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Venice Orizzonti 2021 winner Piligrims is Lithuania official Oscars 2023 entry to international feature category

Reason8 Films and Lithuanian Filmmakers Union with the help of Lithuanian Film Centre are proud to announce that Laurynas Bareiša’s critically acclaimed feature film PILGRIMS, which won the Best Film Award in The 78th Venice International Film Festival’s Orizzonti Section, the Best Screenplay Award at Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2021, and the FIPRESCI Critics Award at Cottbus 2022 is an official Lithuania’s entry to the best international feature award category at the 2023 Oscars.

REASON8 handles worldwide sales on the film and has previously secured deals for North America (Dekanalog) with theatrical release commitment and HBO (for Central & Eastern Europe and Baltics). It is in discussions to announce new deals in major territories shortly.  

PILGRIMS was released theatrically in Lithuania to critical acclaim earlier this year by Kino Pavasaris Distribution.

A young woman and man reunite for a mission of initially unknown origin and goal. Indre (Bargailaite) and Paulius (Kiela) are connected by a violent tragedy that killed Matas—her boyfriend, his brother. Spurred on by Paulius’s obsessive need to recount and relive the events that led to his death, they find themselves caught up in the past.

Skillfully doling out narrative information piece by piece and layer upon layer in scenes marked by elegant, sinister single takes, Lithuanian filmmaker Laurynas Bareiša has created a foreboding, yet ultimately hopeful portrait of people racked with trauma and unresolved anger.

Writer/Director Laurynas Bareiša, in speaking about PILGRIMS, notes, “My wife and I are both filmmakers. One of our pastimes is walking in forests outside Vilnius and collecting notes about interesting locations for future projects. A small road we came upon one day four years ago recalled the newspaper report of a car that had been burned with a girl in the trunk. I had followed the story closely and made a short film about it. Even as I knew we were not on the actual scene of the crime, tears came to my eyes as I imagined what it would be like for someone close to the victim to be standing in the exact spot where the tragedy took place. My wife was surprised I was so upset, but I decided to build a story around that feeling.”