Artis will once again showcase the best of Latvian and Lithuanian filmmaking of the recent years. The the screenings are free of charge and all films have Estonian and English subtitles.
Artis will once again showcase the best of Latvian and Lithuanian filmmaking of the recent years. The the screenings are free of charge and all films have Estonian and English subtitles.
Seats can be reserved at the Artis’ box office on the day of the screenings.
The presentation of one of the following documents is needed: a completed COVID-19 vaccination certificate or proof of passage (valid for up to 6 months after recovery) or a negative PCR test (up to 72 h old) or a rapid antigen test (up to 48 h old). In addition, a personal identification document is required.
The Baltic Film Days take place for the fifth time and happen simultaneously in the three Baltic States. The event offers an opportunity to exchange the recent film creations between neighbouring countries.
Estonian films, Lauri Randla's humorous debut Goodbye Soviet Union and Jaan Tootsen's portrait documentary of Fred Jüssi The Beauty of Being, will be screened in Latvia and Lithuania. The event is dedicated to the anniversary of the Baltic Way. The Baltic Film Days are organized by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian film institutes.
Watch trailer for the Baltic Film Days here.
Eurimages supported three Estonian films at their June 2021 meeting. Director Rainer Sarnet’s The Invisible Fight received 360,000 euros, while Triin Ruumet’s Dark Paradise received 150,000 euros and a Lithuanian-Estonian-Bulgarian documentary coproduction Irena received 112,000 euros.
That the three films were awarded the support is all the more noteworthy for the fact that competition for the support was the fiercest it has ever been in the history of Eurimages: a total of 92 European films applied for financing. With all of the films to which support was provided, Eurimages highlighted the originality and topical nature of their stories and the bold, unique visions of their directors.
The Invisible Fight is a kung-fu comedy about an Orthodox monastery set in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Since director Rainer Sarnet’s plan with the film is to marry a number of aspects that at first glance don’t appear to go together – levity and sanctity, Black Sabbath and monks’ chants, pop culture and religious art – then the film will be a mixture which has never existed before in this form. “When you’re trying something that’s really out there, the cards tend to fall in one of two ways when it comes to funding,” explained the film’s producer Katrin Kissa. “Either the originality of it really grabs people, or the fact that it’s new and unusual leads to them taking a more cautious approach. The financing we’ve secured from Eurimages for The Invisible Fight is the last cornerstone of the whole thing. Now we can say with total confidence that shooting will start in August.” The film will be shot in Latvia, Greece and Estonia.
Sarnet is not only the film’s director, but is also responsible for its screenplay. Joining Ursel Tilk, who has been cast in the lead role, will be actors Ester Kuntu, Indrek Sammul, Maria Avdjuško, Tiina Tauraite and Mari Abel. The film’s crew will include director of photography Mart Taniel, designer Jaagup Roomet and costume designer Jaanus Vahtra. The film is being produced by Homeless Bob Production. With a budget of 2.6 million euros, the film is being made as a coproduction between Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Finland and Germany. The Estonian Film Institute allocated 700,000 euros in support of the film.
Triin Ruumet’s Dark Paradise is a drama about millennials which exists on the fringes of black tragicomedy. Its screenplay was written by Ruumet, Andris Feldmanis and Livia Ulman. The story draws the viewer into the hedonistic world of a young university student – a lifestyle with which she staves off her yearning for real intimacy. Producer Elina Litvinova explained that the team found a French partner Jeremy Forni from Chevaldeuxtrois on the coproduction market at the Les Arcs film festival a couple of years ago. “He is a big fan of Triin’s work, and a really good partnership has grown out of that,” she said.
Dark Paradise is being made as an Estonian-French coproduction with a budget of 1.4 million euros. It will star Rea Lest and Jörgen Liik and feature Steffi Pähn, Liisa Saaremäel and Juhan Ulfsak. Its crew will include director of photography Erik Põllumaa and designer Matis Mäesalu. The Estonian Film Institute allocated 800,000 euros in support of the film, which is being produced by the Three Brothers studio.
Talented Lithuanian director Giedrė Žickytė’s documentary Irena represents a creative production partnership between Estonian, Lithuanian and Bulgarian film-makers. Producer Pille Rünk explained that the documentary serves as a farewell and love letter to an extraordinary woman, Irena Veisaitė – a Lithuanian theatre scholar and humanist whose fate was closely intertwined with Estonia through love and friendship. Irena was the last wife of Estonian film director Grigori Kromanov, and composer Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina was named after Irena’s daughter – as consolation to both mother and daughter, whom the vicissitudes of life had separated. Part of the documentary will be shot in Estonia, where its soundtrack will be produced and its sound design carried out.
The Estonian producer of the film, which has a budget of 450,000 euros, is Allfilm. The Estonian Film Institute allocated 30,000 euros in minority coproduction support to the film.
