Retrospective of the films by Arunas Matelis, the Lithuanian documentalist and producer, is the special event of this year’s festival. Docudays UA-2018 will feature two of his full length films and a collection of short movies that were awarded at the festivals in Amsterdam, Cannes, Leipzig, and Warsaw. Each of his works is a drastic immersion into the whirlpool of human emotions.
The film “Before Flying Back to Earth” tells the story about children with leukemia. One small hospital room turns into a huge world of phantasms and games. This movie was, for the first time in Lithuanian history, nominated for the Academy Award as the best documentary film of the year.
The film by Arunas Matelis, “Wonderful Losers: A Different World”, is also widely appraised. It was awarded as the best documentary film at the Warsaw International Film Festival, received the main prize of the Minsk IMF “Listapad”, and was named the best 2017 Lithuanian film.
This movie is, in a certain sense, the director’s attempt to fulfill a dream. Prior to his school years trauma, Arunas Matelis had been dreaming to become a professional sportsman. For seven years, observing his characters during Giro d’Italia marathone, the director turns this story into an odyssey, which reveals the pride and self-sacrifices, illnesses and discoveries of bicycle racing.
Arunas Matelis will not only present his film retrospective at this year’s festival. He also became a member of our jury. Together with his colleagues, Barbara Wurm and Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, he will judge the DOCU/UKRAINE and DOCU/SHORT competitions.
Title photo: frame from the movie “Wonderful Losers: A Different World”