Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces the lineup of the Baltic Competition programme, brought back to life after a seven year hiatus. Three out of the 11 films announced are having their international premieres in Tallinn.
Estonia will be represented by three films. The feature-length animation Captain Morten and the Spider Queen, an Estonian-Belgian-Irish-UK co-production by director Kaspar Jancis, which premiered at Animafest Zagreb this summer. The film, dubbed by renowned actors such as Brendan Gleeson and Ciarán Hinds, presents a tale of a young boy who learns to take control over his life when he is shrunk to the size of an insect and has to sail his own toy boat through a flooded café.
The feature-length debut by Liina Triškina-Vanhatalo, Take it or Leave it, is Estonia’s candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. The story, striking acutely at several social cords of Estonian society, follows a struggling construction worker who unexpectedly has to take on the role of a single father. The film has been produced by Ivo Felt who received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Tangerines in 2014.
Director Moonika Siimets offers a moving perspective on Stalinist terror through a child’s perspective in The Little Comrade, that was warmly received by local audiences and those at Busan IFF, winning the Public Choice Award.
Latvia’s documentary To be Continued, chronicles three children with different social backgrounds during their first year in school, it is the country’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Another documentary Bridges of Time, co-produced with Lithuania and Estonia, studies the poetical world created by the new wave of documentary filmmakers in the Baltic countries during the 1960’s.
The feature films from Latvia include Bille, set at the end of 1930’s, the childhood years of the writer Vizma Belševica, that will have its international premiere at Black Nights, and Foam at the Mouth, a tale about an ex-cop whose new project involving three service dogs goes awfully wrong.
Lithuania is represented by four films. Making its international premiere, Ashes in the Snow presents a tale of a group of people deported to the Siberian taiga during the Stalinist repressions of 1941. The other titles are Summer Survivors, a tale of an ambitious young psychologist who accepts to transport two patients to a seaside psychiatric unit that premiered at Toronto IFF, Breathing into Marble that arrives from a busy festival run that included Karlovy Vary and Busan IFF, and the documentary 100 Years Together, following several Lithuanians celebrating the country’s centenary. The film won the Public Choice Award at Vilnius IFF.
100 Years Together / 100 metu kartu, Lithuania, Director Edita Kabaraitė - International PremiereAshes in the Snow, Lithuania-USA, Director Marius Markevičius - International PremiereBille /Bille, Latvia-Lithuania-Czech Rep, Director Ināra Kolmane - International PremiereBreathing into Marble / Kvėpavimas į marmurą, Lithuania-Latvia-Croatia, Director Giedrė BeinoriūtėBridges of Time / Laika tilti, Latvia-Lithuania-Estonia, Director Kristīne Briede ja Audrius StonysCaptain Morten and the Spider Queen / Kapten Morten lollide laeval, Estonia-Belgium-Ireland-UK, Director Kaspar JancisTake it or Leave it / Võta või jäta, Estonia, Director Liina Triškina-VanhataloThe Little Comrade / Seltsimees laps, Director Moonika Siimets (Eesti)Foam in the Mouth / Ar putām uz lūpām, Latvia-Poland-Lithuania, Director Jānis NordsTo be Continued / Turpinājums, Latvia, Director Ivars SeleckisSummer Survivors / Išgyventi vasarą, Director Marija Kavtaradzė (Leedu)