Estonian films which have received support from Eurimages in recent years include The Last Ones (dir. Veiko Õunpuu), Goodbye Soviet Union (dir. Lauri Randla), November (dir. Rainer Sarnet), Scandinavian Silence (dir. Martti Helde), Pretenders (dir. Vallo Toomla) and The Secret Society of Souptown (dir. Margus Paju), plus a number of films in which Estonian producers have been minority partners. These include the Finnish film Compartment Number 6, directed by Juho Kuosmanen and written by Andris Feldmanis and Livia Ulman, which was selected for competition at 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Veiko Õunpuu’s latest feature The Last Ones will be the opening film this Thursday, May 20 at Iceland’s Stockfish Film Festival. The film won Best Baltic Feature at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival last autumn and is still enjoying festival success. In April, it screened in the „Masters“ programme at the Moscow International Film Festival and was in competition at GoEast Film Festival. The fall in coronavirus cases allows Stockfish to happen as a physical festival at the Bíó Paradís cinema. The opening screening is invite only, however, The Last Ones will be available for the wider festival audience on May 25.
The Last Ones is a Nordic Western that takes place in the untamed Lapland tundra. The protagonist is young miner Rupi, who hopes to scrape together enough money through excavating the tundra to forever shake the suffocating dust of the mining village from his feet. But the work has come to a halt because Rupi’s reindeer herder father refuses to sell his land. What’s more, the manipulative mine owner nicknamed the Fisherman has his eye on Rupi’s friend’s wife, a woman who Rupi is also secretly in love with. Now that life in the mining village is becoming more dangerous by the day, Rupi must decide where and to whom he belongs. Is it the primal tundra of his forefathers or the cold terrain of personal interest?
The Last Ones is a co-production between Estonia, Finland and the Netherlands, produced by Katrin Kissa from Homeless Bob Production together with Mark Lwoff, Misha Jaari (BUFO, Finland) and Ellen Havenith (PRPL, the Netherlands). Starring Pääru Oja, Laura Birn, Tommi Korpela. Written by the director Veiko Õunpuu, together with Heikki Huttu-Hiltunen and Eero Tammi, cinematography by Sten-Johan Lill, edited by Wouter van Luijn and Xander Nijsten, sound design by Mark Glynne.
The Last Ones is Veiko’s fifth feature. His previous films are highly acclaimed, his debut feature Autumn Ball won the Orizzonti Award for Best Film at Venice International Film Festival in 2007 and his next ones The Temptation of St. Tony, Free Range. Ballad of Approving the World and Roukli have premiered at acclaimed film festivals and won numerous awards.
Stockfish Film Festival will take place from 20 to 30 May in Reykjavik. This year the festival will present a curated collection of 21 internationally award-winning films and a shorts programme. The festival chose The Last Ones as the opening film as it fits „into the spirit of Stockfish with its unconventional narrative and stunning cinematography.“ The festival screenings for The Last Ones are supported by the Estonian Film Institute and the Estonian Embassy in Oslo.
Everyone residing in Iceland can attend the screening taking place on May 25.
Tickets can be purchased here: https://tix.is/en/event/11237/the-last-ones/.
More information on the festival’s website: https://stockfishfestival.is/en/front-page/
International Distribution Coordinator
Two Estonian directorial debut features Goodbye, Soviet Union by Lauri Randla and Firebird by Peeter Rebane are chosen for the programme „Russian Trace“ at this years’ Moscow International Film Festival. The former had it’s world premiere at the A-list Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, followed by screenings at Tromsø IFF and Cleveland IFF, the latter had its start at London’s oldest LGBTQ+ film festival BFI Flare.
Both films offer historical stories set in the Soviet Era, showcasing the unique and unconventional journeys often hidden behind closed doors that the audiences can easily relate to. The comedy Goodbye, Soviet Union tells the story of a colourful Ingrian-Finnish family. A young boy Johannes is born to a single student mom and is raised by his grandparents, while the hippie mom protests against the war in Afghanistan. Strong characters quarrel with each other until mother smuggles herself to work in Finland through KGB and Johannes has to face the life challenges alone. He falls deeply in love with his classmate, Vera, takes risks, gets into fights, and gets punished… all the while, in the background, the Evil Empire collapses.
Starring Niklas Kouzmitšev, Nika Savolainen, Ülle Kaljuste, Tõnu Oja and Pääru Oja.
Written and directed by Lauri Randla, cinematography by Elen Lotman and produced by Peeter Urbla with Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari. The production companies behind the film are Exitfilm and Bufo (Finland). The director’s filmography to date consists of seven short films, among them Mausoleum (2016), which has won over ten international awards. The short is produced by Peeter Urbla from Exitfilm.
