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The Black Nights Film Festival begins today with Either Way

The Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), which runs from 18th to 30th November 2011, will begin its celebration of Icelandic cinema on its Opening Night by launching the festival with a screening of Either Way.
Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson the film centres on Alfred and Finnbog who work for the Icelandic public roads department with a job painting dividing lines and hammering kilometre posts into road shoulders. This odd couple spend their time debating with each other whilst being isolated from civilisation and their loved ones. Their relationship forms the basis of a warm and moving comedy drama that will provide a perfect curtain raiser to the biggest film festival in North East Europe.
Either Way will be one of many Icelandic films in the festival as the festival will present a focus on cinema from the country in recognition of the fact that Iceland was the first country to recognise Estonia’s independence in 1991. Films such as the concert film Inni: Sigur Rós (Dir: Vincent Morisset) and the lauded Volcano (Dir. Rúnar Rúnarsson) will sit alongside a retrospective of the work of Fridrik Thor Fridriksson who will also be on hand to collect the PÖFF Lifetime Achievement award.
The festival competitions – including the Official Competition Eurasia, Tridens Baltic Film Competition, Heave(i)en Estonian Film Award and Competition for North American Indies – will include many delights from established films such as The Artist (Dir. Michel Hazanavicius) and Elena (Dir. Andrei Zvyagintsev) to the world premiere of the Kazakh film Akkyz (Dir: Zhanabek Zhetiru). Other competition premieres will include the international premieres of Uzbek film Late Life (Dir. Ayub Shaxobiddinov) and Doppelgänger Paul (Dir: Kris Elgstrand, Dylan Akio Smith) and a European premiere for The Last Nights of Joe May (Dir. Joe Maggio)
The Panorama section will focus upon those films that have already delighted festival audiences, amongst them Buta (Dir. Dir: Ilgar Najaf) [which will recieve it's international premiere], Gypsy (Dir: Martin Šulík) and We Have a Pope (Dir: Nanni Moretti) whilst the Forum contains some esoteric works ripe for adventurous audiences to discover including UK feature Wild Bill (Dir. Dexter Fletcher) and the stunning Blue Bird (Dir: Gust Van den Berghe). There’ll also be a chance to see films from directors who have screened at PÖFF over the years with The Trip (Dir. Michael Winterbottom) and Faust (Dir: Aleksander Sokurov) sure to entrance the numerous visitors to the festival. The festival will close with a screening of the Palme D’or winning The Tree of Life (Dir. Terence Malick)
The Screen International Critics Choice encompasses those films that those at the renowned industry magazine have made waves over the past year including the mesmerising The Turin Horse (Dir: Béla Tarr) and the tough but brilliant Tyrannosaur (Dir. Paddy Cosindine). PÖFF’s Vitamin Boost will include the funny, strange and weird with Karlovy Vary Independent Camera Award winner Sunflower Hour (Dir. Aaron Houston) and China based sex comedy Red Light Revolution (Dir. Sam Voutas) guaranteed to chase the blues of the dark nights away.
Documentaries will also be represented with Docs@PÖFF and will include screenings of the beautiful Argentinean Lesson (Dir: Wojciech Staroń) and moving Mama Africa (Dir: Mika Kaurismäki) whilst there will be a special focus on Human Rights, with Diversity Enriches a programme which aims to show how similar we all are in spite of our differences. There’ll also be a chance to see some of the best haute couture with Monton Presents: Fashion on Film, a selection of short films in Sleepwalkers Presents and some extra special screenings to celebrate the 15th birthday of PÖFF
The director of the Black Nights Film Festival Tiina Lokk said:
“As always we have an absolutely full programme and we urge everyone to check out the wealth of films we have on show. From the biggest names to those beginning to make names for themselves, the 15th anniversary of PÖFF is definitely one of our best programmes yet.”
The full programme and schedule for Black Nights and information on how to buy tickets is available www.poff.ee
PÖFF is part of the programme of the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011.

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