Skalvija Cinema Center is a small municipal art-house cinema situated in central Vilnius, with 1 screen and 121 seats. Opened in 1963 Skalvija is the only cinema in Vilnius which survived the dramatic period of massive closure of cinemas in 80‘s and 90‘s. Small but cozy, it is well known amongst film lovers for its distinctive repertoire. The programming focuses on non-commercial European and world cinema, both classics and recent films. Skalvija is the major venue of our city for cinematic events – festivals, meetings with filmmakers, retrospectives, special screenings, premiers. It meets over 58.000 spectators every year and organises more than 1.200 screenings.
Film education and close relationships with the film-lovers’ community is at the heart of Skalvija’s mission. The cinema starts to build up the loyalty of the spectator at a very early age. Each age group has its own film programme accompanied with meetings, discussions, workshops, educational material, etc. For example: “Karlsson Cinema” is dedicated for pre-school children and families, “Learning from Cinema” is designed for schoolchildren, “Skalvija Film Academy” is aimed at young people with ambitions in filmmaking, not only they get an education here but also make and screen their own creations.
In addition to educational initiatives, Skalvija is very proud to be the organizer of the International Vilnius Documentary Film Festival (VDFF). The festival was launched in 2004, and it‘s the oldest documentary film platform in the Baltics. Each year the main and special festival programmes show the most recent internationally awarded documentaries while a retrospective is dedicated to an acknowledged filmmaker. Nicolas Philibert, Pawel Lozinski, Sergej Dvorcevoj, Viktor Kossakovsky, Leonard Retel Helmrich, Peter Liechti are among those who honored the festival with their presence.