A still from Gerda Paliušytė's film Early Winter. It depicts a class room, with empty chairs and desks, with windows, looking out to buildings across the way.

Early Winter – A Work in Progress by Gerda Paliušytė

13 Nov 2020

We share a teaser of 'Early Winter', a work in progress by artist Gerda Paliušytė, recipient of the Rupert x Lithuanian Culture Institute x Somerset House Studios online residency award.

In a secondary schools in Vilnius, an annual Christmas party approaches. As with every year, a selected class organizes their own “Horror Escape Room” – one of the more popular forms of entertainment among school pupils, attracting much attention between different generations, including parents and teachers.

The film explores the development of alternative arrangements and the impact of the virtual in such a seemingly hermetic structure as a school. The process of creating an escape room – a trip with the promise of a happy ending – is seen as a moment of utopianism which, although gothic in its form, strengthens the community. At the same time, cracks in the spectacle appear, shedding light on the imperative versus fantasy and vulnerability – an inevitable part of a joyous time. Paliušytė says 'this teaser is a first attempt to define some elements that will be present in the film, as well as the overall mood of the project.'

In her works, Paliušytė explores cultural history and contradictions found within it. She is interested in various documentary practices (such as docufiction), diverse historical and pop culture characters, and their relationship with social reality.

During her residency at Somerset House Studios, Paliušytė hoped to gain a new understanding of how virtual spaces – created and archived on social media apps, can be eloquently incorporated in the narrative structure of the documentary film both aesthetically and technically. 


Film credits

Directing - Gerda Paliušytė
Camera - Vytautas Katkus
Editing - Gintarė Sokelytė
Color Correction - Justinas Vencius
Sound - Ulijona Odišarija
Featuring Arina Selichovatė

In partnership with