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ZAGREB: Two-time Oscar winner and Croatia’s most famous producer, Branko Lustig died on 14 November 2019 in Zagreb.

Next great thing is just around the corner! We are happy to announce that 4th edition of Kids Kino.Lab (former: Kids Film.Pro), international script development program, will start with the first session on 26th of November in Poznań (Poland)  thanks to International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino! 

Workshops in Poznań will be the first out of four stationary sessions dedicated to films and series development  for young audience. The entire programme lasts 10 months and will take place in Greece (Athens), Czech Republic (Zlin) and Poland(Poznań & Warsaw). Guided by screenwriting tutors, participants of the program will develop their work from synopsis (concept) all the way to well-developed, second draft of the screenplay with initial production assumptions. 


4th Kids Kino.Larb will focus on developing the following projects:

GROUP 1, tutor: Philip Lazebnik 

Enchanted in Music, fiction film, scriptwriter Jacek Bławut and producer Bartek Gliński (Poland)
Ring of Life, fiction film, scriptwriter Kataryna Kopylova and producer Sashko Subko (Ukraine)
The Gauntlet, fiction film, scriptwriter Nikos Dayandas and producer Stelios Apostolopoulos (Greece)
Happy End, fiction film, scriptwriter: tbc and producer Agnieszka Dziedzic (Poland)

GROUP 2, tutor: Kirsten Bonen Rask

Don’t drink our blood, fiction film, scriptwriter Tomáš Pavlíček and producer Tomáš Michálek (Czech Republic).
Dustzone, fiction film, scriptwriter Stefan Titka and producer Vratislav Šlajer (Czech Republic).
Really Great Adventure, fiction film, Emil Płoszajski and producer Karolina Galuba (Poland).
Fantasylum, animated film, scriptwriter Martyna Wojcieszek and producer Natalia Łodygowska (Poland).

GROUP 3, TUTOR: Armin Prediger

The Family Coat, animated series, scriptwriter Fokion Xenos and producer Isabella Alopoudi (Greece).
A little pilot, animated series,  scriptwriter, Eliška Chytková and producer Petr Babinec (Czech Republic).
Johan, Sebastiana & Bach, animated series, scriptwriter Kajetan Kusina and producer Anna Gnyś (Poland).
Sex O'clock, fiction series, scriptwriter Matěj Randár and producer Karolína Zalabáková

4th Kids Kino.Lab will include industry masterclasses, guidance of tutors and established screenwriters as well as meetings with the producers’ tutor Ronald Kruschak who will help participants in developing their production plans, identifying production needs and potential problems. During sessions in Poznań, the participants will learn how to construct characters, develop a treatment and will find out about constructing the screenplay’s sequence and structure. 



 PHILIP LAZEBNIK - Feature Script Script Tutor

Philip is a screenwriter, writer of plays and a screenwriting consultant. Originally associated with Disney Studios and Dream Works. His screenwriting credits include Mulan and Pocahontas for Disney, and The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado for DreamWorks, among many others.

KIRSTEN BONNEN RASK - Feature Script Script Tutor

Kirsten is an experienced script consultant in all formats – shorts, features, TV series, and documentaries for adults as well as for children.

ARMIN PREDIGER -  Series Script Tutor

Armin has worked in the film industry for 30 years, 24 of those as a writer, head writer and script editor in live-action and animation.

RONALD KRUSCHAK - Producer’s Tutor

Germany-based producer, writer and tutor/lecturer with a track record of twenty years of filmmaking focusing on Family Entertainment.

Kids Kino.Lab is a project organised by New Horizons Association Educational Department - a non-governmental organisation, founded in 2003 by Roman Gutek. Its main objective is the promotion and popularization of unconventional, artistically challenging cinema. 

Kids Kino.Lab workshops are co-financed by Creative Europe Media and Polish Film Institute. 

Our partners are: International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino! , Athens International Children's Film Festival, Zlin Film Festival and Kids Kino Industry

Selected projects will be presented at the Kids Kino Industry (former: Warsaw Kids Film Forum) 2020 – an international co-production forum, which is an industry part of Kids Kino International Film Festival.

Let’s get started, let’s get creative!

STRASBOURG: Two of the three awards distributed at the closing of Etoiles et Toiles du Cinema Europeen on 13 November 2019 went to films from CEE territories.

The TV Beats programme will screen eight new series from around the world, three of them world premieres, including an Amazon production and the first Estonian series produced by the Finnish telecommunication company Elisa. 

