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 weekend, STRESS & RELEASE, will showcase three Baltic thrillers: Pretenders (Teesklejad, dir: Vallo Toomla, Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania, 2016); Foam at the Mouth (Ar putām uz lūpām, dir: Jānis Nords, Latvia/Poland/Lithuania, 2017); and Invisible (Nematoma, dir: Ignas Jonynas, Lithuania/Latvia/Ukraine/Spain, 2019).
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.
LAUGH & CRY: BALTIC COMEDIES
Chasing Unicorns (Ükssarvik, dir: Rain Rannu, Estonia, 2019)
Nearby (Blakus, dir: Alise Zariņa, Latvia, 2019)
The Castle (Pilis, dir: Lina Lužytė, Lithuania/Ireland, 2019)
STRESS & RELEASE: BALTIC THRILLERS
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)
LOOKING INWARD & FORWARD: BALTIC SHOWCASE
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)
ABOUT THE FILMS
Anna and Juhan are a couple in their early thirties. After a personal crisis, they decide to take some time off and borrow a friend’s summer house by the sea. What should be a great opportunity for the couple to relax and reconnect instead makes them increasingly resentful as their confined intimacy becomes oppressive. Matters are further complicated when they invite another couple, Erik and Triin, to stay with them after a storm destroys their tent. Over dinner, more and more similarities between the two couples come to the forefront. Not liking what she sees, Anna decides to distract herself by pretending she’s the owner of the house. As they move deeper into this deceptive game, real arguments erupt and both couples finally go a step too far. As the storm rages outside and their guests refuse to leave, Anna and Juhan find themselves cornered. Pretenders is director Vallo Toomla’s first film and premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2016. (2016, Estonia / Latvia / Lithuania. In Estonian with English Subtitles) 102 min.
Foam at the Mouth /Ar putām uz lūpām
Two years after losing his leg in a car accident, former policeman Didzis spends most of his time training his three beloved police dogs: Gina, Boss and Dargo. Frustrated, his estranged wife Jana, a doctor at the local sports school, embarks upon a risky affair with one of her students. After one of their secret nighttime rendezvous, Jana hits a rabid wild boar and unwittingly spreads the virus to Didzis’ three dogs. The accident unleashes a series of events in which Didzis’ suspicions and jealousy make him blind to the dogs’ increasing aggression. As the three three members of this toxic love triangle begin to circle one another, the dogs break free and begin to terrorize the town. Love mixes with fear as Didzis decides to take matters into his own hands. Foam at the Mouth is the thrilling third film of director Jānis Nords (Amateur and Mother, I Love You, NYBFF 2018 ). (2017 Latvia / Poland / Lithuania. In Latvian and Russian with English subtitles) 85 min.
After spending 10 years in isolation in the Carpathian mountains, former dancer Jonas decides to re-join society and pretends to be blind in order to enter a televised dance competition. He is paired with Saulė, and they become the show’s most popular dancers. At the same time another man, Vytas, who has also spent 10 years in isolation is released from prison for murdering his wife, Marija. Past events will not let either of them go as the two men’s stories intertwine and they come ever closer to a violent confrontation with the past. Vytas struggles with the ultimate question – whether to seek revenge, or forgiveness. Invisible is a visually taught and masterfully edited film that knows how to make every beat count. After its world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2019, Invisible has played at multiple festivals across Europe, including the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. (2019, Lithuania /Latvia / Ukraine / Spain. In Lithuanian and Ukrainian with English subtitles) 102 min.