Brussels: 3 November 2020 Following recent decisions requiring the closure of cinemas across a number of European countries in response to ‘spikes’ in COVID-19, European trade body the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) has today renewed its call to national governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament to provide further public funding support to the sector to ensure that cinemas are able to survive the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Winners were announced, the festival continues until Sunday

Viera Čákanyova’s Arctic-shot video diary White on White took the Opus Bonum Award for the best world documentary during Saturday’s Ji.hlava Award ceremony (see the recording here). Hilal Baydarov, the sole juror of the competition, called the film “very honest, brave and inspirational”. The Special Mention was accorded to French documentary A Man Leaning by Olivier Dury and Marie-Violaine Brincard. The Award for the Best Central and East European documentary (10,000 EUR prize), is Latvian Coyote by Ivars Zviedris, and Special Mention went to Austrian film The Last Image, directed by Judith Zdesar. The Best Czech documentary (10,000 EUR prize) is A New Shift by Jindřich Andrš and the award in the First Lights category for the best debut went to Portugal for Ghosts: A Long Way Home by Tiago Siopa. The Contribution to World Cinema Award was received by a Chinese artist, dissident, and filmmaker Ai Weiwei. See all awards and jury statements here.

  • the meditative virtual reality game brings to life an Odyssey of enchanting future cities inspired by the visions of children and developed extensively by artists, architects or sociologists. 
  • the virtual reality prototype is selected for Venice Gap Financing Market, that will take place in between the 4th and the 6th of September 2020 in an online setting.
  • the goal of the project is to inspire a new genre in the audio-visual realm and also to empower societal development for the very long term.

Showcasing the fresh cinematic output of the three Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the Baltic Competition of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) will screen 14 films, including world premieres of two Estonian documentaries.

The five films in the programme representing Estonia are expressing five distinctive slices of the country's filmmaking. The first of the two Estonian films having their world premieres is Soviet Friendsbook by Estonian Russian director Alina Surikova (Not My Land) that sees the director looking up her friends with whom she graduated school in 1994, the newly independent republic of Estonia. Finding people in various places all over the world she seeks to build an emotional bridge between two historical moments, offering a unique perspective of Russians living in Estonia and of people that have left.


Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is thrilled to announce its biggest and freshest lineup of the Official Selection - Competition. Final 17 films added to the 24th edition of the festival include 5 world, 11 international, and 2 European premieres and blaze through genres, topics, and locations like the tropical storm does through the streets of Bogota in one of the films competing.

We'd like to remind you that accredit press and industry professionals can see most of the films in the programme, regardless of their geographic location for thee first time. Apply here!



PÖFF is happy to announce a selection of 18 films in the First Feature Competition and an additional 3 out of competition. Ten of the films are World Premieres. First Feature Films distinguish themselves by their freshness, vitality, and revelatory nature.
We have filmmakers from Europe, Asia, America and Australia and movies from pretty much every genre - period pieces, an absurd drama, a western, a musical and much more.

PS! All tickets for the First Feature Competition are already on sale!

Plus, you can check out our brand new teaser!



Germany will be the Focus Country for this year’s hybrid 24th edition of the festival - there are more German films than ever before. The festival will screen more than a dozen films in the specially curated programme "New German Cinema" presented by German Films and Goethe-Institut Estland.

German Films presents the Opening Film 2020: Enfant Terrible by Oskar Roehler. A biopic about the rebel filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder is definitely not your average classical biopic. 
We also have Caged Birds in Official Competition, while Modell Olimpia makes its First Feature debut.
In the Rebels With a Cause strand, M. Bleibtreu’s directorial debut Cortex will be presented.

Finally, there will be Special Screenings of two pivotal pieces from German filmmaking history, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s remastered Berlin Alexanderplatz and Margarethe von Trotta’s Marianne & Juliane.

Ticket sale for the first screenings of the films in the programme will begin today.



The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival will introduce the DDA Spotlight Award, honouring diversity and inclusion in film.

The relationship between Tallinn Black Nights and DDA is longstanding. In recent years, one of its founders, Dennis Davidson, served as the head of the jury of the Official Selection – Competition in 2017.
Mr. Davidson responded, ‘On behalf of DDA, I am humbled by this incredible opportunity to present an annual award at such a prestigious Festival and I am looking forward to returning to Tallinn next month.'

The recipient of the award will be announced in November, prior to the festival.



The 2020 edition of PÖFF Shorts, an official sub-festival of the A-List Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, has revealed the films which will be part of its six competitions. More than 110 short films and animations will be screened between 17th and 25th November both online and in cinemas.