Firebird is a touching love story set in the Soviet Air Force during the Cold War. Sergey, a troubled young private, is counting the days till his military service ends. His life is turned upside down when a daring fighter pilot, Roman arrives at the base. Driven by curiosity, Sergey and Roman navigate the precarious line between love and friendship as a dangerous love triangle forms between them and Luisa, the secretary to the base Commander. Sergey is forced to face his past as Roman’s career is endangered and Luisa struggles to keep her family together. As the walls close in, they risk their freedom and their lives in the face of an escalating KGB investigation and the fear of the all-seeing Soviet regime. Based on a true story.
Starring Tom Prior (The Theory of Everything, Kingsman: The Secret Service), Oleg Zagorodnij (The Choice, Dzhamayka) and Diana Požarskaja (The Unknown Soldier, Hotel Eleon, as well as many beloved Estonian actors, such as Margus Prangel, Ester Kuntu and Kaspar Velberg. The shooting took place in various historically significant sites around Tallinn, Pärnu and Ida-Virumaa.
Written by Peeter Rebane and Tom Prior, directed by Peeter Rebane, cinematography by Mait Mäekivi, edited by Tambet Tasuja, sound design by Matis Rei and produced by Brigita Rozenbrika. The production companies involved are The Factory, founded by Peeter Rebane and Adam Brummond and the London production company No Reservations Entertainment. The film was supported under the Estonian Film Institute’s Film Estonia cash rebate scheme.
Firebird is the first feature for the Harvard graduate Peeter Rebane, who has also studied at the University of South-California. The Goodbye, Soviet Union director Lauri Randla has a degree from Aalto/ELO film school.
Both debuts have already received critical acclaim and their festival journey keeps on growing. Firebird director Peeter Rebane is delighted that the film will have its second festival screening after London in Moscow, commenting that „the story of Firebird is based on the Russian actor Sergey Fetisov’s life and set in a large part in Moscow.“
The director of Goodbye, Soviet Union Lauri Randla believes the Moscow festival will give an opportunity to see the film in a new light, saying that „The storyline will definitely open up to the Russian audiences differently than for the Western viewer. I believe everyone can find something to relate to in the film.“ The Russian Esquire magazine mentioned Goodbye, Soviet Union as one of the ten best European films at the Tallinn Black Nights FF, drawing parallels with the story worlds of Wes Anderson and the Netflix hit series Stranger Things.
In its 43rd year, the Moscow International Film Festival is one of the 15 FIAPF-accredited A-list festivals (International Federation of Film Producer’s Association). The festival takes place 22-29 of April in Moscow as a physical event, meaning the screenings will be in cinemas.
The festival’s website: http://www.moscowfilmfestival.ru/miff43/eng/programs/
Estonian Film Institute
International Festival Coordinator
Coronavirus unsurprisingly causes 2020 cinema attendance in Estonia to fall dramatically, but Estonian films still prove popular amongst local audiences.
The arrival of the Coronavirus in the spring of 2020 has had a devastating effect on cinema attendance for the year, with the number of cinema goers in 2020 less than half of the figure of those in 2019. However, the market share of Estonian films rose to a record high, garnering 26.72% of the total number of viewers
In 2019 3.68 million viewers watched movies in Estonia cinemas for box office revenue of 21.8 million EUR. In 2020 this dropped to 1.8 million with box office revenue of 10.7 million EUR. Despite this the per capita rate of cinema going in Estonia was still a relatively healthy 1.35.
In 2020 four Estonian films appeared in the Top Ten as compiled by Kinolevi. Where the Heart Is [Talve] (Dir. Ergo Kuld, Produced by Taska Film, Kassikuld and Apollo Film Productions) took second place with 151,137 viewers while animated film Sipsik (Dirs. Meelis Arulepp & Karsten Kiilerich, produced by A Film Estonia and A. Film Production) – also known as Raggie to international audiences – was in third place. Fourth place was taken by spy thriller Dawn of War [O2] (Dir. Margus Paju, produced by Nafta Films, Taska Film, Film Angels Studio, INSCRIPT and Solar Films) with 75,270 viewers while documentary The Beauty of Being [Fred Jüssi. Olemise ilu] (Dir. Jaan Tootsen, produced by Taska Film) occupied the sixth spot with 57,111 viewers.
The most watched film of 2020 was Christopher Nolan’s Tenet – partly filmed in Estonia – with 160,927 viewers.
Where the Heart Is, Raggie and The Beauty of Being were all premiered at the beginning of 2020 with their distribution interrupted by the national closure of cinemas on March 13th of that year. Dawn of War reached cinemas in October, a few weeks before the second wave of the coronavirus hit Estonia. Estonian films screened in the latter half of 2020 unsurprisingly attracted fewer viewers than expected with several films postponing their premieres until 2021. There is an assumption that under normal circumstances the number of Estonian releases and audience members would have been significantly higher with the first few months of the year alone bringing more than 900,000 spectators to the cinema.
In addition to the 20 Estonian films premiered in 2020, an additional 14 films released previously continued to be screened. Estonian films attracted a total of 480,758 cinema viewers and ticket revenue of 2.65 million EUR. This makes the market share of Estonian films in 2020 26.72% of viewers with a box office revenue of 24.73%.
In 2020, there were a total of 366 films in Estonian cinema, of which 226 were new and 140 older films. This lower number of films – and lower number of audience members - is reflective of the lengthy closure time that cinemas faced throughout the year. The average ticket price in 2020 was 5.96 euros.
Edith Sepp, the head of the Estonian Film Institute said:
"There is a current trend in Europe that local films are proving popular in their own country. As the big studios continually held their films back, the local movies took a risk and sometimes that risk paid off. I am sorry that some good Estonian films did not get as many viewers as they deserved - the pandemic still managed to wreak its havoc – but this is certainly not a completely failed year for Estonian film.“
A table of films that premiered in 2020 with the number of viewers and box office revenue can be found here: https://filmi.ee/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Kinolevi-2020.pdf
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.
Furthermore, the Flow Postproduction Award, prize of 15.000 EUR in post-production facilities, goes to the German project A Safe Place (produced by Roxana Richters, Lisa Roling, Chromosom Film) and directed by Sara Summa. The DAE Accelerator Award goes to Foals by Salomé Hévin (France) produced by Vincent Metzinger, Beata Saboova (Pivonka). The EWA Network Membership Award goes to The Mechanics of Things by Alessandra Celesia (France) produced by Jean-Laurent Csinidis (Films de Force Majeure)
Lastly, five prizes have been granted for the two sidebar sessions targeting films in the post production phase. The international 2021 jury of Last Stop Trieste made up of Hanka Kastelikova (HBO Europe), Manuela Buono (Slingshot Films) and Fabio Mancini (RAI3) has delivered the HBO Europe Award (1.000 EUR) to Brotherhood by Francesco Montagner, whereas the Flow Digital Cinema Award goes to Museum of the Revolution by Srđan Keča and the First Hand Fund Award goes to Reconciliation by Marija Zidar.
The international jury of This is IT, the work in progress session dedicated to fiction films and hybrid works produced or co-produced by Italian producers, composed by Daniela Cölle (Pluto Film), Anne Delseth (Quinzaine des réalisateurs, Cannes' Directors' Fortnight) and Alberto Fasulo (director of Menocchio) granted the Italian film Crown Shyness by Valentina Bertani with the Laser Film Award. Special Mention to Darkling by Dušan Milić (Serbia/Italy/Greece/Denmark/Bulgaria).
Last but not least, the Italy-Baltic Development Awards for Co-Production, two cash prizes of EUR 15.000, have been delivered by MiBACT - Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Estonian Film Institute, Lithuanian Film Centre, National Film Centre of Latvia to Blind Pit by Giorgio Bianchi and Federico Schiavi, (Italian/Latvian film co-produced by Nacne and Baltic Balkan Productions) and Bijuterie by Tomas Vengris (Lithuanian/Estonian/Italian co-production between Socialinės atsakomybės projektai, Allfilm & Rosamont).
This special Out of the Box Edition of WEMW ends with a series of record numbers: 680 registered participants connected to the WEMW Digital World from 56 different countries. Over 600 scheduled individual meetings with more than 150 decision makers and 30 business angels, 1.778 chats & 141 video calls within the platform, 4 lottery winners and more than 100 producers participating in 22 cosy out of the box events.
WEMW CO-PRODUCTION FORUM AWARDS
Film Center Serbia Development Award
A Winner is Seen at the Start – Zhannat Alshanova (Kazhakstan)
Producers: Zhannat Alshanova, Yevgeniya Moreva (Accidental Films)
Flow Postproduction Award
A Safe Place – Sara Summa (Germany)
Producers: Roxana Richters, Lisa Roling (Chromosom Film)
DAE Accelerator Award
Foals - Salomé Hévin (France)
Producers: Vincent Metzinger, Beata Saboova (Pivonka)
EAVE Producers Workshop scholarship
Marija Dimitrova (List Production) - Housekeeping For Beginners (North Macedonia)
Marché du Film Producers Network
Marija Razgutė (M-Films) - Slow (Lithuania)
Matteo Pecorara (Small Boss) - Europe-East (Italy)
Pop Up Film Residency Award
A Winner Is Seen at the Start – Zhannat Alshanova
EWA Network Best Woman Director Award
A Winner Is Seen at the Start – Zhannat Alshanova
EWA Network Membership Award
The Mechanics of Things – Alessandra Celesia (France)
Producer: Jean-Laurent Csinidis (Films de Force Majeure)
LAST STOP TRIESTE
HBO Europe Award
Brotherhood - Francesco Montagner (Czech Republic/Italy)
Producers: Pavla Janoušková Kubecková, Nadia Trevisan
Flow Digital Cinema Award
Museum of the Revolution - Srđan Keča (Serbia/Croatia/Czech Republic)
Producer: Vanja Jambrović
First Hand Fund Award
Reconciliation - Marija Zidar (Slovenia/Serbia/Montenegro/Kosovo)
Producer: Danijel Hočevar
THIS IS IT
Laser Film Award
Crown Shyness - Valentina Bertani (Italy)
Producer: Pietro Puccioni
Darkling - Dušan Milić (Serbia/Italy/Greece/Denmark/Bulgaria)
Producers: Snezana van Houwelingen, Debora Chiara Desio
Blind Pit - Giorgio Bianchi and Federico Schiavi (Italy/Latvia)
Producers: Nacne, Baltic Balkan Productions
Bijuterie - Tomas Vengris (Lithuania/Estonia/Italy)
Producers: Socialinės atsakomybės projektai, Allfilm and Rosamont
WEMW is organized once again by the FVG Audiovisual Fund in collaboration with the Trieste Film Festival, EAVE, Creative Europe Desk Italy and thanks to the precious and constant support of Creative Europe/MEDIA Programme, MIBACT -Direzione Generale per il Cinema, CEI – Central European Initiative, Film Center Serbia and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The 2021 Focus on Israel and Italy is run in partnership with the Israel Cinema Project, Rabinovich Foundation and MIBACT – Direzione Generale per il Cinema.
