Icy Water, Acid, and Free Forests: The New Ecocinema from East-Central Europe


  • Lukas Brasiskis
  • Masha Shpolberg Masha Shpolberg Wellesley College masha.shpolberg@wellesley.edu Lukas Brasiskis New York University lb2892@nyu.edu




Lithuania, Slovenia, ecocinema, experimental cinema, documentary, video art, animal studies, the environment, environmental media, contemporary art.


Lukas Brasiskis and Masha Shpolberg interview three emerging filmmakers/video artists about the climate crisis, the power of the moving image, and the rich but still unmined environmental history of East-Central Europe.

Author Biography

Masha Shpolberg, Masha Shpolberg Wellesley College masha.shpolberg@wellesley.edu Lukas Brasiskis New York University lb2892@nyu.edu

Lukas Brasiskisis a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University, where he inquires into how the material and the elemental may be reassessed through moving images. In the face of the growing environmental crisis, his academic works and curatorial projects challenge the privileged spatial histories of imperialism and colonialism assigned to the human and question the ways of envisioning the environment they have established. http://www.lukasbrasiskis.com 

Masha Shpolbergis an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Cinema and Media Studies at Wellesley College. Her research focuses on media representations of labor and the environment. A native of Odessa, Ukraine, she also writes about contemporary cinema from Central and Eastern Europe. 

Lukas Brasiskis and Masha Shpolberg are currently co-editing a volume on Cinema and the Environment in Eastern Europe. 

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitėworks as an artist, filmmaker and theatre director.  In her creative practices, Rugile explores the gap between objective and imagined realities, while challenging the anthropocentric way of thinking. Rugile has directed four short films and two contemporary operas. Rugile is one of the three artists who represented Lithuania at the 2019 Venice Biennale of Art with the performance-installation Sun & Sea (Marina), which won a Golden Lion for the best national pavilion. Her latest full-length documentary Acid Forest was awarded at the Locarno International Film Festival, among others, and is still traveling to film festivals around the world. Her website: https://neonrealism.lt

Ian Sorokaworks in non-fiction forms of film and video. He studied cinema and philosophy at the University of Colorado in Boulder, in Prague at FAMU, and completed an M.S. in Art, Culture and Technology at MIT. Ian has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Princess Grace Foundation-USA Award recipient, and a Fulbright Fellow in Slovenia, where he was a guest researcher at the Slovenian National Film Archive and Cinematheque. His work has screened internationally in festival, gallery and museum contexts including: DocLisboa, Art of The Real, Dok.Fest München, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid and Kinoteka, Ljubljana. Ian is from western Colorado and is based in the San Francisco Bay area. His website: https://www.iansoroka.com

Emilija Škarnulytėis a visual artist and filmmaker. Poetic, yet informed by science, her films engage non-human temporalities, invisible architectures and systems of power, as well as the processes of geoengineering. Škarnulytė studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and graduated from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art. Recent group exhibitions include “Hyperobjects” at Ballroom Marfa, Texas; “Moving Stones” at the Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco and Paris; and the first Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art; as well as a new commission for Bold Tendencies in London and a solo show at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. She was recently invited to the Berlinale Talent Campus and was awarded with the Future Generation Art Prize. Her website: https://www.emilijaskarnulyte.com




How to Cite

Brasiskis, Lukas, and Masha Shpolberg. 2020. “Icy Water, Acid, and Free Forests: The New Ecocinema from East-Central Europe”. Apparatus. Film, Media and Digital Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe, no. 10 (October). https://doi.org/10.17892/app.2020.00010.227.




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