This weekend a Lithuanian documentary “Back from NY” premiered in international documentary film festival of València, “Docs València”. The movie tells about two Lithuanian artists’ journey to New York in early 90’s and two decades spent there together with Jonas Mekas. The film was created by director Ramunė Rakauskaitė and produced by Arūnas Matelis together with studio “Nominum”.
Two main characters of the film are photographer Arūnas Kulikauskas and painter Eugenijus Varkulevičius – Varkalis, who decided to leave Lithuania in early 90’s due to soviet restrictions put upon their creative work. They traveled to New York, where artists met their guru Jonas Mekas and started to lead a bohemian lifestyle as well as enjoy abilities to create freely. However, after two decades artists came back to their homeland, exchanging big cities uproar to nature’s serenity and slow pace. Still, they cling to their memories about New York and Teacher, as well as all the documentary archives from the days spent in “Anthology” film archive creating and living together with J. Mekas.
Together with the premiere of the documentary at the festival various events, exhibitions and discussions were held by the Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania in Valencia in order to commemorate both Jonas Mekas and his hundred years anniversary. “DocsValencia” festivals’ director Pau Montagud is a big fan of J. Mekas work and is keen on raising awareness about Lithuanian artist in South America and Spain.
“With such an attention to Jonas Mekas heritage, “DocsValencia” was a perfect place for “Back to NY” interational premiere. I’m personally glad about an opportunity to share my memories from my personal acquaintance with Jonas Mekas, who was also my Master and Teacher as well as dear friend,“ said film producer Matelis.
“DocsValencia“ is a significant documentary film festival in Spain, competing with such festivals as „Documenta Madrid“ and „DocsBarcelona“. In addition, Valencia is a unique location for “Nominum’s” co-production in Spain, where already two films – “Wonderful Losers: A Different World” and “Lobster Soup” – were created in collaboration with the Valencian film company “SUICA Films”. In the meantime, one more result of cooperation – a new documentary “Domingo Domingo” – is being finalized.
„Back from NY“ premiere in Lithuania took place at the “Scanorama” film festival.
The film was sponsored by the Lithuanian Film Center, and its premiere at the festival was sponsored by the Lithuanian Film Center, the Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania in Valencia and the “DocsValencia” festival.