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Algimantas Puipa and Laurynas Bareiša

On 21 February 2023, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre invited to an event where a well-known film critic Rasa Paukštytė was having a conversation with renowned Lithuanian cinematography masters and film directors belonging to different generations: the Lithuanian National Prize winner, LMTA professor Algimantas Puipa, and Laurynas Bareiša, an LMTA Associate Professor, who won the Lithuanian State Award just a week earlier.

Lithuanian filmmakers Algimantas Puipa and Laurynas Bareiša represent different generations and different ways of aesthetic expression.

Algimantas Puipa’s films are an entire epoch of the Lithuanian cinema. For over four decades, the director’s works have been shown in the cinema and on TV and won prizes at Lithuanian and international film festivals.  For several times, A. Puipa has been awarded the Sidabrinė gervė (Silver Crane) Award, and in 2019, he obtained Lithuania’s National Prize for Culture and Arts.

Cinema lovers appreciate such A. Puipa’s works as A Woman and Her Four Men (1983), Elze’s Life (1999), I’ll Not Become a Gangster, My Dear (1978), A Horse Thief’s Daughter (1981), Eternal Light (1987), Ticket to the Taj Mahal (1990) , Forest of the Gods (2005), Whisper of Sin (2007), Fortress of the Sleeping Butterflies (2012), Garden of Eden (2015), Cinephilia (2021), and many others. A. Puipa’s films feature several generations of the most outstanding Lithuanian actors. Puipa has written scripts for his own and other directors’ films.  According to Laura Blynaitė, A. Puipa’s works stand out by their poetry, by depicting the intimacy and surrealism of the world, and the plasticity of the image; they emphasise the importance of the landscape as a reflection of the inner world of its characters.

In 1974, after graduating from Moscow Institute of Cinematography (VGIC), A.  Puipa worked at the Lithuanian Film Studio until 1992.  After the establishment of the Department of Film and Television at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 1993, Puipa joined the LMTA teaching staff in 2002 and in 2016 was awarded the title of Professor.

Laurynas Bareiša, who won Lithuania’s State Award for Culture and Art just on the eve of 16 February 2023, made his debut in 2014 with his short fiction film Dembava based on real events that had shocked Lithuania at that time.  Since then, other L. Bareiša’s short films  – The Camel (2016), By the Pool (2017, Silver Crane Award), Caucasus (2018), and Dummy (2020) – have seen the screens of Lithuanian and international film festivals. At the 2021 Venice Film Festival, the premiere of L. Bareiša’s debut feature film Pilgrims won the Orizzonti Award for Best Film.  The Lithuanian cinema audience has also had the opportunity to enjoy this film.  According to Maria Fridinovaitė, Laurynas Bareiša’s cinematographic language can inspire – every shot of the film is precise and accurate, and Pilgrims fascinates with its maturity and creative aspirations.

It is interesting that L. Bareiša at first studied mathematics and earned a bachelor’s degree from Vilnius University; yet, his passion for film was much stronger: Bareiša entered the LMTA to study as a film operator, and in 2016 obtained a master’s degree in film directing.  Today, Laurynas is an Associate Professor at the LMTA Department of Film and Television.  As an LMTA student, the aspiring director gathered a team of like-minded people, with whom he works now, and Bareiša’s films feature actors of his generation.

Photo gallery, photos by S. Lukoševičius