9-tas Žingsnis

LITHUANIA – 2022 – DCP – color – 93’

Direction: Irma Pužauskaite
Screenplay: Egle Vertelyte
Cinematography: Jacek Podgórski
Editing: Dominykas Kiliiauskas
Set design: Ramunas Rastauskas
Music: Domas Strupinskas
Costumes: Fausta Naujal
Cast: Valentin Novopolskij (Linas), Gerda Ciuraite (Ieva), Angelina Daukait? (Maja), Lina Rastokaite (Diana), Marius Repšys (Jonas)
Producer: Lukas Trimonis
Production: Inscript con il supporto di in coproduction with Lietuvos Kino Centras, LRT
World Sales: Film Republic


After a turbulent decade of deep addiction, Linas’ life is finally on track. However, after a sudden custody agreement, Linas finds himself living with his estranged seventeen-year-old daughter Ieva. Both Linas and Ieva struggle to accept the new house hold dynamics and as much as Linas is trying to rebuild their relationship, Ieva is unforgiving. Ieva’s rebellious friend, Maya – dealing with her own family issues – takes refuge at their place where Linas welcomes the distraction and her playfulness.Whilst Maya’s loyalty lies with her friend, she feels attracted to Linas and starts showing up at his apartment unannounced. Sensingthe danger with Maya and questioning his instincts, Linas tries to focus on being a better father to Ieva instead. As the lines betweenthe three get increasingly blurred, each must find a way back to morality and forgiveness.

DIRECTOR: Irma Pužauskait?

After working in film finance for Creative Europe and the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, Irma decided to dive deep into the creativeside of the film industry, and was fortunate enough to receive numerous scholarships to graduate from LMU Film School in LosAngeles. Her thesis short film,The Morning After, received the Faculty Award and Best Supporting Actress award at CalifornianWomen Film Festival. She is also an alumni of the Incubator Lab at Film Independent (US) and EKRAN+ at Wajda School (Poland).In 2016, she established a professional educational group called Directors Lab. Together with professional actors, Irma startedVilnius Actors Studio.


“9th Step is a coming-of-age story of a young father and his teenage daughter. As Linas recovers, he remains isolated and rarely sees the rest of the world fully, nor does he care about it. His growing attraction to his daughter’s best friend slowly turns into an obsession, just like drinking did before.
I am surprised by the large number of people dealing with alcohol addiction these days. I got to meet many people and encountered their worlds, consisting of mental institutions, hospitals, rehabs and jails. What everyone had in common: once an alcoholic is sober, they will have an enormous struggle to build and maintain relationships with other people. Forgiveness is a key element in this, but it’s also one of the hardest things to achieve for all parties involved. The story of 9th Step is about this challenge.”

2015 The Morning After (short)
2022 The 9th Step

2022 Cottbus FF –  Youth Film Competition