Giedre Beinoriute, a talented young director from Lithuania, has directed and written seven documentary and fiction short films and worked as an assistant director with established Lithuanian filmmakers like Sarunas Bartas and Arunas Matelis. She has been teaching script writing and TV direction at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre since 2007.
‘Grandpa and Grandma’, her most acclaimed film, is based on the true life story of her grandparents who were exiled to Siberia by the Soviets in 1948 and has won numerous awards including a Lithuanian Filmmakers Union Premium as the best Lithuanian documentary 2007, the first prize at IFF ‘Stupeni’ (Kijev), section human rights, 2007, the special prize for innovative documentary at Eurofest, Montreal, 2008, among others. Her other films as director include ‘The Balcony’, ‘Vulkanova. After the Grand Cinema’, ’Existence’, ‘Trolleybus’, etc.
Although Giedre has made a few fiction films as well, documentaries are her forte. As a student, her first tryst with documentaries took place when her teacher, the famous Lithuanian filmmaker, Henrikas Sablevicius, took her to a film festival in Denmark. The films she watched there left a deep impact on this sensitive young director and she fell in love with the genre of documentary films.
While making documentaries, she realized that life offers a far more artistic resolution for a given situation than one thought up by the human brain. The element of surprise, the improvisation and uncertainty associated with making a documentary, fill her with a sense of wonder for life itself. On a social level, Giedre feels that documentary cinema is one of the medications that can heal the social, economic, moral and spiritual wounds of her country and its people.
Giedre finds the motivation to make films from her life and the people that populate it. Her films reflect her engagement with human beings, their relationships and memories. She still harbours fond memories of her grandparents and treasures their photographs, and the mementos they gave her, like the rosary her grandma gifted to her. The family, as a theme, is often the subject of her films.
When not capturing life in all its glory and grit, Giedre spends time writing, reading and singing poetry. She is also very fond of teaching and loves spending time with children. Giving a voice to children’s issues is a concern that is very close to her heart and her next project, ‘7 Conversations on Serious Topics’ is based on their experiences. Life, after all, is the greatest story-teller.