tARTuFF: Love is in the air and on the screen
by Laurence Boyce
03/08/2012 - Held in the Estonian university town of Tartu, the Tartu Love Film Festival (tARTuFF) has become a summer fixture for audiences wanting to see eclectic films in an unusual setting. With the majority of the screenings held for free in the main Town Hall Square, the festival is slowly garnering a reputation as one of the more left-field and interesting events of its kind in the Baltic region.
This year's festival is a mixture of old and new, with popular fare such as Moonrise Kingdom (2011) and Beginners (2010) getting some of their first airings in the region alongside a series of documentaries, including the fascinating UK/Ghana film The Nine Muses (2010). There are also older and more esoteric offerings, including The Bodyguard (1992) and Natural Born Killers (1994), two wildly different interpretations on the idea of love. The festival will also a host a screening of the Méliès classic A Trip To The Moon (1902), which seems appropriate after tARTuFF's sister festival HÕFF became a member of the European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals this year.
Opening the festival will be Naked Harbour [trailer] (photo), the latest film from Finnish director Aku Louhimies. Louhimies previously made a splash on the scene with such films as Frozen Land (2006), the dour and dark story that was not a popular festival hit, but was theatrically released in several territories. His latest is a complex love story with an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Finnish actress Alma Pöysti, Estonian actress and singer Lenna Kuurmaa and British star Sean Pertwee. Proving to be a relatively successful domestic success, tARTuFF will hold one of the film's first screenings since its International Premiere at the Moscow International Film Festival. Both Louhimies and Kuurmaa will be in attendance.