Martyno Ambrazo nuotrauka

Kaunas is not only a temporary capital. Kaunas is also a cinema capital. Here, most of the famous Lithuanian film directors and filmmakers whose works have become a part of not only Lithuanian, but also European cinema long ago, were born and grew up. Here, the most famous animation genius Vladislav Starevich, who created legendary masterpieces, worked in the pre-war period. Kaunas certainly deserves to be a European Capital of Culture.

And it is time for European culture to become part of Kaunas. We can and we have to start a new Kaunas, a Kaunas of European culture, which we will be even prouder of, which we will learn from and will further encourage us to grow and to dream.

For me, it is a great honour and privilege to be an ambassador of my beloved hometown.

Arūnas Matelis


Arūnas Matelis, Lithuanian film director and producer, is the first director from Eastern and Central Europe who won one of the most important film industry awards: the Directors Guild of America Award (2007) “For outstanding achievements in directing”.

His movie “Before flying back to Earth” was considered to be the best documentary film in the world. This film won several international awards.

Movies by Arūnas Matelis were awarded or shown at many prestigious world cinema festivals, such as those held in Cannes and in Rotterdam, Turin, Sao Paulo, Oberhausen, Amsterdam IDFA, Leipzig, Moscow and others. Retrospectives of his movies were held at film festivals in Amsterdam IDFA, Leipzig, Linz, Florence and others.

A. Matelis produced the films of well-known Lithuanian directors: Henrikas Šablevičius, Audrius Stonys, Vytautas V. Landsbergis, Roma Lileikis, Oksana Buraya and other films. A. Matelis is a member of the European Film Academy (Lithuanian Film Academy, www.lika.lt).