Running in its third year, the programme, designed to showcase some of the fresh highlights in the series industry, has doubled in size and features series produced outside of Europe for the first time with the Indian dramedy Little Things, broadcast by Netflix, featured among the selection.

Having its world premiere at Black Nights, the Elisa-produced Estonian series Traitor is a spy thriller that is inspired by the real-life espionage incidents between Russian and Estonian intelligence that have been occurring ever more frequently since Estonia joined NATO in 2004. The story focuses on the cat-and-mouse game of two Estonians - Alfred Vint who starts cooperating with Russian intelligence and counter-intelligence office Marko Arrak.

Also having its world premiere in Tallinn is the Russian series The Call Center by Russian directing duo Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov (The Man who surprised everyone), returning to Tallinn with the new series they created at Premier Studios. The story follows the workers of a call centre who are taken hostage by two terrorists who observe the whole building and start to demand the hostages to perform strange tasks.

The third world premiere to be featured in the programme is Burning Land, an Estonian series produced for the national broadcaster ERR, telling a story based on true events about a criminal group known as the Kolkhoz (Russian word for collective farm). The events in the series begin in 2005 and it seems unbelievable that there a parallel world next to our own in today’s world – an organisation with an extensive grasp, which still lives in the 1990s and which controlled the drug business of nearly all of Ida-Viru County. The story is told through the core members of the gang, of whom most are now in prison.

Other series to be screened are the UK-US produced sci fi series The Feed, that will screen on Amazon and features actors David Thewlis, Michelle Fairley and Guy Burnet in lead roles, the Swedish financial thriller Blinded, Russian disaster thrillerThe Outbreak and the UK nature documentary Europe From Above.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival runs from the 15th of November until the 1st of December 2019.


Traitor (Reetur), Estonia, 2019, 6x60 (festival screens 60 min), director Ergo Kuld, screnario: Martin Algus, story: Andres Anvelt, cast: Tambet Tuisk, Eva Koldits, Veiko Porkanen, Indrek Taalmaa, Mari Abel, Klaudia Tiitsmaa, Adeele Sepp Broadcaster: Elisa/ERR,
Production: Kassikuld OÜ, language: Estonian / World premiere

Blinded (Fartblinda), Sweden 2019, 8x60 min ((festival screens two episodes), director: Jens Jonsson, Johan Lundin, produver: Jan Marnell, script: Jesper Harrie, Maria Karlsson, Jonas Bonnier, cast: Matias Varela, Julia Ragnarsson, production: FLX,
broadcaster/platform: C More & TV4, Sweden, language: Swedish

Call Center, Russia 2019, 8x48 min (festival screens two episodes), director: Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov, producer: Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, script: Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov, cast: Vladimir Yaglych, Pavel Tabakov, Yuliya Khlynina, Sabina Akhmedova, Polina Pushkaruk, production: Premier Studios, broadcaster/platform: PREMIER, language: Russian/ World premiere

Burning Land (Põlev maa), Estonia 2019, 8x43 min (festival screens two episodes), director: Olga Belyaeva, Margus Sikk, script: Valdo Arula, Mihkel Seeder, cast: Maria Avdjushko, Sergei Furmanjuk, production: Filmid ja Saapad OÜ, broadcaster/platform: ETV+, language: Russian/ World premiere

The Feed, USA / United Kingdom, USA 2019, 10x60 min (festival screens two episodes), director: Carl Tibbetts, producer: Simon Lewis, executive producer: Susan Hogg, script: Channing Powell, cast: David Thewlis, Michelle Fairley, Guy Burnet, Nina Toussaint-White, production: Studio Lambert, broadcaster/platform: Liberty Global & Amazon Prime , language: English

The Outbreak (Epidemija), Russia 2019, 8x48 min (festival screens two episodes), director: Pavel Kostomarov, producer: Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Aleksander Bondarev, Rafael Minasbekyan, Dzhanik Fayziev, script: Roman Kantor, Yana Vagner, Aleksey Karaulov, cast: Kirill Karo, Viktoriya Isakova, Maryana Spivak, Aleksandr Robak, production: Premier Studios, broadcaster/platform: PREMIER,language: Russian

Europe From Above, United Kingdom 2019, 6x44 min (festival screens two episodes), production: Windfall Films, broadcaster: National Geographic, language: English

Little Things, India 2019, director : Ajay Bhuyan (Season 1) & Ruchir Arun (Season 2), script: Dhruv Sehgal, production: Dice Media, Premium storytelling telling platform of PocketAces Pictures Pvt Ltd, broadcaster / platform: Netflix


The film stills and presskits of the programme can be found HERE. 

