Baltic View

Published: March 12, 2017

Baltic View is a new project that aims to get films from the Baltics—both documentary and feature—to a wider audience. The project currently consists of 12 films uploaded on the video-sharing site Vimeo. In the founders’ own words, the project “is a pioneering international project presenting films from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia under one cinema flag.”

As of this posting, there are 12 full-length films on the site, with plans to add one new one every week. Several notable films currently on the site include documentaries about Latvian and Lithuanian artists (Klucis: The Deconstruction of an Artist and About Jonas, respectively—titles in English); The Bug Trainer, considered one of the first puppet-animation films of all times; a number of documentaries about important recent moments in the political history of all three Baltic states; and a documentary, Land of Soul, about the first Estonian-built church in the US. There are also a few shorter films. All appear to either be in English or have English subtitles, and have rental fees varying from $1 to $4 or so.

One of the bigger-name films on the site deserves particular mention: How We Played the Revolution (Kaip mes žaidėme revoliuciją), a Lithuanian documentary that premiered in 2011. It tells the story of a group of friends who invent an imaginary rock band in 1984, on the verge of perestroika, and ultimately create a fervor that leads to the Singing Revolution that marked the beginning of the Baltics’ fight for independence from the USSR. The film has won several awards and aired at film festivals all over the world.

The site skews more toward documentaries and Latvian and Lithuanian films, with fewer Estonian offerings, but, of course, it’s still early days. The project was begun by three Lithuanians who work in film: location manager and producer Inesa Ivanova, independent filmmaker (Kino Mind Films) Gabija Budreckytė, and producer and art director Daiva Ivanauskaitė.


Baltic View on Vimeo.


Baltic View

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

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