In 2021, the Lithuanian short film agency “Lithuanian Shorts” initiated the first regional mentorship program “Baltic Women in Film Mentorship” for Baltic women from the film and television industries. This spring the program was noticed and evaluated by the Nordic cultural institute’s “Nordic Culture Point” experts, and awarded three years funding for program development and expansion of the organizing institutions’ network. This is an important achievement and appreciation for the Lithuanian audiovisual field, because the “Lithuanian Shorts” project is one of the four projects of the cooperation networks of the Nordic and Baltic countries and the only one representing the Baltic region.
“Baltic Women in Film Mentorship” is the first regional film and television mentorship program. It aims to create a network of contacts that not only respects the principles of gender equality, but also promotes the sharing of experience, knowledge, contacts and interest in the field of cinema in the Baltic countries. The program invites young women from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who want to establish themselves in the industry, and who want to learn from professionals in the film or television industries. The seven-month program includes one-on-one meetings with mentors, seminars, creative workshops and training sessions, as well as international networking events and visits to film festivals in all Baltic countries. Every year, 12-15 participants from various fields of film and television take part in the program.
The idea of ”Baltic Women in Film Mentorship” became a significant start to gather a sustainable regional network of like-minded organizations, with the help of which the professional mentoring practice in the fields of film and television would be successfully applied and developed. The program is organized and developed by the “Lithuanian Shorts” agency together with the Film and Television Women’s Association (Lithuania), the Riga International Film Festival (Latvia), the Tallinn Film Festival “Black Nights” (Estonia), “Meeting Point – Vilnius” (Lithuania), and the European Women Audiovisual Network (EWA, Belgium).
The long-term funding for the collaboration network and the “Baltic Women in Film Mentorship” program’s development was granted by the Nordic cultural institute “Nordic Culture Point”, based in Helsinki (Finland). Network funding is part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, which strengthens artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic countries. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge, contacts and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.