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VIDEO: Hybrid ambiance from the opening of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s 24th edition

The 24th edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival kicked off yesterday with the Opening Ceremony in the iSense hall of the Coca-Cola Plaza cinema, featuring two performances made by stage director Ingmar Jõela. The performances included the music of Maarja Nuut & RUUM and the poetry of Gustav Suits that melt into an audiovisual spectacle by Alyona Movko.
The event saw speeches by festival director Tiina Lokk, Estonia’s Ministry of Culture Tõnis Luukas and Silver Soomre, representing the festival’s main sponsor Elisa.
In his speech Tõnis Luukas, Estonia’s Ministry of Culture said: „We have been very proud of our A-category festival since it has brought numerous contacts, new knowledge, experiences, and also recognition to Estonia as a serious film country. I can promise you that the state will continue to do all that is in its power to make sure that PÖFF can continue as an international festival, to which we don’t even have to invite people – they stand in line to come in. Despite the complicated situation, this time, in cooperation with the PÖFF team, we have succeeded. “
Silver Soomre head of TV services of the festival’s main sponsor Elisa, said the following: „I am as surprised as I am pleased to be able to say that a festival has evolved over the last 24 years which has become one the biggest in Northern Europe and one of the world’s 15 A-category film festivals. And this in a world where 4000 film festivals are held every year! We know that nothing happens by accident: behind this success is the tireless Tiina Lokk, who has done some truly fantastic work with the support of her dedicated team. This is a perfect example of anything being possible if you have the vision, the inspiration and the drive to achieve it, come hell or high water.”
Celebrating the festival’s focus on German cinema, the festival screened Rainer Werner Fassbinder biopic Enfant Terrible, directed by Oskar Roehler.
Bruno O’Ya Award
According to tradition, the festival also presented the Bruno O’Ya Award to this year’s laureate. The award is given to an up and coming Estonian actor on the verge of an international breakthrough. This year the award was given to Reimo Sagor, who’s made roles in several films that have screened at Black Nights in recent years (Scandinavian Silence, Take it or Leave it, Ghost Mountaineer, Days that Confused).
For his role in Take it or Leave it, Sagor has been named Best Actor at the Estonian Film and TV Awards and received acting awards from the Estonian Cultural Endowment and Cottbus FF.
He is one of the eight participants of this year’s Black Nights Stars programme.
A late entry to the Official Selection – Competition
The festival’s premiere programme, the Official Selection – Competition sees, due to technical reasons, a late addition in the face of Love Song 1980, directed by Chinese director Mei Feng. Screenwriters Feng and Li Yunlei have created an adaptation of the novel 80s Lovers by Yu Xiaodan, "Love Song 1980“.
Offering a ballad of intertwining stories, the story follows the moral and psychological growth of a young man, while he falls for a woman torn by guilt and passion and gets involved in love triangles and relationships which are hard to categorize, against the backdrop of Beijing’s liberal awaking.
Mei Feng is a director, scriptwriter and lecturer. He worked as the screenwriter for Spring Fever (2009), which won the Best Screenplay at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. He also co-writes Summer Palace (2006) and Mystery (2012). His directorial debut feature Mr. No Problem received the awards of the Best Artistic Contribution at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival, the Best Adapted Screenplay at the 53rd Taipei Golden Horse Awards.
Watch the ceremony:


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About Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Started in 1997, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe and busiest regional industry platforms, hosting more than 1000 guests and industry delegates and over 160 journalists. The festival screens around 250 features and more than 300 shorts and animations and sees an attendance of 80 000 people annually. In 2017 the festival was covered in 71 languages with a potential global media audience of over 1.1 billion people.

As of 2014 the festival holds the FIAPF accreditation for holding an international competition programme which puts the festival into the so- called A-category of film festivals, alongside other 14 festivals in the world (including Cannes, Berlinale, Venice, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Shanghai, Tokyo etc).  

Black Nights has an umbrella structure with two sub-festivals PÖFF Shorts and youth and children's film festival Just Film taking place concurrently with the main festival,
two off-season festivals - Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival and Tartu Love Film Festival - and a fully-fledged film industry platform Industry@Tallinn, organised jointly with the Baltic Event Co-production market.

Black Nights Film Festival 16 Nov - 2 Dec
PÖFF Shorts 20 Nov - 25 Nov
Just Film 16 Nov - 2 Dec
Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event 26 Nov - 30 Nov



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