In Chicago, Vice-Minister Gasparavičius presented Lithuania’s potential in the film and creative industries


2023 06 12


Vice-Minister of Culture Vygintas Gasparavičius, together with representatives of the Lithuanian film industry, participated in the North American Lithuanian Business (NALB) Forum in Chicago, meeting with representatives of American film and television studios.

The annual Forum, bringing together more than 400 business, political, and professional leaders, seeks to strengthen business connections between Lithuania and North America, to promote dialogue between regions and to provide a platform for collaboration and partnership. This year, in addition to strategically important sectors such as life sciences, startups, advanced manufacturing, transport and logistics, one focus of the event was the film and entertainment industry.

In one of the Forum’s sessions, Vice-Minister Gasparavičius presented the achievements of the film and television industry in Lithuania as well as the general environment, favourable to the development of culture and the creative industries, making use of the support available from European Union funds and programmes.

The Vice-Minister reviewed the especially successful tax incentive for film production in Lithuania, available since 2014. This mechanism has attracted many well-known film production projects from the USA, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Great Britain and other countries. In the last year alone, 13 foreign and 9 joint Lithuanian-foreign production projects were carried out in Lithuania. At the Forum and in separate meetings with representatives of film and television companies, Vice-Minister Gasparavičius encouraged them to develop their projects in Lithuania, where a favourable and competitive environment for film production has been created.

According to the Vice-Minister, the economic value created by the creative industries is significant, so it is essential to support ambitious initiatives at the national as well as the international level. The tax incentive that created this breakthrough must be extended. Effective programmes to develop talent and appropriate infrastructure must be created, so that big-budget films and TV series could be filmed in Lithuania, because the country has an excellent opportunity to become a regional leader in this sector.

During the visit to Chicago, the Lithuanian delegation not only participated in the NALB Forum, but also met Peter Hawley, the Director of the Illinois Film Office, and visited Cinespace, one of the largest sound stage and facilities operators in the world, the virtual production studio Smash Virtual, and the under-construction film production complex The Fields Studios. The delegation also met with potential investors and partners, and presented plans for the creative industry’s future development and construction of an audio-visual industrial park in Lithuania.

The Vice-Minister of Culture met in Chicago with Austėja Sruoga, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Lithuanian American Community, and Arvydas Urbonavičius, President of the Executive Committee of the Lithuanian American Community. The Vice-Minister also visited the exhibition Jonas Mekas. Open Archives at the contemporary arts centre Mana Contemporary Chicago.

Photograph courtesy of Nijolė Shuberg