The biggest film festivals in Vilnius

Monika Grinevičiūtė | Live the World

November 23, 2022

From the biggest film critics to passionate movie lovers, Vilnius has something to offer for everyone's taste. Film festivals in Vilnius are happening all year round, starting with the biggest national film festival in March - Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris and closing the year with our president’s favorite European Film Forum Scanorama. Intellectual, different and original movies from Lithuania and abroad are presented in these festivals.

Vilnius International Film Festival

Vilnius International Film Festival Kino Pavasaris, in short, just Kino Pavasaris (The Spring of Movies), is the largest and most popular annual film festival in the whole country. Usually, this film festival takes place between the end of March and the beginning of April every year. Also, Kino Pavasaris is the oldest film festival in Lithuania (since 1995). In my opinion, it is not only the oldest one but also the most popular film festival in Lithuania. Lithuanians usually call it “the cultural phenomenon”, since hundreds of thousands of people are attending this festival every year. During the festival, movies are shown in the Forum Cinemas Vingis movie theater, as well as in the art film theater Skalvija and cinema boutique Pasaka.

Talking about Kino Pavasaris Film Festival's programme, the main competition is called “New Europe - New Name”. In this programme, the jury consisted of the best directors, actors, cinematographers and other professionals selects the best film of the festival and awards it with a special prize. “Baltic Gaze” programme’s idea is to grow the popularity and interest among the filmmakers of the Baltic region. Of course, there are other competitions in the category of short filmsdocumentaries, Lithuanian films, premiers, Lithuanians abroad, retrospective, critics' choice, and many others. Furthermore, it is possible to purchase the festivals’ subscription for all movies or just to buy a single one-time ticket. 

Cinema Under The Stars

It is not quite a film festival, but I need to mention it too. Cinema Under The Stars is the most popular outdoor cinematographic event held during the month with the sky full of stars - August. Watching films outdoor with shining stars and Lithuanian summer breeze is the best activity for cinema lovers. Also, this outdoor cinema is organized by Pasaka Movie Theater, that has the perfect taste for films. Cinema Under The Stars happens in The Palace of Grand Dukes, which is the most romantic place in the city for films watching.

International Vilnius Documentary Film Festival

Enjoy the best documentaries from the Baltic region at the International Vilnius Documentary Film Festival. Recent awards winning documentaries, together with the retrospective ones, bring the best cognition of the reality. This festival happens every year during the month of September in the Skalvija and Pasaka cinemas.


Scanorama is a festival dedicated to the most valuable and most awarded European films. European Film Forum Scanorama happens annually in November and represents the best films in the whole of Europe. Scanorama films are shown not only in Vilnius cinemas but also in the other biggest cities of Lithuania - Kaunas, Klaipėda, and Šiauliai. This cultural event has the „EFFE Label“ sign and is under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Lithuania - Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Picture © Credits to Wikimedia Commons/Ming chang

Documentaries, outdoor cinema under the stars, the best European and Lithuanian films - Vilnius has film festivals for everyone’s taste. Scanorama, Kino Pavasaris, International Vilnius Documentary Film Festival are some of the biggest film festivals held in Vilnius and whole Lithuania. Feel the vibrant world of magic and reality, while watching the films of these festivals.

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