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Speech by Dr L. Andrikiene at the screening of the Lithuanian film LOSS in the European Parliament

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Colleagues and friends,

It is a pleasure and privilege for me to open this event.

Screening of the Lithuanian film LOSS here in the European Parliament in Brussels in the framework of European Film Festival on Intercultural dialogue is a clear prove that the dialogue between the cultures is one of political priorities of the European Parliament this year - Year of the Intercultural Dialogue 2008 - and in the years to come, and that my country -  Lithuania - contributes to the intercultural dialogue also.

As the patroness of this event I would like to thank the organizers - Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and Lithuanian Cultural Attache here in Brussels Ms Vida Graziene as well as the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU - for the opportunity to have Lithuanian film tonight.

I am delighted that the director of the film - Maris Martinsons, Latvian who for the last almost 20 years lives in Lithuania and who in fact is the love - emigrant, who married Lithuanian girl years ago and moved to Lithuania, is with us tonight. Mr Martinsons is on his way to the United States as LOSS is a candidate for the nomination for Foreign Language Oscar, and we look forward to have a verdict of the jury soon (January 22, 2009), so we look forward to have good news from Hollywood!  Let me remind you that LOSS has been already awarded earlier this year in Schanghai International Film Festival for the best work of the director of the film and best music.

LOSS has several lines to be followed and all of them are important from political, economical, social, cultural points of view. One of them is emigration. After Lithuania became independent and especially after our country joined the EU we saw a huge wave of emigration. Hundreds and thousands of Lithuanians left the country for UK, Ireland, Spain, USA, and instead of 3.7 million people - population of Lithuania in 1990 today we have 2.8 million only, so in 19-20 years we lost almost 1 million people. For countries with the population of 30 or 50 million such numbers would not be so big, but for our country it is really huge. People are always looking for better life, and they move to other countries. What is to be emigrant, how emigration changes our behaviours and thinking - all this in the film.

Another line is human relationships. It is amazing how much we all are interrelated, interconnected. Events which happened many years ago are still with us, we face their consequences, and they can influence our lives dramatically.

And the third line - at least to me - is about our children. Children who for many people are the only hope in life.

This film will be of interest to all, who apart from being result driven, are in quest for a deeper meaning of our actions and human existence. This is a companion to setting yourself on the right path in life. Some are faster at finding the right track; for others it takes longer due to the byroads they need to cross. Most have to go through bogs and quagmires, cross the deepest mountain passes, survive numerous challenges, until faith, love and hope come to their aid.

Ladies and gentlemen, and now I have a pleasure and honour to introduce to you Maris Martinsons, the Director of the LOSS. After his intervention we will start film screening immediately.