Baltic Film Festival is presented by Scandinavia House and organized by the Consulate General of Estonia, Consulate General of Lithuania and Consulate of Latvia in New York. Programming is supported by the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, and Lithuanian Film Center. Funding for the festival is courtesy of the governments of the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and by the generous donations of members of the Baltic community in New York. Additional support to the festival is provided by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, and the American Scandinavian Foundation.


Munch Cinema at Scandinavia House