The Ancient Woods
The setting is dense, old growth woods, rich with wildlife – on the ground, in the air and in the water. As seasons shift, creatures follow their eternal routines of foraging, grooming and raising their young. The camera, in almost-surreal detail, captures the forest’s endurance and undeniable beauty – the capercaillie’s red brow, the flight of an owl, an insect emerging from melting snow. There’s no commentary, only birdcalls and the sound of the wind. Lithuanian biologist turned filmmaker Mindaugas Survila spent almost ten years making The Ancient Woods, often taking weeks to capture the right shot. His patience and unerring eye has resulted in an enchanting, meditative documentary experience.
The Lithuanian filmmaker manages to find engaging drama and, more importantly, humour in almost all interactions taking place in the forest. – Marta Balaga, Cineuropa
Festival guest: Mindaugas Survila