One of the most diverse, exciting and accessible film festivals in the world,the PÖFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival takes places between November 11th and 27th in the Estonian capital and also in Tartu, the country’s second largest city.
The breadth and the depth of the event are truly astonishing, and particularly remarkable for a nation of just 1.3 million inhabitants. Northern Europe’s only A-list Fiapf-accredited film festival includes a Official Selection Competition, a First Feature Competition, the Estonian Olympic Committee, Sports Film Programme, PÖFF Shorts (which is also competitive) a Baltic Film Competition, a Youth and Children’s Festival, KinoFF (a side event for Russian-speaking audiences), Rebels With a Cause (a strand devoted to experimental and audacious filmmakers), a glitzy opening and closing ceremony in two of the city’s charming concert halls, and much more. Oh, and this year the Festival features a Critics’ Picks session for the very first time. Meanwhile, the Industry @ Tallinn & Baltic Event caters for industry professionals, with a focus on sustainability this year.
Expect a much bigger, brighter and louder event this year, as the world resumes relative normality after two years of pandemic turbulence (the Festival, however, was held in its full format both in 2020 and in 2021; nothing short of a film miracle). What’s great about Tallinn is that despite the vast number of films and strands, networking and access to talent are extremely straightforward. You can meet both nascent and established directors after the screenings, in the lobby of the Nordic Hotel or at the cosy Naganaga Bar and Restaurant (but pssst; this one is a well-kept secret you don’t want to share with everyone). Did I mention prices too are accessible, and people very kind and helpful?
DMovies has attended the event yearly for five years, and we couldn’t be happier to return in 2022, with three journalists (myself, Jeremy Clarke and Livan Garcia-Duquesne) in loco plus a kind helping hand from Paul Risker, remotely from Birmingham!
Diverse is the word/world
The films represent the diversity of geography, genre and theme present in this year’s refreshed competition programmes, with films coming from both renowned, multi-award-winning auteurs and returning Black Nights favourites. It includes 18 world and four international premieres, from 22 different countries.The 26th edition of Tallinn Black Nights will introduce one new competition programme, Critics’ Picks, led by critic and programmer Nikolaj Nikitin. Critics’ Picks joins the established Official Selection, First Features, Baltic Competition and Rebels with a Cause programmes. Critics’ Picks was introduced to highlight more arthouse fare in the PÖFF lineup, starting with around 15 features in its first year. This year’s Baltic Competition will exclusively screen fiction films and also considers minority Baltic co-productions. Rebels and First Features competitions will continue to represent their respective niches – experimental works and fiction debuts. For the first time, most programmes also have their own lead curators – with Triin Tramberg handling First Features, Edvinas Pukšta on Baltic Competition duty, Javier Garcia Puerto heading the Rebels programme, Helmut Jänes leading Midnight Shivers and Tiit Tuumalu responsible for DOC@PÖFF. Israel is in Focus country this year, alongside a Showcase of Brazilian cinema.
Below are all the films in the Main Competition of the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: