Estonian Film Foundation was established by the Estonian Ministry of Culture in 1997 with the task to share and distribute the national film budget. As the film industry morphs and develops rapidly due to the technological advancement and the ever-changing financing systems, in 2013 Estonian Film Institute (EFI) came to be as its successor, embracing a much wider spectrum of activities in the film industry. EFI’s professional sphere now reaches the whole field of film.
Legally, the Estonian Film Institute is a national foundation financed mainly by the Ministry of Culture. The institute is broadly divided in three departments: development and marketing, production and heritage. The heritage department is also in charge of the film literacy.
The institute is responsible of an incentive support scheme Film Estonia, through which film and TV production companies can receive a cash rebate of up to 30% on eligible local production spend. A subcompany called Tallinnfilm belongs in the EFI family, managing an arthouse cinema. Another cut member is Creative Europe MEDIA Desk, mediating the financing and educational opportunities of the European Union. The Estonian Film Institute is also the organiser of the annual Estonian Film and TV awards – the EFTA Gala night.

What is the main incentive of the Estonian Film Institute today? First and foremost, to remain approachable to all the filmmakers, make sure that Estonian film is and will be the pride of Estonian culture and last but not least - to evolve with time and make Estonian film more visible and competitive on the international arena.

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“A Winner is Seen at the Start” wins the 2021 edition of When East Meets West

The Kazakh project “A Winner is seen at the Start” is the winner of the 5.000 EUR Film Center Serbia Award at the 11th edition of When East Meets West. The debut film of the writer-director Zhannat Alshanova is produced by  Yevgeniya Moreva for Almaty-based Steppe by Steppe. The story follows 19-year-old Mila, who joins an experimental swimming school, but after the death of a teammate, a series of revelations come to light. The film also received the Pop Up Film Residency Award, and Alshanova was also crowned with the European Women’s Audiovisual Network Award for the Best Woman Director, which was given out for the fifth year in a row at WEMW.
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