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HOT DOCS 2020

Estonia to bring two documentaries to Hot Docs

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- A Loss of Something Ever Felt will world-premiere at the leading Canadian event, while the KVIFF winner Immortal is featured in European Film Promotion’s special programme

Estonia to bring two documentaries to Hot Docs
A Loss of Something Ever Felt by Carlos Eduardo Lesmes Lopéz

Leading Canadian documentary film festival Hot Docs recently announced that its upcoming event will have to be postponed, rather than being held on its original dates (30 April-10 May) in Toronto. It has also revealed its selection for this edition, where registered industry professionals will have access to the titles online.

Two Estonian documentaries are taking part. A Loss of Something Ever Felt [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the debut feature-length documentary by Colombian filmmaker Carlos Eduardo Lesmes Lopéz, is poised to world-premiere in the World Showcase section. The film follows an Estonian family whose life takes an unexpected turn. Hille maintains close ties with her drug-addict son Lauri, and she also supports him financially. After an argument they have over the phone, Lauri disappears, and he’s missing for six months. The last trace of him was found in Bogotá, and then it’s his sister Eeva who, after their mother’s desperate call, embarks on a trip to Colombia in order to try to find Lauri. Eeva will have to enter the absurd and threatening underworld of the megacity, and her journey will take an unexpected turn.

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The film is an Estonian-Colombian-Swedish co-production by Liis Nimik, of Alasti Kino (who also co-penned the script with director Carlos Eduardo Lesmes Lopéz), Davood Mousavi (who also served as one of the cinematographers along with Aivo Rannik, Giulia Ducci and the director) and Marcela Lizcano.

Liis Nimik gives further insight into the documentary: “This film was born of a vital necessity. Eeva and Hille had utterly clashed with the bureaucracy in their search for their family member and realised 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.”

The other Estonian film at the gathering is the Karlovy Vary-premiered Immortal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ksenia Okhapkina
film profile
]
by Russian filmmaker Ksenia Okhapkina, which also won the Best Documentary Grand Prix. Her essay portrait looks at the strict order that governs life in a small industrial city in Russia, and since its premiere, it has travelled and reaped awards at various festivals, including the Astra Film Festival, Sarajevo, Riga, Trieste and ZagrebDox.

Immortal is featured at Hot Docs as part of The Changing Face of Europe, a programme curated by European Film Promotion that aims to promote European films and filmmakers. The movie is an Estonian-Latvian co-production staged by Riho Västrik, of Estonian outfit Vesilind, with VFS Films.

Regarding the selection, documentary film expert at the Estonian Film Institute Filipp Kruusvall stated: “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 very high artistic quality that demonstrate the international reach of Estonian documentary filmmaking.”

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