The first film production companies and first films schools were founded in 1926. In 1927 a short film Rupestingas tevas was produced by Lietfilm. Lithuania's most important film directors during the era were Jurgis Linartas and Vladas Stipaitis. The Soldier Lithuania's Defender (1928) and a feature film Onyte ir Jonelis (1931) produced by a film company Akis, are the most notable films of the era.
The first Soviet era feature film "Maryte" using Lithuanian composer and actors was produced by Mosfilm. Until 1956 all Lithuanian feature films were made in cooperation with other motion-picture studios in Soviet Union focusing on Communist themes.
After the death of Stalin in 1953 a more liberal period in Soviet Union's cultural policies followed. Filmmakers started to enjoy grater artistic control at the same time the Soviet State Committee for Cinematography (Goskino) in Moscow provided the money, state censorship body Glavlit and CPSU Department of Culture had the control over releasing the movies.
In the late 1980s an independent Lithuanian national cinema industry was reborn during Persestroika social and political reforms in the Soviet Union. The first independent film production studio Kinema was founded by the director Sarunas Bartas in 1987. Another notable documentary filmmaker emerged during the era is Arūnas Matelis.
After Lithuania regained independence on March 11 1990 the state funding of filmmaking drastically decreased and smaller studios emerged instead. During the era about 10 documentaries and 2 feature films have been made yearly. The most notable directors have been Vytautas Zalakevicius, the directr of Zveris iseinantis is juros (The Beast Emerging from the Sea) (1992) , and Algimantas Puipa the winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Lübeck Nordic Film Days and the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Rouen Nordic Film Festival for ''Vilko dantu karoliai (A Wolf Teeth Necklace) (1997).
A small industry, Lithuania has produced about 80 films to date.