BA (Hons) Film Production graduate Jonas Trukanas, 25, was awarded the funding for his new film Trolleybus-Man, a short which explores the life of accountant-turned-superhero Viktoras as he takes on the foreign investors looking to put him out of work.
“I have always wanted to do something superhero related,” said Jonas, who lives in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he makes his ‘bread and butter’ directing commercials.
“Originally, I’d developed the idea and wrote the first draft of the Trolleybus-Man at an international workshop for short film screenwriters called InScript. I wanted to do something that focused on Lithuania, and Trolleybuses are almost a symbol of public transportation here.”
Jonas, who graduated from UCA Farnham in 2012 before returning home, said that after the third draft of the script had been completed, they began looking for foreign investment, as it was a pre-condition in receiving domestic government funding.
“We met a production company from Estonia called NAFTA Films, who really liked the script and agreed to co-produce the film,” he said.
The Lithuanian Film Centre, the department behind the funding, make an annual call for submissions, before selecting only three or four features, and one or two shorts for investment.
“We’ve tried to get government funding for three years in a row now and have never succeeded. So this year we have worked very hard and tried to check every box and we’ve succeeded. We still need additional funding to come from the Estonian Film Centre, but we hope it will be fine, as we’ve got most of it.”
Before work begins on Trolleybus-Man, Jonas will be premièring his most recent short film Ghost I Don’t Remember, which will be released in March.
Jonas finds himself joining other Lithuanian filmmakers who have found success after UCA, after compatriot Žavinta Karsokaitė collected a 2014 Learning on Screen Award for her documentary Promised Bread.