The “Silver Crane” ( “Sidabrinė gervė”) awards are the most important cinematic event in Lithuania when the most outstanding achievements of recent years are recognized. With this year’s ceremony, scheduled for June 9th, fast approaching, the Vilnius Film Office tells you more about this important event.

The first “Silver Crane” award ceremony took place in 2008 at the Lithuanian National Drama Theater. In 15 years, more than a hundred Lithuanian filmmakers have already been honored for their work.

“The “Silver Crane” Film Awards, just like the national film awards of other countries, have an underlying mission to pay respect to the best filmmakers, their films, and creative teams that contributed to the most significant works of the past year. Of course, the organizational structures of each country and each award differ, both in terms of the number of nominations and the selection or voting process,” says Darius Vaitiekūnas, director of the Audiovisual Copyright Association AVAKA.

“It is important to note that the “Silver Crane” awards have gone through various stages and transformations over the past 15 years; however, we can certainly be happy that a stable organizational structure has evolved over the past three years. We have two organizers, the association AVAKA and the Lithuanian Film Centre; besides, we also have an actively involved film community, which helps us to put together the Selection and Voting Panels,” Vaitiekūnas adds.

The director of the Lithuanian Film Centre, Laimonas Ubavičius, also emphasizes the importance of film community involvement. “The Silver Crane” national film awards are similar to awards held in other countries, especially in the neighboring Latvia and Estonia. What makes our event special is the involvement of the entire film industry, which takes part in evaluating the most important film achievements and making decisions, thus allowing the members of this community to compare and choose the best works of the year,” Ubavičius says.

Laimonas Ubavičius and Darius Vaitiekūnas | Photo by Justinas Auškelis

Every year, filmmakers are invited to submit national film applications. The applications are reviewed and evaluated, and the nomination shortlist is compiled by a selection panel, which includes film artists, professional film critics and researchers, producers, actors, and film distributors. It is the selection panel that awards the Lifetime Achievement Award “Golden Crane” and the Award for Dissemination of Cinema Culture.

After the nominees are announced, the second round of voting begins, when the winners in each nomination are selected by a voting committee made up of professionals from the Lithuanian film industry. The committee includes delegates from various filmmakers’ unions and organizations, natural persons active in the cinema industry who have submitted applications, and “Silver Crane” winners of previous years. This year, 19 “Silver Crane” statuettes and 3 special awards will be distributed.

According to the organizers, during the preparation for the film awards, various challenges arise.

“The “Silver Crane” awards are a complex, big-scale project that takes a good half a year to organize and requires a lot of human and financial costs. We must ensure full technical support, give committees access to the submitted films, and ensure voting impartiality and secrecy. About 100 professionals from various fields work at the award ceremony itself. We believe that these awards are significant for the entire Lithuanian film community, and we are very happy to be able to put together this celebration for filmmakers and the audience,” Vaitiekūnas says.

The national film awards usually greet the attendants with slogans inspired by the most famous Lithuanian artists. Various artists donate their works to the event, and those graphic artworks and paintings also set the tone for further visual decisions of the awards. Previously, the artists Algis Krisčiūnas and Gediminas Šiaulys dedicated their works to the “Silver Crane” awards, and this year Stasys Eidrigevičius painted a painting especially for the ceremony. His work inspired the theme of the latest ceremony, “Open your eyes to cinema.”.

Painting of Stasys Eidrigevičius

“In recent years, Lithuanian cinema has been seeing a lot of new young voices and the increased publicity of Lithuanian movies. At the Cannes Film Festival, which ended last week, the Lithuanian film “Ootidė”, made by the young director Eglė Razumaitė, participated in the short film competition program. Besides, the short film “Praeis” by director Dovydas Drakšas was included in the “La Cinef” program, dedicated to the works of film school students. Also, over the past year, it has been extremely gratifying to observe the rise and engagement of female directors and producers in the Lithuanian film industry”, – Laimonas Ubavičius, Director of the Lithuanian Film Centre, comments.

The award ceremony will be held on June 9th in the LVSO concert hall. The national film awards “Silver Crane” are organized by the association AVAKA in collaboration with the Lithuanian Film Center.

The live broadcast of the Red Carpet will be held from 6 p.m. on the website and the LRT PLUS channel. The awards ceremony will be broadcast from 7 pm to 10 pm on LRT TV channel and

Related Posts