Lithuania's Vilnius International Film Festival to Launch New Regional Competition

"Baltic Gaze" will focus on features and documentaries from countries with Baltic Sea coasts.

LONDON -- A new competition slot at the Vilnius International Film Festival will focus on features and documentaries made in countries with that border the Baltic Sea.

"Baltic Gaze" will launch in March 2014 at the 19th edition of the Lithuanian festival with a selection of films that have premiered since January 1, 2013 but have yet to be seen by the Lithuanian public.

The competition -- winners of which will be selected by an international jury and receive a cash prize -- reflects a growing interest in films from the region, the festival said.

Features and documentaries longer than 60 minutes, selected by the festival's artistic team, from the following Baltic region countries are eligible: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden.

The festival has a reputation for innovative programming. Four years ago it introduced "New Europe -- New Names," a competition program aimed at the best talent from debuting Central/Eastern European filmmakers.

The program is now a regular fixture at the festival.

The 19th Vilnius International film festival runs March 21 - April 3, 2014.