Baltic Shorts Residency - 2023

Kristijonas Dirse (Lithuania)

This year during Baltic Shorts Residency Lithuania will be represented by the audiovisual artist, filmmaker and photographer Kristijonas Dirsė, who will be working on his new short film project OUT. It is a dark and funny Christmas tale about a closeted gay man who becomes invisible the moment he wants to come out to his family. He wanders as a ghost in a world where he never existed. The only person able to see him is his scary Aunt Olga, who might be the key to his confession. Dirsė studied a BA in Film and Music at Brunel University (London) where he worked on interdisciplinary art projects and festivals with students and lecturers. A psychogeography module taught there by the British novelist and intellectual Will Self had a great influence on his work and exploring the city as a character was the basis of imagery for his multimedia performance “This Order Goes Wrong”. In 2014 he moved to Paris, where he worked as a director and editor, along with completing a master’s in Film Directing at Université Paris 8. After 10 years abroad he returned to Vilnius and is finishing his first Lithuanian short film Reminiscence, which was presented at Baltic Pitching Forum 2021.

Project developed in BSR2023:

“OUT” (work-in-progress)
fiction, 20′, Lithuania

A dark yet funny Christmas tale about a closeted gay man, who becomes invisible during a family dinner. He wanders as a ghost in the world where he never existed and encounters his homophobic double – the only person who can see him.

Monta Gagane (Latvia)

Latvian scriptwriter and an upcoming film director Monta Gāganewill join the residency with her new drama/comedy Ainas which tells the story of a young woman going on a trip with boyfriend and his family. Not long after she understands that in order to overcome loneliness, she must walk away from her most romantic and seemingly successful relationship.

Monta Gāgane obtained a BA degree in Philosophy at the University of Latvia and a MA degree in Audio-visual arts: Movie Directing and Producing at the Latvian Academy of Culture. She has also finished practical and theoretical courses in analogue and contemporary photography. She is a co-writer of the 2020 Latvian feature film The Pit which earned numerous plaudits at home and abroad.

Project developed in BSR2023:

“Ainas” (work-in-progress)
fiction, 25′, Latvia

Short film “AINAS” is a road trip dramedy. HERTA (25) seeks her fulfillment in other people’s recognition and love. That’s why she has jumped head-first into a relationship with a seemingly loving guy HERMANIS (29).
The name day of the grandmother of Hermanis has arrived. The couple, together with Hermani’s grandmother AINA (81) and mother DZIDRA (56), are going on a weekend trip and it is the first time they meet. The journey starts cheerfully, but all activities on it involve a large amount of alcohol. It leads the company to various amusing and questionable situations that make Herta ask herself again and again – what is she ready for just to be liked by her boyfriend and his family.


Ernesto Redondo Vergara (Estonia)

The third BSR participant is Spanish born director and computer animator Ernesto Redondo Vergara who has been living in Estonia for more than 10 years. The short fiction film Augmented Dissonance is a dystopian story that touches upon topics such as social immigration that revolves around a xenophobic man who discovers his true self.

Vergara has studied in Spain, Cuba and Estonia and has graduated in Audio Visual Media at Tallinn’s Baltic Film School. He has directed three short fiction films including 2022’s Feetless Shoes which is currently travelling the festival circuit.

Project developed in BSR2023:

“Augmented Dissonance” (work-in-progress)
fiction, 15-16′, Estonia, Spain

Ayo is an Ice cream seller who works on a beach where he is guarding his selling area from the immigrants who endanger his business. He uses a strange sunscreen that protects him from the sun, but also hides Ayo’s biggest delusion: He is actually an immigrant who despises his own color of skin and converts in hostile everything that reminds him where he came from. Everything gets threatened when he meets Pawa, another immigrant, who insists on irritating him. Thanks to Pawa, Ayo will accept his real self.