The Fifth Annual New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) presented by Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America returns in 2022 as a hybrid festival with both in-person and virtual screenings on November 2-13! From November 2 through 6, in-person screenings and events will take place at Scandinavia House in New York, presented in accordance with new COVID-19 safety guidance and protocols. Following the success of last year’s festival, the online version will once again be available to viewers all across the U.S. via the Elevent streaming platform November 4-13.
On November 6, see Mariupolis 2 (dir. Mantas Kvedaravičius, Lithuania/France/Germany 2022, Documentary). Mariupolis 2 is the fourth and final film by the late Mantas Kvedaravičius, who returned to the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol earlier this year to follow his 2016 film documenting life there under attack. Embedded with people sheltering in the basement of a church, Kvedaravičius filmed uncensored everyday life accompanied by constant shelling and the unrelenting noise of war outside. We see people sweeping the yard, smoking, praying, and crying all the while, with the Azovstal iron and steel works — where brutal fighting continued until the bitter end of the city’s collapse — looming in the distance.
Mariupolis 2 is about human resilience under unimaginable adversity. After the director’s untimely, brutal death during the making of the film, his fiancé Hanna Bilobrova managed to escape with the footage and his producers and collaborators have worked tirelessly to continue spreading his work, his vision, and his films.
Mariupolis 2 had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
A statement on the film from Hanna Bilobrova, Mantas Kvedaravičius’s fiancé, collaborator, and creative partner: “Do you know what the most incredible thing was about Mariupol? No one feared death, even if people thought they did. Death was already there, and everyone wanted to die valuable. People would help each other, even if it meant risking their lives. People would smoke outside and chat, even if the bombs were falling. Money ceased to exist (and life was too short to recall), and everyone was happy with what they had, becoming a better version of themselves. There was no past, future, judgment, or talk between the lines! That was heaven in hell. That was the delicate butterfly wings touching closer. That was the smell of the naked value of death. That was the life there.”
The director’s first film about the city, Mariupolis, is available to screen online for the duration of the festival.
This film will only be offered as an in-person screening. Tickets to this event must be purchased in advance online at the link above; film screenings will take place in Victor Borge Hall.
About the Director
Mantas Kvedaravičius (1976-2022) was a Lithuanian-born filmmaker with a degree in social anthropology from Cambridge University. His first documentary film, Barzakh was selected to screen at numerous festivals and won several awards, including the Amnesty International Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Berlinale in 2011. His following two films, Mariupolis (2016) and Parthenon (2019) were selected to screen at Berlinale and the Venice International Critics’ Week, respectively.
Kvedaravičius was captured and killed by Russian forces in the end of March, 2022 in Mariupol while documenting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
About the NYBFF
Established in 2018, the New York Baltic Film Festival is presented and organized by Scandinavia House in collaboration with the Consulate General of Estonia, Consulate General of Lithuania, and Daris Delins, former Honorary Consul for Latvia in New York and founder of the festival.
Financial support for the festival comes from the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, Lithuanian Film Center, and the Edhard Corporation with additional sponsorship by the Estonian American National Council, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Lithuanian Foundation, Consulate General of Estonia in New York, Embassy of Latvia in Washington D.C., Permanent Mission of Latvia to the U.N. in New York, Consulate General of Lithuania in New York, American Latvian Association, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the PBLA Culture Fund, and Sondra Litvaitytė.