Vilnius International Film Festival in Lithuania goes digital, in respect to the norms against the spread of coronavirus.

Due to the coronavirus emergency, the 25th Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris will move more than half of its programme online. Hence, Media representative Vaiva Zemkauskaitė stated that this will make the festival “the first digital festival in the country”.

CEO Algirdas Ramaška said that filmmakers and sales agents showed interest and support to the initiative of going online with the festival. Thus, the competition programmes will be watched by the juries online. However, the organisers hope to move back to cinemas soon with special screenings once the emergency is over. Some films need to be watched on the big screen. However, Ramaška is sending positive messages regarding the need to support each other and see the situation as a potential source of opportunity instead of a depressing time.

Furthermore, CEO also added that, in order to keep some crucial parts of the festival intact, they will organise the opening ceremony online. “We will still send out the invitations, inviting people to the opening ceremony in their own home, encouraging them to dress up and send us pictures”. This will be a way to “not lose the audience and allow them to see great films”, even from the comfort of their own homes.

Moreover, Ramaška wishes for others to use this time as an opportunity to rethink the pre-established festival model. Although “it is a hard time”, they will stick to their agreements and “keep on paying the salaries, while finding a way to sustain it”.