The Estonian Film Institute (EFI) announced its first round of production support for 2021. The amount of 1,412 million euros will be shared amongst three features.
One of the films receiving the support is an Estonian-French co-production Dark Paradise („Tume paradiis“), directed by Triin Ruumet and produced by Elina Litvinova from the Tallinn-based production company Three Brothers. Ruumet has already proven herself to be a director with a bold handwriting, with her debut The Days That Confused winning the Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary’s East of the West programme in 2015. Her second feature continues on the theme of disillusionment, centering around a young female student whose hedonistic lifestyle collapses after the death of her father unravels family secrets and forces her to face her new reality. Dark Paradise was selected for Les Arcs Coproduction village in 2019 and Ruumet co-wrote the screenplay with the scriptwriting duo of Andris Feldmanis and Livia Ulman. The feature has a total budget of €1,443,200. Three Brothers is the company behind another distinguished filmmaker, Martti Helde, and his acclaimed features In the Crosswind and Scandinavian Silence.
The feature 8 Views of Lake Biwa („Biwa järve 8 nägu“), produced by Ivo Felt from the production house Allfilm, who provided services for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet this past summer, also received support. A filmmaker with a vast experience both in fiction and documentaries, the writer-director Marko Raat, was inspired by the painter Max Dauthendey's Japanese-themed book of love stories of the same name. However, his version takes place on the outskirts of the Estonian countryside and the story’s themes are translated into the land’s mythic cultural heritage. The film’s budget is €1,444,623. The project was previously selected to the Baltic Event Co-production Market in 2020 and it has a strong outlook to be an international co-production.
Both Dark Paradise and 8 Views of Lake Biwa will receive €765,000 in support from EFI.
The third project, with a total budget of €891,599 and which will receive a grant of €590,000, is the tragicomedy Stairway to Heaven („Taevatrepp“), produced by Marju Lepp of the Estonian production company Filmivabrik. Director-screenwriter Mart Kivastik has adapted his own novel of the same name, published in 2019, which deals with the subjects of ageing and death through a humorous lens. His previous film, an Estonian-Iceland co-production, When You Least Expect It („Õnn tuleb magades“, 2016) was selected for the Mannheim-Heidelberg competition programme.
Piret Tibbo-Hudgins, the Head of Production at EFI, commented on the decision-making progress, noting that the supported films all have „diverse subject-matter and a strong authorial voice“ and pointed out their strong international festival and audience potential.
Altogether nine projects applied for support and the three selected projects have previously received script development support from EFI. The deadline for the next call for applications for feature film production grants is on April 27, with the sum of €913,000 to be distributed. The decisions will be announced no later than June 17.
For more information:
EFI Head of Production
The development award for co-productions between Italy and the Baltic States was created in November 2018 on the basis of an agreement entered into between Italy and the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).
At least one of the producers must be registered in Italy while at least one producer must be registered in one of the Baltic States in order for the co-production to be eligible for the award.
The call for the Award is now open and the deadline for submitting applications is January 14, 2021.
Terms and conditions together with the application form can be found HERE
„Ice and Fire Docs“ is a creative documentary workshop for Estonian and Finnish filmmakers with international ambitions. Throughout the workshop the participants will work with different aspects of developing, producing, financing and distributing a feature length documentary film. Estonian and Finnish filmmakers are welcome to apply with a film project that is in development or in the early stage of production.
The workshop lasts for a year and consists of three parts. The first and second sessions focus on the development of narrative, visual aspects of storytelling and editing techniques. The last session has a focus on promotion and distribution.
The joint workshop promotes further film-making ties between the two countries. „Ice and Fire Docs took place for the first time in 2019. It was initiated by the Estonian Documentary Guild and the Estonian Film Institute and is now being organised in close co-operation with the Finnish Documentary Guild.
