First Baltic Competition at Black Night
by Annika Pham
24/11/2008 - The main programme of the PÖFF Tallinn Black Night Film Festival (November 28-December 3) is this year introducing the first Baltic Competition of feature films, alongside its main EurAsia competition.
Thirteen Baltic feature, documentary and animation titles will vie for the €5,000 Tridens Baltic Film Award, including Estonian Oscar entry I Was Here, the multi-awarded Lithuanian film Loss, Three Men and a Fishpond by Latvia’s renowned documentary filmmaker Laila Pakalnina, Life Without Gabrielle Ferri, the animated film by veteran Estonian filmmaker Priit Pärn and upcoming talent Olga Marchencko.
For the competition’s coordinator Annika Koppel, this new strand is very important because, just like for the rest of Europe, films from neighboring countries find it difficult to travel and, she adds, Estonians see Latvian or Lithuanian films only very rarely.
The main EurAsia programme has 18 films in the running for the €10,000 cash prize from the city of Tallinn, including Michael Winterbottom’s Genova [trailer] and Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours [trailer], alongside seven films by first -time directors such as Eva Sørhaug (Cold Lunch [trailer]), Steve McQueen (Hunger [trailer, film focus]), and Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir [trailer]).
The EurAsia jury comprises Rain Tolk (the Estonian actor of Autumn Ball [trailer]), producer Brian Yuzna (Indonesia), Festroia director Fernando Silva (Portugal), filmmaker Jos Steeling (Netherlands) and director Nana Djorjadze (Georgia).
Other highlights of the 12th PÖFF include a Focus on Turkey, a Nordic Lights sidebar and an overview of the best in contemporary cinema in the Panorama programme. The Baltic Event Co-production Market (November 30-December 3) will present projects from the Baltic countries, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia, and the latest projects and finished films from the Baltic region.