Barista, Atkinsons Coffee Roasters — Manchester, UK
Although I’m a filmmaker, I got my start in theatre. But I always thought I was going to be a business woman actually. Because I went to the circus one time, and although it wasn’t very good, I thought, “Wow. People pay to see this, so I am going to create something like this.” And this was when I was five years old.
I grew up in Lithuania but left eight years ago and have lived in Parma, Leeds and now Manchester. This year I made some films that were shown at festivals and I got to travel to Egypt, Portugal, Germany, back to Lithuania, then to Japan.
Culturally, I’m interested in all of the Lithuanian traditions but it doesn’t really feel like home. I don’t even feel like I have a home. The whole planet is like home. And I think that’s why I get more involved in everything that’s happening in the world. It’s a very millennial thing to say, but I’m a citizen of the world. That’s how it feels.
By working with actors you learn so much about people, but at the same time you learn about yourself.
As far as creative inspiration goes, I think that a lot of people who are creative, just want to create something because it comes naturally. I think that’s why I’m a barista as well. Because you make something. It takes about 30 seconds and then you can see your creation. Both filmmaking and working in coffee are really hard work and challenging, and the filmmaking challenge takes a bit longer than 30 seconds, but at the end you have something that is finished.
Filmmaking for me is like a personal study. By working with actors you get to learn so much about people, but at the same time you learn about yourself. And afterwards, it just makes more sense to be alive.
I try to make films that adhere to my generation’s voice and troubles. I am also passionate about the unexplored paths of the female heroine and her journey. We're living in such exciting times now – more women are voicing their stories. I find it very inspiring when I see something brave and different on screen, that is not trying to recreate the woman’s journey through putting her in the man’s shoes, but in her own unique steps.
You meet people who don’t speak the same language as you, but then you dance together and realize that the dance itself is a form of language.
When I started getting into Lindy Hop I was still in Lithuania. We were just looking at YouTube and trying to copy it. We started with all of the things that you shouldn’t start with – the tricks and throws in the air, so I injured myself a couple of times.
Lindy hop is the purest form of joy I’ve ever encountered. The sole purpose of the dance is the communication between two people. It has recently become very famous worldwide and there are lots of amazing dance festivals throughout the year in probably every country. The most wonderful feeling is meeting people who don’t speak the same language as you, but then you dance together and realize that the dance itself is a form of language. It’s like a conversation. All improv. This exercise of a different type of connection is very important for the modern world, I think.
It felt like at some point I broke up with Lithuania. Or Lithuania broke up with me.
I always thought I wouldn’t go back to Lithuania, but now I don’t know. It felt like a relationship. It felt like at some point I broke up with Lithuania. Or Lithuania broke up with me. I was trying to make this film, but couldn’t find a producer and I felt like, “That’s it. Lithuania doesn’t want me anymore.” But now it’s like we’re re-establishing our relationship again. So never say never.