Strasbourg, 10.09.2020 -On 9 September, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe approved the reform of Eurimages, proposed in light of the conclusions of the Fund’s most recent external evaluation.
The reform, whose detailed implementation is to be finalised in 2021, will bring increased efficiency and transparency to the Eurimages Fund, to better meet the needs of an industry hit hard by the public health crisis.
Since it was set up in 1988, EURIMAGES has supported 2117 co-productions for a total amount of approximately 613 million euros.
The third annual New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) will take place in three sessions: October 15-18, October 29-November 1, and November 12-15.
This year, the festival will be virtual and therefore expands beyond New York to offer a selection of the most exciting and relevant Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian films to audiences across the U.S., to view in the comfort of their own homes. Festival sessions will be accompanied by live and interactive virtual filmmaker Q&As and discussion panels.
Each session is limited to 300 tickets in an effort to preserve the intimate and communal NYBFF experience. Don’t miss out and keep your eye on the website for ticketing information.
Established in 2018, the New York Baltic Film Festival is presented by Scandinavia House and organized by the Consulate General of Estonia, Consulate General of Lithuania, and Consulate of Latvia in New York. Financial support for the festival comes from the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, and Lithuanian Film Center, with additional sponsorship by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, American Latvian Association and LV-100.
Inspired and curated by the Sydney Film Festival, a selection of this year’s EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM programme will be presented as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival At Home - Online in the "Widescreen" and "Spotlight" sidebars from 24 July to 2 August.
And Marten Rabarts, Festival Director of Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival, adds: "We are delighted to be able to present this collection of exceptional films from women filmmakers as part of our 2020 online edition of the festival. Through these seven diverse, beautiful and enlightening stories from Estonia, Germany, Kosovo*, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, our programme is profoundly enriched. Thanks to all the gifted filmmakers, EFP, and each member country for bringing the EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM programme to New Zealand for the first time."
The selected films are:
A YEAR FULL OF DRAMA (Estonia) by Marta Pulk Widescreen
CHARTER (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) by Amanda Kernell Widescreen
KIDS RUN (Germany) by Barbara Ott Spotlight
LESSONS OF LOVE (Poland) by Małgorzata Goliszewska, Kasia Mateja Widescreen
MY LITTLE SISTER (Switzerland) by Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond Widescreen
THEY CALL ME BABU (The Netherlands) by Sandra Beerends Spotlight
ZANA (Kosovo*, Albania) by Antoneta Kastrati Widescreen
As part of a special programme for the Wellington City Contemporary Art Museum, Marta Pulk’s film A YEAR FULL OF DRAMA will also be shown to an audience at this official Festival venue.
EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM was successfully launched at the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) in 2016. In close cooperation with SFF, the programme recognises new works by some of Europe’s most exciting women directors and presents them in a dedicated section of the festival. Suggested by the respective EFP member organisations and selected by festival director Nashen Moodley, the programme highlights the virtuosity and strength of innovative European cinema by women film artists and features their work to Sydney’s enthusiastic audience, press and Australia’s welcoming and promising market.
The national film promotion institutes supporting this year’s edition of EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM are: Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, German Films, Kosova Cinematography Center, Polish Film Institute, Screen Ireland, SEE NL (The Netherlands), Swedish Film Institute and Swiss Films.
EUROPE! VOICES OF WOMEN IN FILM is supported by the Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Eurimages and presented for the first time in cooperation with European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) and Festival Scope. The media partners are Screen International, Fade to Her and Fred Film Radio.
International Distribution Coordinator
Estonian Film Institute
+372 627 6068
EFP's networking programme PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE will take place as originally planned from 11 to 15 May, 2020, and independently of the Cannes Film Festival which has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 20 selected up-and-coming European producers will meet online this year and present their projects in speed meetings and roundtable sessions. A case study as well as talks with experts will round out the digital programme running over five days.
EFP (European Film Promotion), the network of 37 European film promotion institutions, has selected the following 20 producers from 20 different European countries for its high-profile networking and promotion platform: Vesela Kazakova (Bulgaria), Danijel Pek (Croatia), Mikulás Novotny (Czech Republic), Monica Hellström (Denmark), Elina Litvinova (Estonia), Aleksi Hyvärinen (Finland), Andrea Queralt (France), Tanja Georgieva-Waldhauer(Germany), John Wallace (Ireland), Giovanni Pompili (Italy), Yll Uka (Kosovo*), Marija Razgute (Lithuania), Alan R. Milligan (Norway), Marta Habior (Poland), Mário Patrocínio (Portugal), Marina Gumzi (Slovenia), Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo (Spain), Marie Kjellson (Sweden), Flavia Zanon (Switzerland) and Rupert Lloyd(United Kingdom).
"PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE has become an established brand in the international film industry over the last 20 years. Being a Producer on the Move is an honour and ensures international recognition," says EFP Managing Director Sonja Heinen. "It is very important for EFP to continue supporting, promoting and connecting promising creative people as well as raising the visibility of their work and fostering cooperation within Europe - especially at this moment and in spite of these challenging times. We are grateful to the Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and our EFP member organisations, the national promotion institutes, who are supporting this year's online version of our initiative in a flexible and unbureaucratic way."
The selected participants have already produced award-winning documentaries such as Monica Hellström who produced The Distant Barking of Dogs by Simon Lereng Wilmont, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Oscars, or Tanja Georgieva-Waldhauer's production Another Reality by Noël Dernesch and Olli Waldhauer, which won the audience award at the DOK.fest München. Some producers have founded companies together with up-and-coming directors such as Marie Kjelsson with director Katja Wik (Kjellson & Wik), Vesela Kazakova with director Mina Mileva (Activist 38) and Elina Litvinova with writer-director Martti Helde (Three Brothers) or have produced genre films for international platforms such as Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo with Laura Alvea and Jose F. Ortuño on Animas. Some of the 20 producers were also creatively involved in their own productions, including Aleksi Hyvärinen who co-wrote the screenplays for Lake Bodom and The Renovation, Mário Patrocínio the writer-director of the documentary I Love Kuduro, and Marina Gumzi the co-writer of Stories from the Chestnut Woods. More than half of the participants have presented their productions at the leading international festivals such as Cannes Film Festival (Andrea Queralt, Fire Will Come, 2019), Venice Film Festival (John Wallace, Rialto, 2019; Giovanni Pompili, Sole, 2019), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Mikulás Novotn¤, Journey to Rome, 2015), Berlinale (Yll Uka, Exile, 2020), Locarno Film Festival (Marija Razgute, Trot , 2018) and Sundance Film Festival (Marta Habior, Dolce Fine Giornata, 2019; Flavia Zanon, Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness, 2020, awarded with the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize). And Alan R. Milligan deals with digital distribution models based on blockchain technology alongside his work as a producer.
The national film promotion institutes supporting this year's edition of EFP PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE are: British Council, Bulgarian National Film Center, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Czech Film Center, Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, German Films, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales / ICAA (Spain), Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P. / ICA (Portugal), Istituto Luce Cinecittà (Italy), Kosovo Cinematography Center, Lithuanian Film Centre, Norwegian Film Institute, Polish Film Institute, Screen Ireland, Slovenian Film Centre, Swedish Film Institute, Swiss Films and Unifrance.
EFP PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE is supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Eurimage and in partnership with Festival Scope. Main media partner is Variety. Interviews with this year's PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE will be published on the programmes' additional media partners' websites: www.cineuropa.org and www.fadetoher.com.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Tuesday, April 14, the program of the prestigious documentary film festival Hot Docs, which takes place in Toronto, was announced and two Estonian films are included in the lineup. "A Loss of Something Ever Felt“ by Carlos E. Lesmes Lopez and "Immortal“ by Ksenija Okhapkina from the program titled The Changing Face of Europe were chosen for the festival's World Showcase section.
The film was developed by the production company Alasti Kino, with Liis Nimik as the producer, cinematographers Aivo Rannik, Giulia Ducci, Davood Mousavi and Carlos E. Lesmes, editor Hendrik Mägar, composer Ann Reimann, sound designer Gabriel Solis and it was made in collaboration between Estonia, Colombia and Sweden.
Producer Liis Nimik says: “This film was born out of a vital necessity. Eeva and Hille had utterly clashed with the bureaucracy in the search for their family member and realized that no authority in Estonia or Colombia would help them find Lauri. As a last resort, Eeva turned to her only Colombian acquaintance, Carlos, who had lived in Estonia for eight years, and together the decision was made that when searching for Lauri on the streets of Bogotá, the process would be filmed. None of us could have predicted what would eventually happen. In its own sanguine way, this film pays homage to all families, who, regardless of the complexity of the situation, share an invisible bond that can withstand even the greatest challenges.”
Ksenija Okhapkina's film "Immortal" premiered last summer at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it also won the award for the best documentary. Over the past three-quarters of the year, the film has been screened at several film festivals and won numerous awards. “Immortal“ will be featured at Hot Docs as part of The Changing Face of Europe, a program curated by European Film Promotion that aims to promote European films and filmmakers.
"Immortal" seeks to understand what entices people to voluntarily deny their personality and become a state resource. Filmed in an industrial city in the Russian Far North, “Immortal” takes a fresh look at how Russian citizens are formed. The producer of the Estonian-Latvian documentary is Riho Västrik from the production company Vesilind.
"Being selected by Hot Docs is an extraordinary event in itself, but for Estonia it is the third year in a row that we have been represented in Toronto with two films. Both ‘Immortal’ and ‘ A Loss of Something Ever Felt’ are works of a very high artistic quality that demonstrate the international reach of Estonian documentary filmmaking,” says Filipp Kruusvall, a documentary film expert at the Estonian Film Institute, acknowledging Estonian filmmakers.
