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New York Baltic Film Festival — Virtual Cinema: Weekend Three — Looking Inward & Forward

November 12, 2020November 15, 2020

THU—October 15 through SUN—October 18
Session pass (3 films) $25 ($22 ASF Members)
Festival pass $60 ($55 ASF Members)


The American-Scandinavian Foundation is pleased to present the third annual New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) as a virtual event taking place in three sessions: October 15-18, October 29-November 1, and November 12-15. This year, the festival will expand beyond New York to offer a selection of the most exciting and relevant Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian films to audiences across the U.S., to view in the comfort of their own homes. Through the screening of the latest productions in three sessions of Baltic Comedies, Baltic Thrillers, and a Baltic Showcase, the virtual festival offers an unprecedented opportunity to see the best in northern European film making.

This final weekend, LOOKING INWARD & FORWARD: BALTIC SHOWCASE, will spotlight the latest critically-acclaimed international festival favorites from the Baltic States, with Truth and Justice (Tõde ja õigus, dir: Tanel Toom, Estonia, 2019); Oleg (Oļegs, dir: Juris Kursietis, Latvia/Belgium/Lithuania/France, 2019); and  The Lawyer (Advokatas, dir: Romas Zabarauskas, Lithuania, 2020).

Festival films will be available to ticket holders all over the U.S., with one ticket giving the holder access to all films in a package. Each session is limited to 300 tickets in an effort to preserve the intimate and communal NYBFF experience. The sessions will take place over four days (Thursday — Sunday), and all films from the session will be available for viewing on a virtual cinema screening platform throughout this period. Festival sessions will be accompanied by live and interactive virtual filmmaker Q&As and discussion panels.

Established in 2018, the 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. Financial support for the festival comes from the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, and Lithuanian Film Center, with additional sponsorship by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, American Latvian Association and LV-100.



October 15-18

Chasing Unicorns (Ükssarvik, dir: Rain Rannu, Estonia, 2019)

Nearby (Blakus, dir: Alise Zariņa, Latvia, 2019)

The Castle (Pilis, dir: Lina Lužytė, Lithuania/Ireland, 2019)


October 29-November 1

Pretenders (Teesklejad, dir: Vallo Toomla, Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania, 2016)

Foam at the Mouth (Ar putām uz lūpām, dir: Jānis Nords, Latvia/Poland/Lithuania, 2017)

Invisible (Nematoma, dir: Ignas Jonynas, Lithuania/Latvia/Ukraine/Spain, 2019)


November 12-15

Truth and Justice (Tõde ja õigus, dir: Tanel Toom, Estonia, 2019)

Oleg (Oļegs, dir: Juris Kursietis, Latvia/Belgium/Lithuania/France, 2019)

The Lawyer (Advokatas, dir: Romas Zabarauskas, Lithuania, 2020)


Truth and Justice /Tõde ja õigus

Truth and Justice follows the young and hopeful Andres in late 19th-century Estonia, as he arrives with his wife Krõõt to establish a new life on Robber’s Rise, a farm he bought on loan. Initially ambitious about their plans to transform the desolate and neglected land and raise an heir, Andres and Krõõt are beset by challenges: nature refuses to bend to their will; an uncooperative neighbor becomes a vicious rival; and Krõõt gives birth to daughter after daughter instead of Andres’ longed-for son. As Andres struggles, his dream of nurturing a prosperous farm on Robber’s Rise turns into an obsession. And in his desperate search for truth and justice — from the court, to the tavern, to the Bible — he may end up sacrificing more than he had ever planned. In 2019, Truth and Justice was shortlisted for the International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards.  Directed by Tanel Toom (2019, Estonia. In Estonian with English subtitles) 146 min.

Oleg /Oļegs

Oleg is a young Russian-speaking butcher from Latvia who doesn’t have Latvian citizenship. With the desire of making more money, he sets his sights on Europe and eventually arrives in Brussels hoping to get a job at an abattoir. Alone in a new country, he is unjustly fired and unable to find new work when he falls in with a couple of Polish guest workers, tempted by their promises of construction work and a passport. Oleg soon comes to realize that he’s in over his head and finds himself in an increasingly claustrophobic position. Gritty and uncompromising, Oleg highlights the perilous situation that migrant workers and stateless citizens can quickly find themselves in as industrious criminals fill in the gaps in local social systems. Premiering at Directors’ Fortnight as part of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Oleg is director Juris Kursietis’ (Modris) second film.  (2019, Latvia / Belgium / Lithuania / France.  In English with some Russian, Polish, Latvian, French and Flemish with English Subtitles) 108 min.

The Lawyer /Advokatas

Life is slowly passing corporate lawyer Marius by and he spends most of his time at dinner parties and chasing young lovers. After the death of his estranged father, Marius finds himself looking for answers and finds himself developing a surprising connection with sex-cam worker Ali – a bisexual Syrian refugee stuck in Belgrade. Relieved at finally having something to focus on, Marius throws himself into helping Ali seek asylum in a more LGBTQ+-friendly country in Europe. Marius travels to Belgrade which deepens the mens’ connection and tests their internal and physical borders. What started as a distraction, has blossomed into a tricky love affair leading Marius to question his privilege and his priorities. The Lawyer is a unique Lithuanian drama that premiered at the 2020 BFI Flare Film Festival. Directed by Romas Zabarauskas, (2020 Lithuania.  In Lithuanian and English with English subtitles) 97 min.


November 12, 2020
November 15, 2020