Global Stage Hollywood Film Festival
October 7th, 2023
As part of the Global Stage Hollywood Film Festival, the highly acclaimed Lithuanian animated short film "Way Better" (producer Agnė Adomienė, director Skirmanta Jakaitė) was showcased at the TCL Chinese Theaters on October 7. This film had previously received recognition at the Palm Springs Film Festival. Audiences were captivated by its compelling storytelling and engaging narrative.
Adding to the charm of the Opening Night exclusive reception party was Simona Smirnova's performance, which brought a touch of Lithuanian culture to the event and delighted the attendees.
We extend our sincere gratitude to the Consulate General of Lithuania in Los Angeles for providing support in partnership with LABA.LA to showcase and celebrate Lithuanian culture during this prestigious event.
Happy Hour Networking Event with the LA Business Forum Participants
September 22, 2023
LABA.LA organized a Happy Hour Networking Event as a follow-up to the Los Angeles Lithuanian Business Forum. This event aimed to facilitate connections among business professionals from Los Angeles and Lithuania. It provided a unique opportunity for attendees to engage with Lithuanian companies that specialize in cutting-edge solutions in industries such as Net Zero, ICT, Food, and Defense.
The Los Angeles Lithuanian Business Forum took place on September 21st, 2023, at the prestigious UCLA Anderson School of Management. It was a highly anticipated event of the year, highlighted by the presence of His Excellency Gitanas NAUSĖDA, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, making it a historic occasion.
Happy Hour Networking Event with Perfection42
August 11, 2023
We had a wonderful time at the Happy Hour Networking Event featuring Perfection42 startup from Lithuania. The event provided an opportunity for Lithuanian diaspora professionals to gather and explore the potential of AI technology in the creative industry. Kudos to Simona (Co-Founder and CEO) and Aurimas (CPO) for generously sharing their insights and expertise. We look forward to their future visits to Los Angeles and the possibility of collaborating further.
UCLA GAP Program
July 23, 2023
UCLA GAP (Global Access Program) in Los Angeles, California has been providing Lithuanian companies with one of the most effective ways to enter the US market for the past five years. This year, Super Garden and Fortos are participating in the program. The program's kick-off event was held on July 21-23 at the UCLA campus, and by the end of the year, the Lithuanian companies will be presented their entry strategies for the US market. The program is a collaborative effort between Team Lithuania (which includes the Lietuvos Respublikos generalinis konsulatas Los Andžele, LABA.LA, Lithuanian World Arts Council, and American Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania) and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
In the picture: Super Garden leadership, UCLA GAP program MBA students and Team Lithuania representatives.
North American Lithuanian Business Forum, Chicago
June 7-8, 2023
North American Lithuanian Business Forum / NALB Forum captivated the hearts and minds of business leaders! The event, an electric convergence of more than 400 participants from the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Lithuania, took place in Chicago on June 7-8, 2023. During this dynamic gathering, representatives from various Lithuanian and North American business, NGO, government, and diplomatic organizations discussed Lithuania's current accomplishments and opportunities to further expand, compete and lead in the global market.
For the first time, the NALB Forum introduced the Creative Industries as a strategic business sector standing alongside established industries like life sciences, startups, advanced manufacturing, and transport & logistics.
Lithuania has the largest and most advanced film industry among the Baltic countries, receiving global recognition and highest ratings for both national content creation (a record-breaking 63 films in 2022) and extensive provision of production services for foreign film and TV content production services, attracting productions that have gained worldwide fame and acclaim, such as HBO's 'Chernobyl' and Netflix's 'Stranger Things'. Investments in film production in Lithuania have increased from 24.97 million EUR to 59.94 million EUR per year between 2017 and 2022, with a total investment amount of 262.54 million EUR during that period. It is important to note that approximately 90% of Lithuania's film industry is concentrated in Vilnius, where around 19,000 jobs were created and 51.7 million EUR were spent on salaries from 2017 to 2021, generating an added value of 84.6 million EUR. The Creative Industries sector has significant potential for export growth. It creates not only high-value-added jobs but also shapes the cultural identity of the country and strongly contributes to increasing Lithuania's global visibility.
During the NALB Forum in Chicago, representatives from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius City Municipality, Baltic Film & Creative Tech Cluster (BFCTC), American Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania (AmCham Lithuania), Lithuanian American Business Association in Los Angeles (LABA.LA), Lithuanian World Arts Council (LWAC), and the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Los Angeles (Lietuvos Respublikos generalinis konsulatas Los Andžele) agreed to pursue the following objectives:
1. Recognize the audiovisual sector of Lithuania as a priority and important sector to Lithuania’s economy.
2. Develop state-of-the-art infrastructure in the Lithuanian audiovisual sector, including the establishment of a technical base that meets sustainability (green) and digitalization standards, capable of servicing prominent large scale international projects.