Among the line-up PÖFF Shorts will screen My Dear Corpses, a short by Estonian filmmaker German Golib, that received the Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards announced October 21.

This year is special as PÖFF Shorts celebrates its first year of being an Academy Award qualifying festival.
PÖFF Shorts is also a qualifying festival for BAFTA and the European Film Awards.

Get your tickets today!



Black Nights Stars, the initiative of the Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event, has announced eight young actors from the Baltic Sea region to participate in the programme this November, also inviting young talents from Russia to attend for the first time within the RUSSIA IN FOCUS program.

A jury of international film professionals has selected the following actors: 
Aaron Hilmer (Germany), Antoni Sałaj (Poland), Hanna Ardéhn (Sweden), Henessi Schmidt (Estonia), Reimo Sagor (Estonia), Simonas Mozūra (Lithuania), Vika Sobol (Russia) and Vladislav Kulygin (Russia). 

The programme of Black Nights Stars will focus on how to navigate a career in an online world.



Black Nights Film Festival's youth and children's film sub-festival Just Film will take place from the 13th of November until the 29th of November and ticket sales have already started.

Just Film is celebrating its 20th birthday this year and this year's International Youth Competition comprises of topics which at this moment are the most important themes in youngsters' lives.



The top prize in Zurich Film Festival’s Focus sidebar went to Why Not You by Italy’s Evi Romen. The film will be screened in our First Feature out of competition program and is a joint World Premiere between Black Nights Film Festival and Zurich IFF. 

Evi Romen’s moody drama is a study in grief, loss and the places they can take you. Already an award-winning editor, Romen’s twisty piece deals head on with LGBT+ issues and religion, alongside plenty of dancing.

Grab your tickets now!



You're wondering why there's a huge photo of Tallinn's 'Stalker chimney' here? Because friends at Visit Estonia have put together a 10-question quiz on Estonian cinema and film history.

And we dare you to try it out!



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East-West co-production market connecting cottbus (coco) has assembled a diverse range of networking events and discussions tackling the current challenges in the industry, and will present a new award.

The FilmFestival Cottbus, following the decision announced by the Federal Government of Germany to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which includes the four-week closure of all cinemas, was postponed and will now take place in December 8-13.
connecting cottbus will take place on its original dates in the announced online format.

LJUBLJANA: The 17th edition of the Slovenian festival of animated film Animateka has announced that the festival will take place in an extended hybrid online and in-person format on 30 November – 9 December 2020.

BUCHAREST: Immaculate, the debut feature by Monica Stan and George Chiper Lillemark, and the new documentary by Andrei Dăscălescu Videograms of a Pandemic, won postproduction awards at the Works-in-Progress showcase organised within the 11th edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest Festival (running 23 October-1 November 2020).

BRATISLAVA: The Fest Anča International Animation Festival has opened its Call for Entries for the 14th edition, to be held 1 – 4 July 2021 in Žilina, Slovakia.


Best World Documentary Film 2020


White on White (dir. Viera Čákanyová / Czech Republic, Slovakia, 2020)

Jury statement (sole juror Hilal Baydarov): 

For being a very honest, brave and inspirational film. The film shows us how difficult and almost impossible it is to make a film about oneself.

Special mention:

A Man Leaning (dir. Olivier Dury, Marie-Violaine Brincard / France, 2020)

Jury statement (sole juror Hilal Baydarov): 

For its beautiful structure and well-performed editing that gives strong hints about the nature of cinema through beautiful rhythm and poetic signs.



Best Central and East European Documentary Film 2020

/ 10 000 EUR financial award for the winner/


Latvian Coyote (Ivars Zviedris / Latvia, 2020)

Jury statement: 

For a sensitive approach to its well-chosen protagonists the Jury has decided to award the film that shows us a global and a well-known topic from a unique unconventional perspective which still allows the audience to get very close not only to the mainprotagonist but also to dive into the whole story. And all this is supported by the strong cinematic vision of the director.

Special mention:

THE LAST IMAGE (dir. Judith Zdesar / Austria, 2020)

Jury statement:

For its poetic aesthetics, in search of a sensory representation of a daily and familiar environment, and for its visual creation of a memory that permanently disappeared by bringing glimpses of light in a world of darkness.


Best Central and East European Student Documentary Film 2020

/ 2 000 USD financial award for the winner, in cooperation with Current Time TV /


Time Is (Zaur Kourazov / Belgium, Russia, 2020)

Jury statement: 

For a beautiful and minimalistic narrative approach with which director succeeds, by suspending time in a soothing atmosphere, to open multiple number of topics that unfold in the film and can be relevant not only for the Chechen society.

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