23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival TEASER.


Press accreditation for the 23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and Inudstry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event is in progress. Please apply by clicking on the link below.



The festival's press office gladly helps with any question regarding the accreditation, press screenings and conferences and helps to organise interviews with the festival's guests. 

Press accreditations and events: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Press hospitality matters: Anna-Liiza Izbaš This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
International communication: Hannes Aava - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +372 555 29 211.
Russian communication: Jaana Kalinistova This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Estonian communication: Tiit Tuumalu - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NEM Zagreb will host the first screenings of TV shows from the biggest production companies such as CBS Studios InternationalBBC Studios, all3media internationalKeshet Internationalyes StudiosCroatian Radiotelevision and RTV Slovenia. Keynote speeches will be delivered by Frank Spotnitz, creator of the X-Files and The Man in the High Castle, and Harold Gronenthal, Executive Vice President, Programming and Marketing (AMC Networks International).


Zagreb, 13th November 2019 – NEM Zagreb, an event aimed at the development of TV and movie industry in Central and Eastern Europe announced the agenda with panels, speakers, workshops and other events.

You can watch exclusive pre-premiere screenings of the new series, special presentations, case studies and Q&A interviews from the 11th to the 13th of December at NEM Zagreb at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel,through which the participants will get an insight into TV and movie industry trends.

NEM Zagreb will be the host of the first screenings of TVshows from the biggest production companies such as CBS Studios International (USA), BBC Studios, all3media international (UK) andKeshet International andyes Studios (Israel).

HRT and RTV Slovenia will present new TV series from their own production – pre-premiere screening of live action documentary showThe Age of Uskoks and series The Lake (Sebastian Cavazza). After the screenings, interviews have been organized with the main actors and series creators. Kris Marshall (Love Actually, Death at a Funeralwill give us an insight into filming the TV series Sanditon, produced by BBC Studios.

The panel about character world creation and series atmosphere

What is necessary to create an indispensable character in the eyes of the viewers? When does it become clear that the new legend is born? The creation of the character and its development is probably the hardest part of the writing process and precisely that will be one of the interesting topics discussed by the producers and writers who work on character development daily. Besides characters, the thing that keeps us watching intently are the beautiful locations, shots, colors and costumes - an atmosphere created by series' creators. Vanja Černjul (Orange is the New BlackThe Deuce, Crazy Rich Asians) and Allan Starski(Schindler’s List)will teach us how to create original series and characters from the visual department perspective, as well as from the cameraand sound department perspective.

Various TV experts and content creators are coming to the NEM Zagreb stage and the visitors will have an opportunity to hear the news about the unscripted series formats, the expansion of the original productions, the growing production of non-English content and learn the secret recipe for the creation of extremely popular Nordic series. The event will also feature a screenplay writing workshop for successful TV projects, and hit-series like Killing Eve, Money Heist, Stranger Things and Fleabag are just some of the examples that will be used.

Keynote speaker: A man responsible for the global distribution of the TV series Breaking Bad

AMC Networks International is an American company which produces many successful drama shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, HUMANS, The Night Manager, Mad Men and Mr. Selfridge. Their program and marketing executive Harold Gronenthalwillgive a keynote speechand share his experiences with working on the global distribution of broadcasting rights of these TV series. Dariusz Jablonski, CEO of Apple Film Productions will introduce the TV show The Pleasure Principle, the first co-production of three Eastern European countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine), distributed byBeta Film.

Beta Film (Germany) with Nova TV (Croatia), HRT (Croatia), RTL (Croatia), RAI (Italy), Keshet (Israel), Zig Zag Productions (UK) andCineLink Industry Days (Bosnia and Herzegovina) will form the judges panel for TV Writing Contest competition organized by NEM Zagreb. The best candidates in each category (scripted and unscripted) will have the opportunity to present their project to all the participants in the panel room, and the winners will get a 5000 € prize which will help them to further develop the submitted screenplay. To encourage potential cooperation, NEM Zagreb will organize meetings during the conference with the judges’ representatives for all the candidates that entered the final round.

The creator of X-Files and The Man in the High Castlealso coming

During NEM Zagreb, American producer and writer Frank Spotnitz (Big Light Production) will speak about his work for Netflix and Amazon. His portfolio contains projects like X-Files, for which he got three Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination in the best drama series and best screenplay categories. His newer achievements include the production of drama shows The Man in the High Castle andMedici. He is currently working with the British writer Stephen Thompson (Sherlock) on the series Leonardo, the first big-budget project of European Alliance, a special alliance of the biggest FTA televisions in Europe (ZDF, RAI and France Télévision) whose goal is to match the greatest global content producers.

