There are three main institutions that shape and implement Lithuanian film policy: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Film Policy Council and the Lithuanian Film Centre.
While shaping and implementing the national cultural policy in the field of cinema, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania performs the following functions laid down in the Law on Cinema: 1) forms national film policy and prepares drafts of laws and other legal acts in the field of cinema; 2) analyses the trends of cinema development in the Republic of Lithuania and in foreign countries, initiates and drafts strategic planning documents in the field of cinema (concepts, strategies, programmes), and carries out the monitoring of implementation of these documents; 3) upon the assignment of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania or the Prime Minister, represents the Republic of Lithuania in foreign countries or international organisations; within its competence and in accordance with the established procedure maintains contacts with respective foreign institutions and international organisations and, in accordance with the procedure provided for by the Republic of Lithuania Law on International Treaties, concludes and implements the international treaties; and 4) coordinates and controls the activities of the Lithuanian Film Centre under the Ministry of Culture.
The Ministry of Culture is consulted by the Film Policy Council. The Council is a collegiate and advisory institution under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, dealing with the issues of the Lithuanian film policy. Its goal is to address the key film policy issues and provide the Minister of Culture with proposals and conclusions concerning strategic planning and measures to strengthen the field of cinema, development programmes and their aims and reached outcomes, state funding, preservation of film heritage, the drafting and/or improvement of legal acts governing the field of cinema, as well as other film related issues identified by the Minister of Culture.
The Lithuanian Film Centre is a state institution established in 2012 under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The functions of the Film Centre are defined by the amendment on the Law on Film (2002) of 2011. According to the law, the Film Centre: 1) participates in the formation of State film policy; 2) implements State film policy and exercises the functions entrusted thereto in accordance with the Law and other legal acts; 3) organises film project tenders for State funding; 4) awards grants to film creators; 5) carries out activities of cinema education and dissemination of film culture; 6) collects and publishes information and statistics on Lithuanian cinema; 7) performs indexation of films according to the age limit of the audience for films intended to be shown in cinemas; 8) supervises the compliance of legal and natural persons with the requirements for the public showing of cinema and the procedure for registration of films in the Film Register; and 9) collects film heritage and ensures its accessibility.
According to the data of the Lithuanian Film Centre, in 2021, in the Lithuanian film industry there have 57 film production companies operating, 4 film production service companies, 10 professional associations, 3 local film offices, 11 film distributors, 27 cinemas, and 17 other companies that provide services of post-production, film montage, casting, camera rental, search for filming locations, sound recording and subtitling. Lithuanian and foreign films are featured in 16 Lithuanian film festivals.
Table 20: Facts and figures of the Lithuanian film industry 2013–2021
|Average admissions per capita||1,05||1,11||1,13||1,29||1,44||1,53||1,48||0,55||0,48|
|Total number of admissions*||3 097 683||3 234 595||3 330 518||3 668 370||4 060 159||4 265 414||4 141 900||1 533 084||1 337 598|
|Gross Box Office (in EUR)||–||14 378 587||15 391 806||17 724 516||20 392 625||22 444 111||22 495 265||–||–|
|Lithuanian films gross box office (in EUR)||–||3 333 829||2 126 232||3 463 809||4 536 088||6 250 538||4 417 603||–||–|
|Average ticket price (in EUR)||4,04||4,29||4,62||4,83||5,00||5,26||5,43||5,53||5,80|
|Total number of cinemas||32||32||32||29||27||28||26||25||27|
|Domestic films market share, %||16,49||23,18||13,81||19,50||21,47||27,9||19,64||21,87||6,17|
|European films market share, %||13,22||13,90||17,80||8,50||14,00||11,8||15,77||23,73||11,85|
|US films market share, %||69,27||60,28||65,48||71,50||64,62||58,7||60,88||52,21||81,25|
|Other countries films market share, %||1,02||2,64||2,91||0,50||0,94||1,6||3,71||2,19||0,73|
|Total number of national premieres||15||14||10||13||11||21||23||13||12|
|Total number of national feature films produced||11||8||11||21||15||28||23||17||13|
|Total number of films distributed||197||261||290||291||309||351||379||271||251|
* Excluding festival admissions
After the restoration of independence in 1990, the Lithuanian film industry was one of the smallest in Europe. During the first decade of independence, only 25 domestic feature films were created, while this increased during the second and third decade to about 250 films. The situation changed in 2012 with the establishment of the Lithuanian Film Centre, which became the main cinema policy implementing institution.
Table 21: Total budget of the Lithuanian Film Centre in 2013–2021
|Budget of Lithuanian Film Centre (in EUR)||3 073 737||3 519 000||4 619 000||6 423 000||6 431 000||6 441 000||7 451 498||8 248 000|
A positive impact on the Lithuanian film industry was made by the Film Tax Incentive that came into effect in January 2014 as a new policy measure to foster local and foreign film production in Lithuania. The incentive is regulated by Article 172 of the Lithuanian Law on Corporate Income Tax (2001) which supplemented the Law with the provision on the reduction of taxable income due to funds granted free of charge for the production of a film or a part thereof (see chapter 4.1.4). Since 2014, 286 productions have benefited from the Lithuanian Film Tax Incentive by getting a total of EUR 50,77 million in investment for film production. Meanwhile, international production expenses in the country this year reached a total of 141 million. The scheme was used by 72 foreign films, 70 co-productions and 144 national films. Investments in film production were granted by 228 local companies in amounts ranging from 1000 to over 1.6 million euros. In 2021, Lithuanian business companies invested more than 15 million euros through this scheme.
After these two political steps – the establishment of the Lithuanian Film Centre in 2012 and the introduction of the tax incentive in 2014 – the production of domestic films increased in Lithuania by almost 50 per cent compared to the period of 2009–2011. However, in 2020 and 2021 the number of films made has decreased due to the constraints related to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Table 22: Domestics Films produced in 2009–2021
Radio and Television
According to the data of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission, in 2022, there were 109 media companies in Lithuania. 29 of them broadcasted TV programmes, 6 broadcasted TV online, 34 re-broadcasted TV programmes, and 40 broadcasted or re-broadcasted radio programmes (see chapter 2.5.3 for more about media policy and content).
Domestic programmes of radio, television and other sectors of the Lithuanian audiovisual industry are promoted through the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation. The Foundation implements three funding programmes related to the audiovisual industry: 1) national radio and television; 2) regional radio and television; and 3) the Internet media (see chapter 1.2.2 for more about the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation).
Table 23: Fund allocation of the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation in 2017–2021
|Number of funded projects/ Amount allocated, in EUR||Number of funded projects/ Amount allocated, in EUR||Number of funded projects/ Amount allocated, in EUR||Number of funded projects/ Amount allocated, in EUR||Number of funded projects/ Amount allocated, in EUR|
|National radio and television broadcasting||34 / 403 081||33 / 394 740||37 / 406 980||41 / 411 000||43 / 404 500|
|Regional radio and television broadcasting||40 / 206000||39 / 248 500||40 / 204 000||50 / 201 300||46 / 206 180|
|Internet media||71 / 431 252||73 / 429 000||75 / 414 090||79 / 413 500||81 / 417 100|
|Total||145 / 1 040 333||145 / 1 072 240||152 / 1 025 070||170 / 1 025 800||170 / 1 027 780|