Since 2012, The American Cinema Foundation has created a unique 3D view of the end of the USSR and the vast changes that came to Eastern and Central Europe. Gary McVey started bringing a 35mm Stereo Realist 3D camera to the Moscow film festival, and Leningrad starting in 1985. Since "Avatar", "Tintin", and "Hugo", wider availability of 3D computer tools have brought this technology to the desktop.
Gary McVey's second visit to Lithuania and to the largest film event in the Baltics was held under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, and included a lecture at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, film presentations at Kino Pavasaris, and a question and answer session with eastern and central European film festival directors meeting in Vilnius.
2011 marked the 20th anniversary of Lithuanian President Landsbergis's declaration of independence, precipitating the breakup of the USSR within the year, and of a lethal military attack on the national television center in Vilnius. Gary McVey served on the festival jury and was privileged to meet many who were part of those days of dramatic change. Meetings at Lithuanian Radio and Television, at the country's film center, and with several museum film curators established a base for activities that would span the following year.
The highlight of the trip was a meeting on March 31 convened by advisor to the Prime Minister Mykolas Majauskas with the Ministries of Economy, Culture, and the Director of Policy Analysis, for Gary to discuss their government's final plans for the embryonic Lithuanian Film Centre. He also praised the directorship of Kino Pavasaris and recommended it as a model of good management.
One of the newest international film festivals is located at an ancient and modern strategic crossroads. The film festival was and is an impressive attempt to break out of the city's image as an agricultural backwater. Home of a museum displaying some of the world's oldest weapons, Malatya is, largely unwillingly, once again a site of potential and actual conflict. The festival is a crucial cultural link to the world beyond eastern Turkey and bears watching in the years ahead.