SAT—November 14—2 PM ET (11 AM PST)




In coordination with the final weekend of the New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) presented by Scandinavia House as a virtual event, join us for a Virtual Panel with five Baltic film professionals, “A Year in Film Through Baltic Eyes.”

Experiencing life and art in the U.S. and in the Baltic States has been different over the past year, as European restrictions on cultural production and in-person events have been more relaxed throughout the summer and fall. However, as everyone has learned to think on their feet, planning for uncertainty has become the norm. In this discussion, find out exactly how the Baltic film industries and viewers have dealt with unexpected challenges.

We’ll hear from five representatives offering a broad understanding of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian film industries — from an art house cinema to international filmmakers, from a festival to a national film center — to hear what trials, joys, and solutions this past year has brought, and how this has changed the industry and audiences!

Panelists include Rain Rannu (filmmaker, Chasing Unicorns, Estonia), Māris Prombergs (Director, cinema Kino Bize, Latvia), Paula Bērziņa (Head of Industry and Film Distribution, Riga International Film Festival, Latvia), Dovilė Butnoriūtė (Head of the Department of Film Promotion, Lithuanian Film Center, Lithuania), and Tomas Vengris (filmmaker, Motherland, U.S./Lithuania), moderated by NBFF Head of Promotion Marija Silk.

The event will take place as a Zoom webinar; register at the link above to watch the discussion.

The panel coincides with the final session of the New York Baltic Film Festival. Session passes to NYBFF: LOOKING INWARD & FORWARD are available here.

About the Panelists

Rain Rannu is an Estonian filmmaker, technology entrepreneur and investor. Chasing Unicorns is his second full-length narrative feature. He has previously written and directed the independent movie Chasing Ponies (Ameerika Suvi, 2016) and the Estonian narrative virtual-reality short film Beqaa VR (2018). Together with producer Tõnu Hiielaid, Rannu is one of the Founders of the indie movie company Tallifornia that focuses on fast-paced and fun author-driven movies for an international audience.

Māris Prombergs is a Co-founder and Director of the arthouse cinema Kino Bize in Riga in 2012. Besides its daily programming the cinema screens retrospectives, educational programs and special events. Kino Bize offers film programs to other movie theaters and venues in Latvia as well as organizes the Riga Pasaules Film Festival and Design Film Festival Latvia. Kino Bize is a member of Europa Cinemas and is one of the most recognized cinemas alongside the mainstream offer. Kino Bize has expanded the scope of activities becoming a film distributor in Latvia and providing an online Home Cinema platform.

Paula Bērziņa is the Head of Industry and Film Distribution at the Riga International Film Festival. This year she went through a process of not inviting guests to the physical festival and hosting all industry events online, gathering professionals, young filmmakers and students. In addition, by working with film distribution Bērziņa experienced the closing of cinema theaters and the rising popularity of VOD, which has not been as popular up until now in the Baltic States. She also works on various projects, programmes and film distribution in the arthouse cinema Kino Bize.

Dovilė Butnoriūtė is the Head of the Film Promotion Department at the Lithuanian Film Centre. She is currently in charge of Lithuanian film promotion and representation of the of Lithuanian film industry worldwide.

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. Motherland was Vengris’ feature directorial debut and was the opening night film at the 2019 New York Baltic Film Festival.

About the Moderator

Marija Silk is a Lithuanian-born, New York-based film publicist, promotion specialist and consultant with an international perspective and eight years of diverse marketing, distribution, social media and strategic partnership experience within the U.S. and European film industries. Silk has represented films at Sundance, TIFF, NYFF, Tribeca, DOC NYC and other film festivals. 

While at Susan Norget Film Promotion, she worked on publicity campaigns for Palme d’Or winners and Academy Award nominees Shoplifters and The Square, Academy Award nominees Minding the Gap and RBG, as well as Studio 54The Disappearance of My MotherThe Price of Everything and more, distributed by A24, Magnolia, HBO, Kino Lorber, IFC Films and others. Marija Silk has been working with the NY Baltic Film Festival since 2019.