Baltic Shorts Residency announces selection results for its third edition


Juri Krutii (Estonia), Akvilė Gelažiūtė (Lithuania) and Žanete Skarule (Latvia) are the filmmakers chosen for the script development residency to take place from 1-20 June

The Baltic Short Residency has announced the three successful filmmakers / scriptwriters from the Baltic States who will take part in its third edition. The filmmakers and their projects were chosen from over 30 applications.

The Baltic Shorts Residency is a short film script development program dedicated to filmmakers from the Baltic countries who want to undertake an intense writing process whilst receiving professional consultation with a view to producing a fully finished script of the short film. Three selected participants will have online script consultations with creative advisor Wim Vanacker who works in the Selection Committee for the Official Short Film Competition of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as working as a script consultant, tutor and guest speaker at different international film industry events.

The selected participants are Lithuanian film director Akvilė Gelažiūtė with the project 2.2 Atmospheres or Medium Pressure, Estonian director and scriptwriter Juri Krutii with Side Hesitation and Latvian filmmaker Žanete Skarule with the project Big Loop – Small Loop. Each will develop their scripts over a three weeks period, between 1-20 June, in the Lithuanian town of Kintai. The Residency is organised by Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts”.

Lithuanian fiction and documentary film director Akvilė Gelažiūtė’s 2.2 Atmospheres or Medium Pressure revolves around the main protagonist Gabija and the fact that she and her boyfriend can’t decide whether to buy a male or female puppy. When the girl is suddenly invited to return home because of the death of a distant relative, the journey starts to reveal why this choice is so difficult to make.

Gelažiūtė is a doctoral student of Film Directing at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy. Her feature documentary Deminas: The Two Towers (2015) won a Silver Crane at the Lithuania National Film Awards for Best Student Movie. She is working as a lecturer of Media Production in VilniusTech University and doing artistic research on the topic “Absurd Humor Strategies in Cinema”.

Short fiction Side Hesitation, from emerging Estonian film director and scriptwriter Juri Krutii, is named after an unnoticeable yet complex move used in that staple of ballroom dancing, The Waltz. The story follows young teen Madis and his struggle with jealousy and his own sexual awakening in the setting of competitive ballroom dancing. As his confusion escalates, he finds himself cornered and makes decisions that put everything he loves on the line.

Krutii’s film background takes root in film studies and has developed in practice resulting with an MFA in writing/directing from Screen Academy of Scotland as well as his well-received debut short Eudaimonia (2018). Heavily influenced by theory and cinema of immersion, Juri strives to create culturally relevant and visually compelling work.

Latvian filmmaker Žanete Skarule’s Big Loop – Small Loop is a sensitive story about freshman architecture student Pauls who discovers feelings for Kalns, his professor. But within the confines of 1970s Soviet Union, the relationship will be a complicated one.

Over the years, Skarule has worked in film production in New York and Los Angeles, where she also graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with an MFA in film directing. She works with different genres and techniques – fiction, documentary, experimental, and installation – using both analog and digital mediums. Her debut award-winning documentary Flying Monks Temple (2017) tells a story of a utopian architectural object created for flying performances at the top of sacred Songshan mountain in China. Besides filmmaking, Žanete is involved in art and film curation.

The Baltic Shorts Residency is organised by Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts”, supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture. Partners: Estonian Short Film Centre, PÖFF Shorts | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Riga International Film Festival, Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, Kintai Arts Residence.