Rain Tolk • Actor
Shooting Star 2007 - Estonia
by Annika Pham
Rain Tolk is famous in Estonia as a kind of ‘Sacha Baron Cohen’, having invented with documentary filmmaker Andres Maimik- the fake TV show Esto TV in 2000 in which he played a hyper-paranoid journalist interviewing real politicians and celebrities. Tolk and Maimik set up their own production company Kuukulgur Film in 2002.
Cineuropa: Is acting just an ‘in-between’ job for you considering you’re also a journalist/producer/writer/director?
Rain Tolk: My acting career has actually started off as some kind of a joke. Seven years ago when my friend Andres Maimik had an opportunity to create a show in Estonian national TV (Esto TV), we had no time to think about the actors and decided to do it by ourselves. It was a very spontaneous decision. I can’t consider myself as a professional actor in a sense that I dont have a professional background, but as it is something that I do the most of the year, I am one of the most professional film actors in Estonia!
With your production company Kuukulgur Film, what kind of projects do you make? Tell us about Autumn Ball in which you play the lead?
I founded Kuukulgur Film with Andres Maimik. Our main focus is documentary filmmaking, but we also do feature films. Autumn Ball directed by Veiko Õunpuu (currently in production), is based on the novel by Estonian existentialist writer Mati Unt. The film shows some chosen moments from the life of six people living in a huge sprawling conurbation of tower blocks built during the soviet era. I’m playing a writer whose wife left him and who starts to get psychotic. He can’t experience love without trying to intellectualize it and that is one of the reasons of his downfall.
What are your main projects for 2007?
Actually I’m just finishing my directorial debut 186 kilometres which I’ve also produced. The film is based on the real life experience of Estonian actor Jan Uuspõld who plays a parody of himself in the film. The cast is partly professional, partly local celebrities (including the president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves). It is a classical road-trip as well as a deeper, universal film about someone’s problems with alcohol, gambling, lying, about how a person can turn into a media image instead of being a human being.
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