Actor Billy Campbell, the star of legendary TV shows like Dynasty, Frasier andMerlose Place, who is nowadays known for his role in the TV show Cardinal (available on SVoDPickbox NOW),is coming to share his experiences from shooting in cold Canadian conditions. British producer Gabrielle Tana, nominated for an Oscar and two BAFTA Awards for the movie Philomena will talk about financing of independent films. At the moment she is working with the actor and director Ralph Fiennes on the movie The White Crow.

You can find the complete NEM Zagreb agenda here:

You can find all the participation fees and special package prices

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Munich, 31.10.2019. Beta Film has closed a major territory deal for its high-end crime series The Pleasure Principle – the first international television co-production between Central and Eastern European countries on such a great scale. The 10 x one hour series was acquired by ZDF for ARTE to be aired on the Franco-German channel in 2020.

Directed by multi-awarded Dariusz Jablonski ("Photographer"), The Pleasure Principle premiered in Poland on CANAL+ and turned out to be a great ratings success. Shot in Warsaw, Prague, and at Odessa’s picturesque Black Sea coast, the series brought together leading talents of the three partnering countries, among them Karel Roden ("The Bourne Supremacy"), Malgorzata Buczkowska ("I Am You"), Stipe Erceg ("The Baader Meinhof Complex"), and Sergey Strelnikow ("Ekaterina"). 

The Pleasure Principle revolves around the murder of three young women in three different cities. Within days, their bodies are found, each showing the same brutal sings of violence. One thing is clear: they are obviously connected. The three separate police departments from Ukraine, Poland and Czech Republic investigating the case now need to overcome their differences in order to partner up in a cross-border inquiry. Their trail leads to shady businessmen, lawyers for sale, corrupt politicians, professional killers and traces of a common past. But things are seldom what they seem to be... 

The Pleasure Principle is produced by Apple Film Production in co-production with CANAL+Poland, Czech TV and Star Media.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has released its full lineup, adding two world and three international premieres, raising the total film count of the main festival to 200.

Together with its two sub-festivals, youth and children’s film festival Just Film and short and animation film festival PÖFF Shorts, Black Nights presents 255 features, 8 series and 320 short films and animations at a total of 854 screenings. The films originate from 77 different countries. The festival hosts a record number 31 world and 31 international premieres.

For the upcoming edition, Black Nights has introduced several structural changes in addition to the ones already announced with the competition sections. Former non-competitive programmes titled Panorama and Forum have been restructured and replaced with new programmes called Current Waves - a more extensive selection of world cinema and Signatures – a smaller selection of directors with a very distinct directorial style and of special relevance to the festival. The former Fashion Cinema has broadened its scope too in terms of topics, in addition to fashion and cultural phenomena, it now includes films about new technologies, urban culture, etc and has been renamed #Trending.

Special Screenings
Black Nights screens six films as Special Screenings, which include five documentaries and one feature film. Last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award laureate Mark Soosaar presents the world premiere of his latest entry in the series ofanthropological observations of the small and unique island culture of Kihnu in Estonia in Kids of Kihnu. It is the last chapter in his trilogy of feature-length Kihnu films that began with the Woman of Kihnu in 1974 and continued with Man of Kihnu in 1986. The festival screens all three films.

Another world premiere is Nordic Pulse directed by David Donnely, that follows the visionary Estonian composer and conductor Kristjan Järvi during a Nordic tour with his orchestra Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

Andrey A. Tarkovsky presents Andrey Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer, a documentary about the private intellectual world of the legendary director, juxtaposing his never-before-released personal recordings with recitals of his fathers’ poems, with whom the director had a very deep bond.

The section is rounded by South Korean historic spectacleThe King’s Letters by first-time director CHO Chul-hyun, set in the Joseon era, as king Sejong battles his own court to create an original alphabet for Korea.

Among the 18 titles to be screened,  Venice Golden Lion winner Milcho Manchewski (Before the Rain) arrives in Tallinn to present his latest feature Willow, a decades-spanning tale of a woman trying to conceive a child.

