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Eurimages Supports Estonian Films with 400,000 Euros

Eurimages Supports Estonian Films with 400,000 Euros

Eurimages supported two Estonian films at their June 2017 meeting in Bratislava. Director Veiko Õunpuu’s “The Last Ones” received 240,000 euros support and the Russian-Estonian-French co-production “The Man Who Surprised Everyone” received 160,000 euros. “The members of the Eurimages working group commended both films for their original stories and strong, unique directorial vision,” explained the Estonian representative to Eurimages, Estonian Film Institute (EFI) Head of Production Piret Tibbo-Hudgins. Two projects receiving support is particularly impressive as the summer application round is the most tense of the year. It’s also notable that the Estonian producer of both films is Katrin Kissa.

“In the context of Estonian auteur cinema, Õunpuu’s “The Last Ones” is expensive. Especially since it will be filmed many thousands of kilometers away, in Lapland, where the infrastructure for filmmaking is practically nonexistent,” said Kissa. “We have to create everything ourselves and if anything unexpected happens, resolving issues will be time consuming and expensive.” The producer has been financing “The Last Ones” for years. Thanks to the support from Eurimages, the film is able to start production in August.

This Northern Western style film will be shot in Finnish and takes place in the tundra, the world of the miners and reindeer herders. According to Tibbo-Hudgins, the micro-cosmos of miners and reindeer herders is found on the peripheries of Lapland but the material can be generalized to any corner of the world where the indigenous culture, natural resources, greed of capitalism and love meet. At the same time, the film feels familiar in its culture of disruption, uncertainty, work ethic and fleeting moments of happiness.

The screenplay for “The Last Ones” was written by Veiko Õunpuu, Eero Tammi and Heikki Huttu-Hiltunen. The film has a budget of 1.5 million euros and is a co-production between Estonia and Finland. In addition to Estonian actor Pääru Oja in the leading role, Finnish actors playing main roles are Tommi Korpela, Laura Birn, Elmer Bäck and Sulevi Peltola. The director of photography is Sten-Johan Lill, the art designer is Otso Linnalaakso and the costume designer is Jaanus Vahtra. The film is produced by Homeless Bob Production from Estonia and Bufo from Finland. EFI has support the film with 500,000 euros.

Directors Natalya Merkulova and Alexey Chupov’s second feature “The Man Who Surprised Everyone” will be a Russian-Estonian-French co-production and the cinematographer, like with their debut film, will be Mart Taniel. Set in a Siberian village and the taiga, this magical and unique film project has a budget of 1 million euros. EFI supported the film under the minority co-production funding scheme with 40,000 euros in January.

“This story has a lot of interesting visual possibilities and cinematographer Mart Taniel’s discretion and sense of beauty could give it a whole new breadth. The landscapes are picturesque, the people are complicated and the theme is intriguing,” Kissa explained. The film will go into production in September and be ready in the second half of 2018.

During the last few years, Eurimages has given support to “Scandinavian Silence” (Estonia-France-Belgium), “November” (Estonia-Poland-Netherlands), “Pretenders” (Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania), “Seneca Day” (Lithuania-Estonia-Latvia), “The Secret Society of Souptown” (Estonia-Finland), “The Fencer” (Finland-Estonia-Germany), “Tangerines” (Estonia-Georgia) and “I Won’t Come Back” (Russia-Estonia-Byelorussia-Finland).

Additional information:
Piret Tibbo-Hudgins
Estonian Film Institute, Head of Production
phone: +372 56 467 769
e-mail: piret@filmi.ee