Ethnic Kitchen

Ethnic Kitchen is a documentary feature about five women who moved to post-Soviet independent Lithuania from different countries, at different times, and for different reasons. At first glance, the life stories of these women seem unbelievable, but a closer look reveals that it is something that could happen to any of us. How do we construct our world which we call home? Does it stem from our place in society based on our gender, skin color, age, or nationality? Or is it something more simple than that? Could it be that home is any place where we find compassion, inspiration, talent, love, and a shared humanity? Ethnic Kitchen is not just a movie, it’s an invitation to reflect on the things that make us feel like outsiders. Ethnic Kitchen is a reminder and encouragement to extend a helping hand to those around us having trouble fitting in.

  • Aiste Ptakauske
  • Aiste Ptakauske
  • Aiste Ptakauske
  • Lineta Miseikyte
  • Alicia Gian-Maciulis
    Key Cast
  • Keisha Laraine Ingram
    Key Cast
  • Aminat Saiyeva
    Key Cast
  • Marisa Leonaviciene
    Key Cast
  • Bozena Karveliene
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Pasaulio virtuvė
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 2, 2014
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Ethnografilm
    April 20, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Spotlight on Academics
    Thunder Bay
    February 9, 2023
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • The Ethnic Kitchen Productions
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Aiste Ptakauske

Aiste Ptakauske is an award-winning content creator and educator who works across media and continents. She authored a collection of short stories and two best-selling novels for young adults, made two documentary films, created two podcast series, and worked on a number of TV and digital series in the capacity of a screenwriter, supervising producer, head writer or creator. She is a recipient of many prestigious awards such as an Augustinas Gricius Prize for the Best Fiction Debut in Lithuania, a Fulbright Graduate Student Grant, an Iconic Women Creating a Better World award from Women Economic Forum 2017, and the Best Creator Award from Seoul Webfest 2019. She is a founder of The Ethnic Kitchen, a boutique content development company that produces socially relevant audiovisual and cross media projects.

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Director Statement

Ethnic Kitchen was born in November 2012, at the annual “16 Days against Gender Violence” campaign when one of the event organizers, the United States Embassy in Vilnius, asked me to create a performance piece that would address key gender issues in Lithuania at the moment.
In my project, I chose to shine the spotlight on a rarely noticed group of Lithuanian women: immigrants. How do they differ from Lithuanian women? How are they similar? What troubles and joys are they experiencing in their adopted homeland? Are these experiences particular only to them or are they common to Lithuanians too? In preparation for the performance, I interviewed over a dozen women from various countries: Estonia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, USA, Ethiopia, Uruguay, and Chechnya, among others.
On 8 of December 2012, seven of the interviewed women gathered at the State Youth Theatre of Lithuania to share their life stories with the public. The event generated tremendous interest and support.
'We didn’t know that there were such interesting people living around us!'
'We had no clue that such wonderful things were happening in Lithuania'.
'We saw ourselves and our country through different eyes'.
These were the most common exclamations from the audience members. After the performance, the positive reviews spread throughout the country and people from other cities clamoured for repeat performances of Ethnic Kitchen. This enthusiasm showed that Lithuanians often come across as cold and unfriendly not because it is somehow encoded in their nature, but simply because they know very little about foreigners living in Lithuania. But the willingness to know more is definitely there! This realisation gave birth to another idea – to develop Ethnic Kitchen into a documentary feature which could reach all corners of Lithuania and beyond.