Goran Paskaljevic, a two-time Golden Bear, Golden Palme and Golden Lion nominee and San Sebastian Special Jury Prize winner (Midwinter Night’s Dream, 2004) presents his latest film Despite the Fog, 

The programme also includes the international premiere of Wonderful Woman of South Korean director Kyuhwan Jeon, who’s won the best director award at Black Nights with The Weight. The film follows a middle-aged woman who needs is battling life’s hardships as she looks for money to have surgery for thyroid cancer while trying to find her husband whom she hasn’t seen in years, so they could attend their estranged daughter’s wedding as a couple one last time.

Midnight Shivers
The Midnight Shivers section, screening ten genre highlights, is headed by the Estonian premiere of Robert Eggers The Lighthouse, the only chance to see the film in the high tech iSense screening hall, where the festival’s Official Selection premieres also take place. Director Can Evrenol, whose new film Girl With No Mouth is part of the festival’s Official Selection - Competition, will also present his horror hit Baskin, the film which he also introduced at the Black Nights side-festival HÕFF in 2016.

The programme also includes Black Nights regulars Aaron Benson and Jason Moorhead (directors of the indie sci-fi hit Spring fame), this time returning with several projects, having directed the programme entry Synchronic, while also involved as producers with Jeremy Gardner’s and Christian Stella’s horror survival comedy After Midnight, a tale of a man coming to terms with a lost love, forced to fight a creature with his best friend.

Director Michael Meyer and his crew will be presenting the international premiere of Happy Times, a black comedy of a Jewish family celebrating sabbath in a Hollywood villa, as the evening takes a violent wrong turn.

Spanish director Miguel Llanso presents the Spanish-Estonian-Ethiopian co-produced and Kickstarter-backed absurdist spy thriller with exploitation elements. The film arrives from a successfully started festival run that includes genre fests like Sitges and Fantasia.

Other programmes
Screen International’s critics have yet again chosen seven films for the Screen International Critics’ Choice, that includes the previously announced German Academy Award submission System Crasher by director Nora Fingescheidt, Cannes Best Screenplay winner Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Skiamma and Gitanjali Rao’s animation Bombay Rose that has screened at Venice, Toronto and Busan, among a long list of festivals.

2019 will also see the return Doc@PÖFF with 15 films, some shared with other sections of the festival. It includes the spectacular Honeyland by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotvska, North Macedonia’s entry for the Academy Awards and the international premiere of Oleksandr Zaporoshchenko’s Where Are You, Adam? - a study of a small ‘cloister state’ on the Athos peninsula, a secluded area in Greece where only male monks reside.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival runs from the 15th of November until the 1st of December.


The film stills and presskits of the programme can be found HERE. 

23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival TEASER.


Press accreditation for the 23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and Inudstry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event is in progress. Please apply by clicking on the link below.



The festival's press office gladly helps with any question regarding the accreditation, press screenings and conferences and helps to organise interviews with the festival's guests. 

Press accreditations and events: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Press hospitality matters: Anna-Liiza Izbaš This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
International communication: Hannes Aava - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +372 555 29 211.
Russian communication: Jaana Kalinistova This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Estonian communication: Tiit Tuumalu - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The 23rd edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival will see six International and one jury, comprised of only Estonians, overseeing various sections of the festival.

The jury of the Official Selection will evaluate the 21 films in the programme, handing out following prizes: Grand Prix for the Best Film (grant of 10 000 euros from the City of Tallinn, shared by the Director and Producer); Best Director (grant of 5000 euros); Best Script; Best Actress; Best Actor; Best Cinematographer (grant of 1000 euros from Angel Films); Best Music.
The jury members are Michael Newell, Kerem Ayan, Lisa Carlehed, Pivio, Fabrizio Maltese, Rima Das.

The First Feature Competition jury will hand out three awards – Best film and a 5000 euro grant shared by the director and producer of the film, along with two Special Prizes – to the 18 film in the programme.
The jury members are Rubén Mendoza, Arsen Anton Ostojic, Şebnem Hassanisoughi, Michael J. Werner and Miae Choi.

The Baltic Competition jury will award one of the 15 Baltic films with the Award for Best Baltic Feature Film (grant of 3200 euros, shared by the Director and Producer).
The jury consists of Leslie Felperin, Milja Mikkola and Ricardo J. Méndez.

The Rebels With A Cause jury will watch the 15 films in the Rebels competition, handing out the Rebel with a Cause Award (grant of 1200 euros from Nudist) to their favourite.
The members are Mirtel Pohla, Ilkka Matila and Ahmet Kenan Bilgic.

