The Ancient Woods

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What happens when you observe a millennial forest for years? An incomparable film, without dialogues or voice over, which shows nature as we have never seen it before. The beauty of the images, along with exceptional sound work, immerses us in a state of intense meditation; time is undone, there is no information, only unfiltered emotion.

Erasing the line that separates human lives from the rest of beings, the filmmaker and biologist Mindaugas Survila has fulfilled his youth dream to show the wealth of life hidden in the forests. His passion filters through each frame; we feel the patience to prepare the shooting for weeks, often hanging from the trees, and waiting for hours to film a unique, unrepeatable shot. The generosity to let each viewer interpret and experience the ancestral forest in their own way adds complexity to a film that has captivated thousands of people around the world.


Mindaugas Survila, who trained as a biologist (Vilnius University), is now successfully pursuing his career in documentary filmmaking (film directing and cinematography). In 2012 his film The Field of Magic received the national Lithuanian cinema award Silver Crane for best documentary feature. He has also been collaborating with well-known film directors Sergey Loznitsa and Audrius Stonys.  Mindaugas has been purposefully preparing to make The Ancient Woods for 8 years. He felt that it was going to be particularly difficult to create. However, Mindaugas Survila believed that with his experience and the help of a reliable team anything would be possible. He hoped that The Ancient Woods would not only attract a large number of people to the cinema, but would also stimulate discussions on the subject of real life values.


  • IDFA, Netherlands, 2017
  • Sydney Film Festival, Australia, 2018
  • Doc NYC, USA, 2018
The Ancient Woods | Edition 2019, Official Section - Panorama

The Ancient Woods

Mindaugas Survila

Lithuania, Estonia, Germany (2017)


Without dialogues

Language: without dialogues

Q&A with Gintė Žulytė, producer and editor, after the screenings.

With the collaboration of:








*Q&A in English without translation services