UPCOMING SCREENINGS


COMING SOON
 

PAST SCREENINGS

MAY 16 - LOS ANGELES EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL
AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE AT THE AERO THEATRE, LOS ANGELES
***LOS ANGELES PREMIERE***

MARCH 19 - CHICAGO EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL 
GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER, CHICAGO
***CHICAGO PREMIERE***

MARCH 21 - EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL 
GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER, CHICAGO

DEC 7 - STANFORD UNIVERSITY BALTIC FILM SERIES 
PRESENTED BY STANFORD LIBRARIES AND THE CENTER FOR
RUSSIAN, 
EAST EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN STUDIES

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA
***WEST COAST PREMIERE***

OCT 23 - MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, NEW YORK
*** U.S. PREMIERE ***
***WINNER MARGARET MEAD FILMMAKER AWARD HONORABLE MENTION***

OCT 16 - AMERICAN FOLKLORE SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
(PRIVATE SCREENING)

AUG 29 - MENUO JUODARAGIS FESTIVAL
ZARASAI, LITHUANIA

MAR 28 -  VILNIUS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA

MAR 25 -  VILNIUS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA

MAR 22 - VILNIUS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
*** WORLD PREMIERE ***


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ABOUT THE FILM

From the Margaret Mead Film Festival:

"Inspired by their grandmother’s vivid accounts of her WWII-era childhood, first-time sibling filmmakers Aldona (director) and Julian Watts (cinematographer) travel to Lithuania with family. They arrive in Dainava, a region known as the “Land of Songs,” where they meet a sprightly group of women who have kept their village’s ancient folk-singing tradition vibrant and essential through decades of war, occupation, and youth flight. When the filmmakers return years later, only five of the grandmothers are still alive. Land of Songs is a tender, humorous, poetic record of the lives of these remarkable women and an eloquent testament to heritage—and to the universal language of folk music."

Aldona and Julian at a Lithuanian American community event  in San Francisco circa 1994.

Aldona and Julian at a Lithuanian American community event  in San Francisco circa 1994.

 

Land of Songs premiered at the Vilnius International Film Festival in Lithuania and the Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it received the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Honorable Mention. It has also screened at Stanford University's Baltic Film Series and at the American Folklore Society's annual meeting, among other places. It was selected for the Independent Filmmaker Project's 2014 Spotlight on Documentaries at Film Week in New York and is fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society.


 

ACCOLADES & PRESS

These songs are the most essential part of the Lithuanian soul.
— Jonas Mekas
It is impossible not to fall in love with these beautiful characters, portrayed with tenderness and love.
— Audrius Stonys
A deeply sensitive portrait of rural Lithuanian life.
— Zita Kelmickaitė, Lithuanian National Radio & Televison
A gem of a film that deserves an audience . . . First-time director Aldona Watts pulled off a minor miracle in making such an engaging work with little money.
— Baja Review
“A punk girl in New York City fascinated by ancient Lithuanian songs . . . Aldona Watts offers a fresh perspective on folk culture that is long overdue.”
— Moteris
MOTERIS Feature Interview: A Punk in Puvociai

MOTERIS
Feature Interview: A Punk in Puvociai

LITHUANIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION Interview on Zita Kelmickaite's morning show "Ryto Suktinis" (Interview at 13:00 min)

LITHUANIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION
Interview on Zita Kelmickaite's morning show "Ryto Suktinis"
(Interview at 13:00 min)

15MIN.LT "Land of Songs" Shows Puvociai Village Through American Eyes

15MIN.LT
"Land of Songs" Shows Puvociai Village Through American Eyes


THE FILMMAKERS

Aldona Watts
DirectoR / PRODUCER / EDITOR

Land of Songs is Aldona Watts’ first film. She grew up in San Francisco, and currently works between the Bay Area and New York on film projects relating to gender, music, and culture. Aldona is an organizer at Her Girl Friday, a Brooklyn collective that produces events for female journalists and documentarians. Previously, she produced audio documentaries, managed a youth radio station, and hosted a radio show about punk music and culture that broadcasted in New York and Europe. 
@ddonaa
 

 

Julian Watts
CINEMATOGRAPHER / CO-PRODUCER

Julian Watts is an artist whose work spans film, music composition, sculpture, painting and furniture design. His work has shown internationally and is represented by Campfire Gallery in San Francisco. He is based in San Francisco, where he was born and raised. 
www.julianwattsstudio.com

 

 

NICHOLAS BERGER, EDITOR

Nicholas Berger has directed and edited award-winning documentary shorts, including “Nutkin’s Last Stand,” which played at IDFA, Silverdocs, and Palm Springs, aired on PBS, was nominated for a Student Academy Award, and was selected for Dave Eggers’ DVD magazine “Wholphin.” He received a B.A. from Brown University before working on documentaries for PBS and the History Channel. He received an M.F.A. from Stanford University’s Documentary Film program. Berger was born in San Francisco and has lived in San Diego, New York and Berlin.
www.pineconepictures.com

 

JAMES KENNARD
CINEMATOGRAPHER

James Kennard is a San Francisco-based video producer with credits that emphasize fine art and fine cuisine. He spent several years at InCA Films as camera and editor on a variety of projects including two internationally distributed feature documentaries, as well a short documentary on traditional bookmaking and a series of web-based documentaries with the San Francisco Symphony.
www.jameskennard.com


SUPPORT LAND OF SONGS

Land of Songs is an independent project funded by Kickstarter (see a partial list of backers here), the Vilnius Municipality Cultural Department, and donations via our fiscal sponsor San Francisco Film Society (a 501(c)3 charity).

 

Contact

landofsongsfilm [at] gmail [dot] com

Facebook.com/landofsongs

@landofsongs   #landofsongs   #dainusalis