The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) will hand out the NETPAC award to one of the 14 Asian titles from the festival’s programme that have its world, international and European premieres at Black Nights.
The jury members are Siddiq Barmak, Kanat Torebay and Jaanis Valk.

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) jury will select their favourite film from among the First Feature Competition.
The jury members are Daria Badior, Joanna Orzechowska-Bonis and Aurelia Aasa.

The Ecumenical jury selects, from among the Official Selection entries, the film to highlight, which, through its script, performances or production notably represents Christian principles or general human principles beyond specific world views, an emphatic and mutually considerate attitude to life, traditional life values and the sanctity of life.
Jury members are Andres Põder, Madis Kolk, Urmas Viilma, Marge-Marie, Rainer Sarnet. 

Official Selection - Competition

Michael Newell – director, producer (United Kingdom)
Mike Newell began directing at age 22, working on numerous plays for TV in BBC and ITV. His television feature “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1977), which was ultimately released as a feature film, served as a spring- board to international success. He subsequently directed Dance with a Stranger (1984), The Good Father (1985), “Enchanted April” (1991) that won 2 Golden Globes and Into the West (1994). In 1994 he made the box office hit Four Weddings and a Funeral that was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Film. In the US directed the mafia thriller “Donnie Brasco” (1997), followed by Pushing Tin (1999) and Mona Lisa Smile (2003). Newell has served as executive producer on several projects, including “Traffic” (2000) and “High Fidelity” (2000). As the director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Newell became the first British director to helm an instalment of the hugely popular franchise. Newell’s latest feature credits include Prince of Persia (2010), Great Expectations (2012) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018).

Kerem Ayan – Festival director (Turkey)                                
He was the Assistant Director and in charge of the Turkish cultural page in the Radio France Internationale for four years. Ayan started working for the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 and meanwhile, organized the International Literary Adaptation Market in Monaco. In 2005, he launched the Political Films Festival in Barcelona and directed it for three years. He became the assistent director of the Istanbul Film Festival in 2006, and the festival director in 2015.

Lisa Carlehed – actress (Denmark)
Lisa Carlehed is a Swedish actress with Bachelor’s degree from GITIS Scandinavia, living in Denmark. She has been to Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival with “Until We Fall” (2018). In the festival programme has also been “Into Your Arms” (2015), both by the French/Danish director Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm. She plays the leading role in Psychosia, directed by Marie Grathø, which premiered at the Venice IFF and will be screened in the Current Waves programme of Black Nights.

Pivio – composer, artist (Italy)
Pivio, founder of the new wave group Scortilla in 1979, moved after graduating in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa to Rome in the late 1980ies and, with Aldo De Scalzi, started an artistic partnership that focused on soundtracks. After obtaining international fame with the feature film “Hamam” (dir. Ferzan Özpetek), he has composed over a hundred soundtracks for cinema and television, including “Song ‘e Napule” and the musical “Ammore e Malavita” (by Manetti Bros) in competition at the Venice Film Festival 2017. He has also written music for the TV series “Distretto di Polizia” and “L’ispettore Coliandro. He is the president of ACMF (Association Composers Music for Films), the Italian association of com- posers for the cinema and TV.

Fabrizio Maltese - Cinematographer, director, photographer (Italy)
Fabrizio Maltese is an award-winning portraitist, photographer and documentary director. His work has been featured on the covers of GQ, Rolling Stone, Studio Ciné Live, Sight & Sound and The Hollywood Reporter and his extensive portrait portfolios for the latter have become a defining part of the Reporter’s festival coverage. Solo exhibitions include Faces of French Cinema (Edinburgh, Lisbon, Sao Paulo in 2009) and Role/Play (Sydney, Luxembourg in 2012). His documentaries include Twenty-Five Palms (2015), 50 Days in the Desert (2016) and California Dreaming (2019) that will be screened at Black Nights’ Doc@PÖFF section this year.

Rima Das – director (India)
Rima Das is a self-taught screenwriter, producer and director best known for making indigenous and realistic films with non-professional actors. Her film Village Rockstars was presented at the Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event International Works In Progress and screened at over 80 film festivals around the world, including Tallinn Black Nights, becoming India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in 2019. Her debut feature Man with the Binoculars: Antardrishti had its world premiere in the First Feature Competition of Tallinn Black Nights in 2016.

