Meno Avilys, an NGO based in Vilnius, Lithuania, specializes in the area of film education. It dedicates its work towards people who simply love watching and/or making films. Moreover, it promotes moving images to those who have not yet discovered the possibilities of this media. Therefore, Meno Avilys strives to actualize visual literacy processes in a society by providing a space for public discussions, organizing various cinema events. It also constantly creates new initiatives in order to respond to international debates and to react to new trends.
One of the main projects that the organization is currently working on is restoration and digitization of Lithuanian films. So far Meno Avilys restored 7 films – the highlights of 20th century Lithuanian documentary cinema. At the moment the team of Meno Avilys is developing the online platform offering possibility to watch these films and to explore interactively their content and context. Nevertheless, initiatives of Meno Avilys are not limited to professional film-making. In 2012-2013 Meno Avilys implemented the project Moving Archives which aimed at introducing works of 20th century Lithuanian amateur filmmakers to the wider Lithuanian audience. Curators of the project have assembled a vast collection of amateur films shot with 8 mm and 16 mm cameras and produced several publications on their form and content.
Another project run by Meno Avilys is Mediateque – a place that contains a collection of classic cinema as well as works of contemporary film directors, and literature on audiovisual media. It is open for everyone willing to deepen one’s knowledge about the cinema world. Every year in premises of Mediateque people can attend public cinema events (discussions, screenings, artist’s talks) and video courses which offer basic knowledge and skills for those who want to try one’s hand at filmmaking.
Every summer Meno Avilys invites Lithuanians and visitors from other countries to participate at Cinema Camp. Organized in the countryside manor it is an annual event consisting of film screenings, presentations, panels, and discussions. Each year, the four-day program is dedicated to one particular theme (e.g., Cinema and Sound) which is explored from different angles and perspectives. Cinema Camp gathers together film professionals, critics, as well as theorists and practicians from other spheres of art, education and culture and, certainly, film lovers, and offers an informal platform for socializing and exchanging views.
Last but not least, Meno Avilys always tries to be an active player in the field of Lithuanian film policy. One of our most significant initiatives in this field was the international conference “The aspects of Lithuanian film policy: heritage and education” (2007) and recently held discussion on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).