Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am Milda Baginskaite an Eastern European screenwriter and director based in the UK. I have received several directing awards for my short films, music videos and micro shorts. I am a Berlinale Talents 2023 participant and a selected member of BAFTA Connect and Directors UK. A comedy TV series that I have co-created has recently been optioned by a Warner Bros Discovery production company. I also direct theatre, my hybrid theatre and film production has toured UK theatres in 2021.
What made you choose this career?
Having an interest in theatre, photography, dancing, music, writing and reading stories since a very young age, film seemed like a perfect place to marry all these hobbies. At first, I didn’t think it was possible to have a career in arts but gradually fell in love with the craft of filmmaking too much to only see it as a side hustle. Eventually, it has consumed all my life and time. Having said that, it is a ridiculously difficult career and if I could choose again, I think I would like to choose science.
Did you go through formal education? If so, what did you study and where? If not please explain your journey.
My first degree was European Languages and Film Studies in Lancaster University. Soon after graduating, I have realised that I would like to make films myself rather than just write about them and so I decided to go to film school. I have graduated from the Northern Film School with MA in Directing and Screenwriting in 2017.
Did this have a positive or negative impact on your chosen career?
Film school has opened a lot of doors for me. One of my tutors got me entry level positions on high end TV drama sets straight away. People I have met in film school are still my key collaborators. With my producer, a fellow alumna, Pilar Cartro Benavides, we even have a production company together.
Who inspires you?
As a storyteller and a director, I never relax looking for inspiration. Wether it’s a way a friend of mine picks up their pint and takes a few sips or a quiet pause in the forest in between the gibberish bird conversations - I’m always there watching, listening and taking notes to inspire life into the fictional worlds I create. I love to read (and hate the fact that I barely every have time to do it anymore) and so authors definitely have the most influence on me. At the moment, I’m inspired by Susan Sontag. But this inspiration always shifts, which is the beauty of it, I suppose.
What’s the scariest thing about your job and how have you overcome it?
Making anything and sharing it with an audience is incredibly frightening. They might really hate it. Or worse - they won’t understand it. There is a lot of rejection and failure in filmmaking and the only way to overcome it is to keep on trying. Easier said than done, but my personal strategy is just to keep showing up.
What do you want to change about your industry?
This is a difficult question. The main thing I’d like to change is our society’s attitude towards creatives. Art and storytelling doesn’t need to be profitable. We measure everything as an opportunity to be monetised and it is a forever struggle to try and stay creative within this climate and the need to constantly prove your worth.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in your field?
Set an intention - why do you want to do this? And keep going back to this intention throughout your journey. You’re allowed to change it as you move forward, too! Be prepared for bumps and twists and turns. It is a very competitive space but most people are friendly and happy to help. Ask questions and never wait for permission. Essentially, there are no rules. Find the courage to do what you want.