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Urbonaite ’16 gets Princess Grace film grant

Gabriel Urbonaite

Gabriel Urbonaite '16 outside the Colonial Building last winter. (File Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

Gabriele Urbonaite ’16 is headed to New York City later this month to accept a monetary award from the Princess Grace Foundation that will be used toward post-production work of her BFA film, Back, which was filmed in Urbonaite’s native Lithuania this summer.

“It’s not going to be my first award ceremony, but it will be the most prestigious,” Urbonaite said of the September 25 event. “I’m really excited to meet the people from the Princess Grace Foundation and all the winners, and I hope to make some new friends.”

The Princess Grace Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded 33 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor the legacy of his wife, Princess Grace Kelly, by supporting emerging artists in theater, dance, and film.

Urbonaite, a Visual and Media Arts student who had another film screened in several festivals this year, traveled to her native Lithuania this summer to work on Back.

“We shot the film in four days,” she said. “But for the previous month and a half, I was preparing casting, actors, getting my crew together, and scouting locations.”

Back is a short narrative about a 22-year-old Lithuanian actress who returns home after working in Hollywood to discover noticeable changes in her hometown and her loved ones.

“It’s mainly about a feeling that you expect a lot from coming home, how you expect to feel welcome and safe,” Urbonaite said, “but oftentimes you realize how much the home has changed and it’s not really home anymore. I tried to touch on that universal feeling.”

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