First Feature Competition

Rubén Mendoza – director (Colombia)
Rubén Mendoza is a scriptwriter and director of eight short and seven feature films. He has won awards, scholarships and development funds from the most important institutions in the world, including Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, San Sebastián, Havana, Clermont-Ferrand, FondSud, Chicago, etc. His filmography includes Wandering Girl, that won the Grand Prix (Best Film award) of Tallinn Black Nights in 2018, Memories of a Vagabond (2014), Dust on the Tongue (2014), The Stoplight Society (2010) and several documen- taries.

Şebnem Hassanisoughi – actress (Turkey)
Şebnem Hassanisoughi is a theatre, TV and film actress from Istanbul. She has taken roles in several TV shows and for her role in the film “Geriye Kalan”, she received Best Actress award at the 12th İzmir International Film Festival, and the Ayhan Işık Special Award at the 18th Sadri Alışık Actor’s Awards. With her performance in the Zeki Demirkubuz’s film Bulantı she won Best Supporting Actress at the 48th Siyad Awards. She was also honoured with the 20th Year Special Award at the 20th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival. Hassanisoughi recently played in Josefine Kirkeskov’s The Lifeboat that had its world premiere in the First Feature Competition of Black Nights in 2017.

Arsen Anton Ostojic – director, producer (Croatia)
Arsen Anton Ostojic had made four award-winning feature films, the first three being Croatia’s official candidates for Oscar – A Wonderful Night in Split (2004), No One’s Son (2008), Halima’s Path (that also screened at PÖFF in 2012) – and most reecntly, F20. He has worked on about twenty feature films in Europe and in the United States as an assistant director or production manager and coproduced the animated feature film Oddsockeaters (2016).

Michael J. Werner – producer (Hong Kong)
Michael J. Werner is a Producer, foreign Sales Agent and was for more than twenty years the co-head of the pioneering art-house foreign sales banner Fortissimo Films. Over his career he has been involved in as Producer/EP/Distributor on a number of now classic titles including Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000) and The Grandmaster (2013). Most recently he produced Suk Suk by director Ray Yeung which was presented at the 2019 Busan IFF. Werner has also served on numerous governmental advisory committees and panels including Hong Kong’s HAF, The Asian Film Awards, Screen Singapore, Busan’s Asian Film Market Advisory Committee, and the International Film Festival and Awards Macao, while currently serving as a consultant for Asia to The Netherlands Film Commission, the completion bond leader for Film Finances International and The Sundance Institute.

Miae Choi – producer (South Korea)
Miae Choi, born in Korea, She has been producing nine of director Kyu Hwan Jeon’s films since 2008 and has made notable achievements by receiving awards from the film festival circuit with high praises and afforded Jeon international recognition at the Berlin IFF, Venice IFF, PÖFF with films such as Mozart Town (2008), Animal Town (2009), Dance Town (2010), The Weight (2012), Angry Painter (2015), The End (2017) and the Wonderful Woman (2019) that screens in the Signatures programme this year.

Rebels With A Cause

Ilkka Matila – producer (Finland)
Ilkka Matila is one of the most prolific film producers in Finland, häving produced 23 feature films, numerous shorts, serial dramas and documentaries during the past 30 years. He has twice received the Finnish Jussi Award for Best Film, chosen to be the Producer of the Year. He’s the co-owner of the production company MRP Matila Röhr Productions. Several of his productions have screened at PÖFF, for example Lovers & Leavers (2002), Mother of Mine (2005), The Eternal Road (2017) and the series All the Sins will screen at the festival’s TV Beats section this year.

Ahmet Kenan Bilgic – composer (Turkey)
Ahmet Kenan Bilgiç is the composer, producer, guitarist and vocalist of a progressive rock band Gevende and the founder of LU Records. He has composed and produced music for cinema, mapping and video game projects since 2006. He won The Best Music Award at the 30th Istanbul International Film Festival with his first feature film “Atlıkarınca” in 2011. Two of his films have screened at Sundance – Ivy in 2015 and Butterflies in 2018, that won Grand Jury Prize in World Drama.

Mirtel Pohla – actress (Estonia)
Mirtel Pohla is an Estonian, who’s worked eight years in the internationally recognised Theatre NO99, while also collaborating theatres abroad like Lyric Hammersmith in London and Münchner Kammerspiele. She has won several theatre awards and has been nomi- nated at Estonian Film and Television Awards for her role in the film Pretenders in 2017, most recently playing the leading role in Portugal (2018).

Baltic Competition

Leslie Felperin – film critic (United Kingdom)
Leslie has taught animation’s relationship with child audiences at Goldsmiths and Middlesex universities before transitioning to journalism. She worked at magazines Sight and Sound, Moving Pictures, Variety and The Big Issue, before  starting to write film and theatre reviews for The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, while also writing for The Guardian in the U.K.

