Andreas Kleinert’s Dear Thomas wins the 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
- Other victors were Wojciech Smarzowski, crowned Best Director and Best Screenwriter for The Wedding Day, and Francesco Sossai, who snagged the Award for Best First Feature with Other Cannibals
The traditional awards ceremony held at the Estonian National Opera wrapped up the 25th edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on Saturday 27 November. This year’s festival, which unspooled in the Estonian capital from 12-28 November, offered a rich programme consisting of 179 features (including 34 world, 32 international and 11 European premieres), 244 shorts through its PÖFF Shorts strand, and 18 series through its dedicated TV Beats initiative.
The jury of the main competition, headed by EFA chairman Mike Downey, crowned Andreas Kleinert’s historical biopic Dear Thomas [+see also:
interview: Andreas Kleinert
film profile] with the prestigious Grand Prix. Shifting deftly between reality and fever dream, and far from following the usual biopic conventions, Dear Thomas has taken a biography and made it into a manifesto for art and its power for change. In its official statement, the jury commended the film’s “powerful narrative and masterly execution of the biopic form and [the way it sheds] an essential light on one of the seminal figures of German letters”.
Meanwhile, the Award for Best Director went to Poland’s Wojciech Smarzowski for The Wedding Day [+see also:
interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
film profile]. Smarzowksi, who also won the Award for Best Screenplay this year, was praised by the jury for “his biting exposé of modern-day corruption, historical revisionism and deep-rooted hatred of the other, in a perfect revelatory concoction of abhorrent crimes, both past and present, in the heart of Europe”.
Next, the Best Actress Award went to young Russian talent Sofia Krugova for her turn in Kirill Sokolov’s No Looking Back [+see also:
interview: Kirill Sokolov
film profile], whilst Albrecht Schuch received the Best Actor gong for his performance as German writer Thomas Brasch in Dear Thomas.
Moreover, the First Feature Competition jury, led by Jayro Bustamante, gave its main award to Other Cannibals [+see also:
interview: Francesco Sossai
film profile], directed by Francesco Sossai. The movie has been described as a “twisty thought experiment combining black comedy, a pinch of western and a deep dive into the heart of human desire”.
Among the other victors were Andrius Blaževičius’ Runner [+see also:
interview: Andrius Blaževičius
film profile], the recipient of the Baltic Competition Award, and Piotr Stasik’s The Moths, the winner of the Rebels with a Cause section. Finally, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) watched the First Feature Competition titles and crowned Aleksandra Terpinska’s Other People [+see also:
interview: Aleksandra Terpińska
film profile] as Best Film, describing it as “a fresh, energetic and rhythmic drama, orbiting around a wannabe rapper and a wealthy housewife”.
Here is a list of this year’s award winners:
Emre Tanyildiz – The List of Those Who Love Me (Turkey)
Wojciech Smarzowski – The Wedding Day
Albrecht Schuch – Dear Thomas
Rebels with a Cause Competition
Rebels with a Cause Award
The Moths – Piotr Stasik (Poland)
Rebels with Their Shorts Award
They Were to Cross the River – Faeze Karimpour (France)
Mukagali – Bolat Kalymbetov (Kazakhstan)
Lifetime Achievement Awards
PÖFF Shorts Nomination for the EFA Awards
Steakhouse – Špela Čadež (Slovenia)
Youth and Children’s Film Festival Just Film
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