ART You will be surprised at how many art galleries – public and private, traditional and contemporary – there are in Vilnius, a town with population of slightly over half a million, alone, and just think of the whole of Lithuania! Nearly all of the galleries change expositions regularly, thus offering the possibility to see works of many local artists representing different time-periods and styles. If you want to have a deeper look at Lithuanian art, visit the National Art Gallery that opened its doors in summer 2009. This is undoubtedly one of the newest and one of the most modern art centres of the country. It exhibits works of artists valued both in Lithuania and abroad, as demonstrated by the fact that some of their works have been bought by private collectors. CINEMA If you are interested in the contemporary art, you are welcome at the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), which offers demonstrations of installations, visual arts, performances by artists from Lithuania and the rest of the world. The CAC has a permanent exposition of George Mačiūnas Fluxus Cabinet. George (Lith. Jurgis) Mačiūnas, one of the pioneers of the famous movement that had many followers, created mainly in New York, USA, but was born in Lithuania. Once you have watched at least some of the works by Lithuanian filmmakers, you will surely be able to tell a Lithuanian film from others. Lithuanian filmmaking school is distinguished by its ability to look deep into a human soul. Certainly, works of new generation filmmakers differ greatly from what their predecessors saw and tried to show, but both have won international recognition. For instance, film director Arūnas Matelis has won two prizes at the Silverdocs and Brooklyn Festivals in USA, the prestigious Directors Guild of America Award, and awards at the Amsterdam, Madrid and Leipzig Film Festivals, for his full-length documentary under the title “Before Flying Back to the Earth“ telling about children hospitalised with leukaemia and the lessons of love, faith and the strength of mind learned in the hospital. He was also among 61 nominees for the Academy Award (Oscar) in the category of the Best Foreign Language Film. The name of Jonas Mekas, who is often called the Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema, is also famous world-wide. This filmmaker of the Lithuanian descent, who lives and works in New York, has co- founded the Filmmaker’s Cinematheque in 1964, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde films. You are welcome to visit Jonas Mekas Visual Art Center in Lithuania.