Ricardo J. Méndez – scriptwriter, writer (Germany)
Ricardo is the Technical Director for Europe at Samsung NEXT, where he works doing investments on technology innovation. His alter-ego writes essays on film, books, games, and anime.

Milja Mikkola -  festival programmer (Finland)
Since 2005 Milja Mikkola has been part of the Arctic Circle’s legendary Midnight SunFilm Festival where she currently holds the post of Programme Manager. She is also founder and co-director of Helsinki’s Viva Erotica Film Festival, which celebrates the history of sex with rare gems screened in their original format.

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema)

Siddiq Barmak – film director (Afghanistan)
Siddiq Barmak’s Osama won the Golden Camera and Junior Award at the Cannes IFF and the New Currents – Special Mention and Audience Awards at Busan IFF, among other numerous awards in 2003.

Kanat Torebay – producer (Kazakhstan)
Kanat Torebay produced the film The Stranger, that was part of the Official Selection of Black Nights in 2015, winning the NETPAC award.

Jaanis Valk -  director (Estonia)
Jaais Valk’s first feature-length documentary film Ahto. Chasing A Dream won the Best Estonian Film award at the 22nd Black Nights Film Festival.

FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics)

Daria Badior (Ukraine)
Daria Badior is a  journalist and Culture Editor in, one of the biggest Ukrainian online outlets. Co-founder of The Union of the Ukrainian Film Critics and head of the selection committee of Kyiv Critics' Week film festival.

Joanna Orzechowska-Bonis (France)
Joanna Orzechowska-Bonis is writing film criticism, interviews, catalogues, portraits of filmmakers and actors, analyses of French and international cinema.

Aurelia Aasa (Estonia)
Aurelia Aasa is a freelance culture critic, who regularly writes for multiple publications and co-hosts a monthly film-show at IDA radio. She’s the Estonian correspondent for the international platform FNE and a member of the Estonian Association of Film Journalists (FIPRESCI). Currently works at the Estonian Film Institute as an international distribution coordinator

Ecumenical Jury

Andres Põder - Archbishop Emeritus, President of Estonian Council of Churches
Madis Kolk - Editor-of-chief, culture magazine Teater. Muusika. Kino
Urmas Viilma - Archbishop, Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Marge-Marie Paas - Press Officer, Roman Catholic Church
Rainer Sarnet - Film and stage director, winner of the Best Estonian Film award at Black Nights with November in 2017.


The film stills and presskits of the programme can be found HERE. 

23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival TEASER.


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In the 9th edition of US in Progress Wrocław industry program (November 6th-8th) taking place in the frame of the 10th American Film Festival 6 projects were presented. All were eligible for the post-production in-kind awards (post-production services sponsored by the partners of the programme).

The projects are receiving the following awards:

Tiger Style! by Cory Santilli 

  • production and post-production support up to the value of $10 000 form Platige Image 

  • music composition or sound design up to $10 000  from Maciej Zieliński Soundflower Studio 

  •  $1000 round trip ticket to Poland for post-production from New Horizons Association  

In A Silent Way by Collin Levin

  • color grading up to the value of $10 000 from ColorOffOn

  • $500 ticket to Poland for post-production from New Europe Film Sales

My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To by Jonathan Cuartas

  • digital post-production services up to the value of $10 000 from Fixafilm 

Aleph by Iva Radivojevic

  • post-production services up to $10 000 from Orka Studio 

Time Now by Spencer King 

  • Ale kino+ television rights offer 

The Unknown Country by Morrisa Maltz

  • free registration at Producers’ Network during 2020 Cannes Marché du Film for the producer

This year Platige Image has also decided to give an additional special award for a debuting director: $10 000 for production of the next film for Collin Levin, director of In A Silent Way.

The awards execution will be negotiated with projects’ producers individually on the basis of the studio’s availability.

Besides presenting the projects to the professional audiences, the producers took part in one on one meetings with European festival programmers, sales agents and distributors. 2019 edition of US in Progress included presentations of Polish projects’ seeking American partners as well a round table on transcontinental co-production with American producers: Andrew Hevia, Jay Van Hoy, Zach Nutman, Monique Walton and Stephanie Wilcox.

Congratulations to all the participants and many thanks to the partners and attendees!

BERLIN: Two documentaries from CEE territories landed 2019 European Film Academy Nominations: Honeyland by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska, and Putin’s Witness by Vitaly Mansky.