Mantas Kvedaravicius, a Lithuanian filmmaker, was shot to death in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Saturday. He had been documenting the siege of the port city for many years, according to his colleagues and a media report.
“Our friend Artdocfest participant Mantas Kvedaravicius from Lithuania was killed today in Mariupol with a camera in hand, in this shitty battle of evil, against all the world,” Vitaly Mansky, a Russian filmmaker and founder of Artdocfest, posted on Facebook.
Kvedaravicius is best known for his documentary on conflict zones, “Mariupolis”, which was premiered at 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
It was filmed in Mariupol and depicts a city in Ukraine under siege who has a strong will for life. The strategically important port is located in Donetsk, a breakaway region in Russia where pro-Russian fighters are fighting Ukrainian forces ever since 2014.
Since Russia’s February 24th invasion, Mariupol has been surrounded by Moscow. This is the main target of Moscow in Ukraine’s Donbas. It’s the region’s southeast, which includes the Donetsk- and Luhansk separatist areas. Tens of thousands are trapped in the city without access to food or water.
“Everyday life develops poetry of its own, sometimes can seem absurd,” stated the Berlin International Film Festival’s summary of “Mariupolis.”
Kvedaravicius was a Lithuanian citizen who was born in 1976. He studied at Vilnius University, and then received a degree from Cambridge in social anthropology, according to LRT, the Lithuanian public broadcaster.
Kvedaravicius’s passing was also reported by the broadcaster. However, it has not yet been confirmed.
“RIP, dearest talented Mantas. It was a terrible loss for the Lithuanian cinema community as well as for the entire world. “Our hearts are broken,” Giedre Ziickyte (a producer and director of documentary films in Lithuania) wrote on her Facebook page.