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Baltic Film Festival Sydney

Baltic Film Festival Sydney

Okay, we know what you’re all thinking: Where the heck are the Baltics? The Baltics are made up of three beautiful rich and diverse countries: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Known not only for their beautiful women, quaint cottages, discotheques, ridiculously long last names, and flower crowns; Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia boast diverse film industries that interrogate, celebrate and communicate the complexity of life in the Baltics.

The Baltic Film Festival invites Australian audiences to discover the magic of Baltic film from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia through documentary, drama, animation, shorts, comedy and even a session for the little ones. The festival will be held in the Dendy Newtown and will run from the 15th – 18th of October.

The festival features a vast selection of rarely screened Baltic films in Australia, Q&A’s from International and Australian directors and the one thing the Baltic locals know how to do ‐ ‘make party’. Folk dancers, music and traditional cuisine (yes, there will be beer and bacon buns) from the northern lands will transport audiences to the ancient forest & meadows of the region, without stepping foot (clog) outside Newtown on both the opening and closing nights of the festival. We are thrilled to announce that festival will be opening with the Australian premiere of the internationally acclaimed film by Lithuanian‐American director, Marius Markevičius’ ‘The Other Dream Team’.

The Other Dream Team covers the inspirational real‐life events of the 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team and their journey to a bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. After 50 years of Soviet oppression, newly found Lithuanian independence was personified by their basketball team, who became a symbol of hope and liberation for the entire country. After reading about the team’s plight to achieve independence both at home and on the court in a newspaper, American rock lords The Grateful Dead were so moved that they funded the team’s trip to the Olympics. In the bronze medal game, they were pitted against their historic nemesis: Russia. Both the game and this film have become larger symbols of an independent, flourishing Lithuania: fighting for its freedom and recognition. The Other Dream Team was an official nomination for the Sundance Film Festival and was also nominated for the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary. Think a Lithuanian cross between Space Jam and Cool Runnings.

The Baltic Film Festival invites you to discover the passion, diversity, and humour of the Baltic through the lens of a camera. Travel, explore, discover and be enchanted by the rich culture and customs of this unknown northern paradise without leaving the inner west of Sydney.

About the festival directors: The Baltic Film Festival Committee is a team of specialists who work in the cinema and media industries, Charlie Cox, SBS and World Movies film programmer and in house film critic and Klara Bruveris published author and Baltic film lecturer. The inaugural Baltic Film Festival would not have been possible without the help and support of The Sydney Latvian Society, The Australian Lithuanian Foundation Inc & Sarah Jones’ at GuihenJones.

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