The Audience Award of Kaunas International Film Festival goes to Lithuanian film “Narcissus“


The audience of Kaunas International Film Festival voted for the films during the period of the festival and the winner was “Narcissus“ - the first feature-length work of the Lithuanian filmmaker Dovilė Gasiūnaitė. The second place went to the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York“ directed by Richard Press, while the film of Stefan Schwietert “Balkan Melody“ took the third place.

Other top contenders included the opening film “Sister” by Ursula Meier which was awarded the Silver Bear in Berlin International Film Festival (Germany) and the film of American Benh Zeitlin “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – the winner of the Golden Camera and Prix Regards Jeune. 

A feature-length film “Narcissus”, nominated for three Silver Cranes, tells a story about an overconfident cellist who, despite having a loving family, still wants more. “Narcissus” is a joint work of Lithuanian and Greek filmmakers which took six years to finish.

“As Greeks and Italians share the Narcissus myth, it was very convenient for me to have actors with classical features in my film. Water, which dominates throughout the film, is directly related to that myth: while looking at himself in a stream, Narcissus parched up and atrophied. Whereas in the film “Narcissus” is tortured by thirst – both literally and figuratively” – Gasiūnaitė explained the links with the antiquity.

According to the film director Gasiūnaitė, there is nothing extraordinary about this film. “We do not aim to surprise anyone, we have no shots from planes or from under the water, which I probably would like to have had. However, we have something very different. My film shows a narcissus who is a perfectionist, who, like the other narcissus, misses the perfection. Unfortunately, in real life, neither people nor situations are perfect and it is impossible to find happiness while looking for perfection because it simply does not exist. Happiness is internal, not external state”.

Kaunas International Film Festival was closed with Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” in Kaunas on October 7.

The 7th Kaunas International Film Festival will take place on September 28 – October 6 next year.