Annual intensive script development program will welcome filmmakers from all three Baltic countries to hone both their skills and their ideas
The Baltic Shorts Residency (BSR), the annual residency dedicated to helping filmmakers from the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia develop their writing skills, has announced the three participants who have been selected for the 5th edition of the BSR. The 2023 iteration of the event will take place between 1st and 18th June in Kintai, Lithuania and will welcome Kristijonas Dirsė (Lithuania), Monta Gāgane (Latvia) and Ernesto Redondo Vergara (Estonia).
During the residency participants will have the opportunity to receive consultation from scriptwriting expert Anna Ciennik (France/Poland) who works with numerous respected industry events such as Ikusmira Berriak Residency, La Résidence du Festival de Cannes, Locarno Residency, Open Doors, Torino Film Lab, Cinemart and European Short Pitch.
This year 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.
Latvian scriptwriter and an upcoming film director Monta Gāgane will 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.
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.
The Baltic Shorts Residency is organized by Lithuanian Short Film Agency “Lithuanian Shorts” and supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture in partnership with Kintai Arts, PÖFF Shorts | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Riga International Film Festival, Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS and Latvian Animation Association.