Project Description


In 1970, in the middle of the Cold War, an American patrol boat meets a Soviet fishing vessel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Suddenly, a Lithuanian sailor jumps across ten feet of icy water, landing on the deck of the American boat in a frantic bid for political asylum. To his horror, the Americans return him to the Soviets. Told through incredible archival footage and re-lived by the would-be defector Simas Kudirka himself, the tale takes us on a stranger-than-fiction journey of imprisonment, twists of fate, and the price of becoming a symbol of freedom.

Director: Giedrė Žickytė
Producer: Giedrė Žickytė, Uldis Cekulis
Co-producer: Catherine Siméon, Daniel J. Chalfen
With the support of: Lithuanian Film Centre, Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée, PROCIREP – ANGOA, Région Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Production, National Film Centre of Latvia, Vilnius City Municipality, U.S. Embassy in Vilnius Federal Grant, Lithuanian Foundation in Chicago, Kazickas Family Foundation
In co-production with: MDR – Mitteldeutcher Rundfunk; WDR – Westdeutscher Rundfunk; LRT – Lithuanian National Radio and Television, VFS Films (Latvia), Faites Un Voeu (France)
In association with: France televisions, SVT, YLE, LTV, ERR, Naked Edge Films (USA)
International sales: CVesna Cudic for MetFilm Sales, UK
Release: To be completed

Pitching Foruns
Independent Filmmaker Project, Brooklyn NY (2017)
IDFA Pitching Forum (2016)
Sheffield Doc/Fest Meet Market (2015)
Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries (2015)
Eurodoc (2015)