By Romas Zabarauskas
Co-Production Market 2018
A unique cinematic voice from the Baltics, Romas Zabarauskas is equally known in his home country as an openly gay, outspoken LGBT+ rights advocate.
Discover a story of love between two men: a Lithuanian lawyer and a Syrian refugee
stuck in Belgrade, Serbia. The Lawyer unpacks the complex subjects of identity, privilege and the nature of love.
As same-sex partnership is rejected in Lithuania again, Marius, a corporate lawyer in his forties, feels lonelier than ever. But he leads a privileged life, dividing his time between dinner parties at his posh minimalist apartment and his firm's colorful bourgeois clients. Bored of his one-night stands, he logs onto a gay cam site, where he falls for a handsome stud called Alex, who claims to be a French student studying in Belgrade.
After Marius’ father unexpectedly dies from a heart attack, he visits his mother’s family in the countryside for the funeral. Marius’ mother gives him a letter signed by father, in which he expresses regret over not accepting his son’s homosexuality. Marius finds consolation in his newfound connection with Alex, and decides to visit him in Belgrade and finally meet him in real life.
The spark is there for the two men in Belgrade – but it quickly turns out that Alex's story is a complete lie. He’s not a student, but a Syrian refugee struck in Belgrade; his real name is Ali. Angered, Marius walks away from him, but later decides to try and help Ali enter the EU. It won’t be an easy task – but the feeling of love only grows at every new obstacle.
I come from Lithuania, a country where same-sex partnerships are illegal, proper legislation for trans people doesn't exist. In these circumstances, LGBT+ people often feel the need to prove ourselves normal. And yet, what does it mean to be normal when it comes to such complicated subjects as love?
The Lawyer aims to express the feelings and images of passionate love: the kind of love that leads one to make all the wrong decisions - decisions never to be regretted, no matter how things end. Opposites are one rule of attraction, and they meet in this film: privileged corporate Lithuanian lawyer Marius and poor Syrian escort Ali. In the melodramatic world of The Lawyer, this couple goes beyond cliché: they are represented neither as heroes nor victims, but as human beings who manipulate, who make mistakes and the wrong decisions. Rather than lecture the audience, I want them to try to look beyond the representations of refugees and Eastern Europeans that appear in modern media.
production company profile
Naratyvas follows the inspiring example of Spanish production company El Deseo, established by Pedro Almodóvar and his brother Agustín. Founded in 1986, to this day it mainly produces Almodóvar's films. While Naratyvas is engaged in developing strong relationships with different creators, its main focus is producing the gay friendly art films of the company's founder, filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas.
MAIN FILMOGRAPHY & SELECTION IN MAIN FESTIVALS OF DIRECTOR
You Can't Escape Lithuania (80 min., 2016) – Bushwick Film Festival best narrative runner-up award (US), Homochrom (Germany), Chéries- Chéris (France), Northern Lights (Belarus).
We Will Riot (79 min., 2013) – Moscow International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights International Film Festival, Bushwick Film Festival (opening film), European Independent Film Festival (France), Wiz-Art (Ukraine), Commffest (Canada), Bratislava IFF (Slovakia), Kaunas IFF (Lithuania), FRIK (Macedonia), MIX Mexico.
Porno Melodrama (30 min., 2011) – Berlinale Panorama, Kinoshock (Russia), Bushwick Film Festival best short film award (US), MIX Copenhagen, MIX Mexico, Torino LGBT Film Festival.
MAIN FILMOGRAPHY & SELECTION IN MAIN FESTIVALS OF PRODUCER
color / B&W
Vilnius, Lithuania and Belgrade, Serbia
finance in place
Other information connected to the project at the Matchmakingforum at : email@example.com