3. Nurture human capital in the Lithuanian audiovisual sector by ensuring the introduction of new specialists and implementing a system for adequate training and skills enhancement.
4. Ensure the continuity of the tax incentive that has proven to enhance the country's competitiveness and yield excellent results, and its expansion (to such areas as visual effects, soundtrack, score and, etc., without requiring for obligatory shoot days in Lithuania).
5. Achieve the development of the audiovisual sector to contribute up to 0.5% of GDP by 2030 (currently at 0.15%).
The participants of the Creative Industries sector had the opportunity to visit prominent Chicago film studios such as Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and Smash Studio, and the upcoming Fields Studios. The studio tours were accompanied by Peter Hawley, Head of the Illinois State Film Office, along with key Lithuanian officials. The consensus among participants was that the film industry, given the right ecosystem, has visible growth and long-term potential.
"It is symbolic that the forum was held in Chicago, a city that has developed world-class sound stages complex and successfully attracted investments through a favorable long-term tax environment, talent development programs, and infrastructure. We see a lot of similarities between Vilnius and Chicago, so we believe that this cooperation can become the beginning of a new era" -notes Eleonora Romuva, leader of the Creative Industries sectorial program, and co-founder of the Lithuanian American Business Association in Los Angeles.
The NALB Forum also underscored the Lithuanian startup sector's significance, acknowledging its potential for export growth and its ability to increase Lithuania's global visibility. This year's Startup session, "Hunting for a Unicorn," delved into the Lithuanian startup ecosystem's tectonic shifts and the opportunities it offers for angel investors.
NALB forum has gained increasing momentum since its inception in Washington, DC, in 2019. It has evolved into one of the largest economic forums outside of Lithuania, thanks to four years of unwavering effort and dedication.
The magic of the NALB forum lies in its blend of valuable content and inspiring experiences that help to shape Lithuania's identity. The success of this forum is a testament to the immense collaborative TEAM effort across the continent among Lithuanian diaspora professional business clubs and organizations, business companies, diplomatic and governmental organizations. A hearty congratulations to the hosting Chicago team for raising the bar yet again!
Our commitment to fostering Lithuania's growth never wavers. Here's to our continued efforts!
Creative Industries session was led by Team Lithuania: LABA.LA (Eleonora Romuva), Film & TV Director and Producer Marius Vilunas, Lietuvos Respublikos generalinis konsulatas Los Andžele (Laima Jureviciene Mantas Zamzickas), Lithuanian World Arts Council (Daiva Cekanauskas Navarrette), Baltic Film & Creative Tech Cluster (Romanas Matulis, Kestutis Drazdauskas, Aiste Litvinaite, Agnesta Filatovė, Valdas Skinderis), Lithuanian Film Centre (Laimonas Ubavicius), Vilnius Film Office | Vilniaus kino biuras (Jūratė Pazikaitė), and American Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania (Tadas Vizgirda, Zivile Sabaliauskaite).
Startup session was led by Kestutis Barzdaitis (LABA.LA) and Andrius Neviera.
Happy Hour Guest Speaker Serries with Social Business Innovations Team
April 20, 2023
What a great evening with Nacionalinis socialinės integracijos institutas focused on social business initiatives and innovations in Lithuania. Big shout out to Monika Stankeviciute and her team for being generators of positive energy as fuel for so many constructive outcomes to make everyone's lives better! You are an inspiration to many!
Huge thanks to Lietuvos Respublikos generalinis konsulatas Los Andžele for hosting ongoing guest speaker serries. TeamLithuania Rocks! Global Lithuanian Leaders thank you for connecting!
Happy Hour Guest Speaker Serries with Invest Lithuania team
March 30, 2023
Huge thanks to Lietuvos Respublikos generalinis konsulatas Los Andžele for hosting a networking event featuring Invest Lithuania team. Kudos to Gintare Baciuliene and Anastasija Chadunkina for a very informative and engaging presentation. Connecting people with ideas and passion to create, build and expand!
Ukraine Focus: Defending Freedom Rally
February 24, 2023
Team Lithuania: Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian Community, LABA.LA, LWAC and Baltic Freedom League stand united with Ukraine! To commemorate one year anniversary of the full scale invasion to Ukraine, Team Lithuania participated in the rally to support Ukraine organized by Stand with Ukraine Foundation.
Photo credit: Oleg Kharchenko
Happy Hour Guest Speaker Serries with a Lithuanian Unicorn Nord Security
February 23, 2023
Huge thanks to Lietuvos Respublikos generalinis konsulatas Los Andžele for hosting a networking event featuring a Lithuanian unicorn Nord Security. Kudos to Gerald Kasulis, VP Business & Channel Operations, NA for the energetic and engaging presentation.
105 years of Restored Lithuania
February 15, 2023
Los Angeles Lithuanians went on Freedom hike to commemorate Lithuania's independence day (2-16-1918) and its re-emergence back on the global map. Strong, transformed and united! Viva Lietuva!