Hot Docs is North America's largest documentary film festival, with more than 200 films and 200,000 attendees each year. Like other spring-summer film festivals, the coronavirus pandemic affects Hot Docs, which takes place in Toronto. The film festival, which was originally scheduled to take place from April 30 to May 10, has been postponed indefinitely. However, the films selected for the festival can be viewed online by accredited representatives of the film industry, distributors and sales agents.
Info about the festival: www.hotdocs.ca
Documentary Film Commissioner at the Estonian Film Institute
Head of Marketing at the Estonian Film Institute
The changing face of Europe 2020 features 10 outstanding European documentaries in the doc shop - Hot Docs streaming platform for accreditated industry
The 10 outstanding European Documentaries, which give unique and unconventional insight into the reality of contemporary European life, will be presented to buyers, distributors and programmers through the films' participation in the Doc Shop, Hot Docs' online market that offers access to curated playlists of documentary titles on-demand and the hub for this year's industry content.The filmmakers of the 10 selected films are invited to participate in the new digital industry programme including case studies and Distribution Rendezvous. In addition, directors and producers of films in THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE will be brought together with key distributors, buyers and festival programmers via virtual one-to-one meetings arranged by EFP.
"For the third year, Hot Docs is honoured to partner with EFP to present a selection of documentaries, offering unique perspectives and engaging stories that give us a glimpse of a Europe in transition," said Shane Smith, Hot Docs Director of Programming. "The program also introduces us to the talent behind the camera, skilled filmmakers destined to make their mark on the documentary world."
The films in THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE were selected by the festival, based on recommendations by EFP member organizations representing Europe's film promotion institutes. They feature timely themes such as family separation and family support, alternative life concepts, gender identity and self-empowerment. Once more this year's selection spotlights the increasing presence of works by women - seven of the 10 films are by female directors or female director teams. EFP's initiative is supported by Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the participating EFP member organisations. "We are very happy and thankful to the festival that despite this difficult situation, we have the opportunity to bring European stories to the world and to connect filmmakers digitally with important decision-makers. Nothing has changed in our mission, namely to promote the diversity of outstanding European documentaries throughout the world", said EFP's Managing Director Sonja Heinen.
In Always Amber Lia Hietala and Hannah Reinikainen follow their protagonist over a period of three years capturing Amber's search for sexual identity, friendship and love. The Swedish production premiered at this year's Berlinale. Ana Aleksovska's debut film, Consuming Contemporary introduces us to several socially excluded seniors who are longing for togetherness and community and, to compensate for the lack of this, attend cultural events in Skopje - uninvited - which attracts the disapproval of the social elite. Dead Souls Vacation by Georgian director Ekaterine Chelidze is a portrait of the formerly very successful Georgian musician Levan Svanidze, who tries to regain success while living in a tiny apartment with his 84 year old mother, Lamara. Ksenia Okhapkina's Estonian production Immortal focuses on the rigid structure of life in a small industrial city in Russia and portrays the people who continue to live as before although the old system has broken down. For her feature-length documentary debut the Russian director was awarded the Grand Prix for Best Documentary Film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. The Icelandic director Yrsa Roca Fannberg made The Last Autumn as a long farewell to the rural life of a shepherd in rneshreppur, a small community in the northwest of Iceland. For the last time, Ulfar and his wife will be herding their sheep from the hills down to the farm. "This part of life belongs to me", proclaims the protagonist Jola in Lessons of Love. The Polish filmmakers Malgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja lovingly and poetically portray a woman going her own way after separating from her abusive husband of 45 years. A Pleasure, Comrades! by Portuguese filmmaker José Filipe Costa was premiered out of competiton at Locarno Film Festival. The film recounts life and life concepts in the rural co-operatives established throughout the country after the 1975 Carnation Revolution, through re-enactments with original members of these communes. Reunitedby Danish director Mira Jargil tells of the dramatic separation of a family that has to leave their country because of the Syrian civil war. While the parents have fled to Denmark and Canada, their two little sons are stuck in Turkey. Mira Jargil accompanies the family members who are waiting and dreaming for the reunion each and every day.Res Creata by Italian director Alessandro Cattaneo is about the ancient, conflicting and manifold relationship between the human being and the animal. Two Roads, directed by filmmaker and producer Radovan Síbrt(Czech Producer on the Move 2018) is about the members of the band The Tap Tap, of whom all are disabled (or as they cynically call themselves, crippled). The Tap Tap orchestra and the film illustrate how some of life's most difficult obstacles can be overcome.
The following EFP members are supporting THE CHANGING FACE OF EUROPE:
Czech Film Center, Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, Georgian National Film Center, Icelandic Film Centre, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P./ICA (Portugal), Istituto Luce Cinecittà, North Macedonia Film Agency, Polish Film Insitute, Swedish Film Institute