The Fourth Annual New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) presented by Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America returns in 2021 as a hybrid festival with both in-person and virtual screenings on November 3-14! From November 3 through 7, 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 3-14.
On November 6, see Tree Opera (Koku Opera, dir. Mārtiņš Grauds, Latvia, 2020, Documentary). A primeval Finnish forest may not seem an obvious site for an opera. But if nature is part of your performance and the singers are trees personified — as in the unique open-air drama Tree Opera, which premiered in 2019 in the Kainuu region of Finland — the decision is actually quite organic! Mārtiņš Grauds’ documentary follows a group of contemporary and boundary-pushing Latvian architects, artists and costume designers who traveled to Finland and trekked deep into the forest to help composer Anna Ķirse’s biodegradable vision come to life.
As their thought and care instaging the opera culminates in a beautiful performance, the work highlights the importance of protecting these ancient forests. After the final note is sung, and after the last spectator leaves, the decomposing architecture and scenography become a part of the Mustarinda nature trail.
Tickets to this event must be purchased in advance online at the link above; film screenings will take place in Victor Borge Hall. All attendees are required to present proof of vaccination upon arrival in compliance with New York State government; read more here. Attendees are required to follow all Scandinavia House safety protocols, including wearing masks during the program and observing social distancing rules in signage. Please read our full safety protocols here.
Virtual screenings of this film will take place from November 7-14. To read more and purchase virtual passes, please click here.
About the Director
Marta Pulk (b. 1988) received her MA in filmmaking from the Baltic Film and Media School. Pulk’s films have a strong visual signature and display a relentless interest in the human spirit and what it is that makes us fight, and often have a strong social theme at their core.
Pulk’s short films have screened at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Zagrebdox, Doc Buenos Aires, Bogoshorts, Queens World Film Festival. In 2018, her film VIDA ALEGRE, which was shot in the Peruvian Amazon under the mentorship of Werner Herzog, was chosen for distribution by Black Factory Cinema. A YEAR FULL OF DRAMA (2019) is her first documentary feature.
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 Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations 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, LV-100, Printful, PBLA Culture Fund and the Lithuanian Foundation and the Embassy of Latvia in Washington DC.