18th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Estonia, November 14 - November 30 2014
The nights are black and long, the days are short and grey, the weather is below zero in Tallinn at the end of November. The best thing you can do: sit in a cinema. The selection of the 18th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival offered a rich selection of features, animations and documentaries from all over the world.
This year the Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) entered the elite club of the world’s leading film events. The International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations accredited it as an A-category festival. It is the smallest and the youngest one in the exclusive 15-member group. After Moscow, Karlovy Vary and Warsaw it is the fourth in East Europe and the first in the Nordic and Baltic region. Tiina Lokk and her professional staff did a great job, considering that only five or six full-length features are made in Estonia per year, the budget of the event cannot compare with that of Cannes or Venice, and the country regained its independence only 25 years ago.
Our jury focused on the International Official Competition Program, where all 18 titles were Scandinavian and/or Baltic premieres. The International Critics’ Prize went to the Iranian entry, “Today” (Emrouz). The main jury’s Grand Prix from the same program went to Belgian film “Lucifer” (dir. Gust van den Berghe), while Marat Sarulu got the Best Director’s Prize for “The Move” (Pereezd, Kyrgyzstan). Special juries devoted their attention to the traditional Tridens Competition of Feature Debuts from the Baltic Sea and Nordic Countries (with a special prize to the best Estonian film) and the Competition of North American Indies. In the various sidebar programs, film fans could find a good selection from past and present Polish Cinema, films dealing with the 25th anniversary of the political changes in East Europe, new German films, animation and a children’s program. The Panorama section offered a good and balanced ‘best of’ showcase of the year: among others, “Boyhood”, “Mommy”, “Good bye to Language” (Adieu au langage), “White God” (Fehér Isten), “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (En duva satt pä en gren och funderade pä), “Winter Sleep” (Kis uykusu) and “Corrections Class” (Klass korrektsii) were screened. (György Báron)
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: www.poff.ee