Lithuanian film director and academic Mantas Kvedaravicius who was captured the escalating conflict in Ukraine in several powerful works, was reported dead in Mariupol, the Ukrainian city that was the subject of his documentary Mariupolis, which premiered in Berlin.
“While (he) was trying to leave Mariupol, Russian occupiers killed Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry tweeted on Saturday. Kvedaravicius was 45.
A Lithuanian news agency called 15min reported that Kvedaravicius was taken to hospital but could not be saved.
The news that Kvedaravicius was killed by the Russian military – which has not been confirmed by family members – has sparked a flurry of statements and posts on social media mourning the director’s death.
“We have lost a creator known in Lithuania and around the world, who, despite all the dangers, worked in Russian-occupied Ukraine until the last moment.” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said in a statement.
Best known for “Mariupolis,” which depicts Ukrainian citizens going on with their lives while under siege in the southern port city of Kvedaravicius, who was a Russian-backed fighter in 2014, was previously in Berlin with his 2011 documentary Barzakh, which was shot dead in Russia’s Chechnya region as it recovered from the war with Russia, while lying exposed the reality of life there. The film won an Amnesty International prize at the Berlinale that same year.
In 2019 Kvedaravicius visited Venice, where “Parthenon”, his third film – and first foray into fictional narrative, albeit mixed with documentary techniques – premiered in the Venice Critics’ Week section. Kvedaravicius’ feature film debut was based on tThree years of anthropological research among marginalized communities in Odessa, Istanbul and Athens.
“Mantas Kvedaravicius was a unique person. insanely stubborn; a unique artist,” said Locarno Film Festival director Giona A. Nazzaro, who was then leading Venice Critics’ Week, in a Facebook post, also praising the picture for its “hauntingly powerful imagery.” ”
“He conjured up an aching beauty. Wild poetry. Mantas was like a seer. He knew what was coming and decided he wanted to see it up close,” added Nazzaro.
“We will miss you manta rays. You certainly taught us a hard lesson.”
The Vilnius International Film Festival honored Kvedaravicius with a minute’s silence during his closing ceremony on Sunday.
“We have lost a director who heroically documented the atrocities of war,” said the festival director Algirdas Ramaška, who stated that “Mantas themselves didn’t like to talk.”
“Mantas dedicated his work to areas of conflict, the reality of war and the humanity that shines in that darkness. His cinema was and will be very important not only today.”
About Kvedaravicius’ Survivor was not immediately available.
https://variety.com/2022/film/global/mantas-kvedaravicius-dead-dies-mariupol-killed-1235222704/ Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius was reportedly killed in Ukraine