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Greta Akcijonaite

Lithuania

When it comes to niche pics, Greta Akcijonaite of the Skalvijos Kino Centras in Vilnius knows her stuff. A member of a small team that runs Lithuania’s only arthouse cinema as a charitable concern — a combination of acquisition, distribution, and children’s and youth cinema education — Akcijonaite looks for European films that are both highbrow and entertaining enough to be audience pleasers.

The cinema programs films for exhibition runs that “last as long as people still want to buy tickets,” Akcijonaite says. Danish film “Adam’s Apples” underscores her philosophy. Pic is still running after its February 2007 bow and is the reason why she is unsure to say how many admissions “Irina Palm” — released in June — is likely to amass.

“We are a small cinema with just 80 seats (and) over the year we average 60,000 admissions,” Akcijonaite says. “We prefer European titles because we can apply for Media Program distribution funds.”

The cinema entered the distribution biz nearly two years ago to address demands of its audience in a country where up to 80% of weekly programming at Lithuania’s 40 or so cinemas is U.S. fare. Upcoming titles include Estonian film “The Class” and French Palme d’Or winner “The Class” (Entre les murs).

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