TALLINN: Estonia selected Elmo Nüganen’s 1944 for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards. The film is an Estonian/Finnish coproduction.
“Last year there were premieres of many good Estonian films. The jury took into account the enormous audience success at the local market - this film is important for Estonians - but also the potential for international distribution,” says Edith Sepp, a member of the committee which unanimously decided about the selection.
Nüganen’s film depicts the events of the war in 1944 as Estonia faced advances from both the Red Army and the German Army. The story is shown through the eyes of Estonian soldiers who found they had to pick sides and fight against fellow brothers. 1944 premiered domestically on 15 February 2015 and had the biggest opening week audience in the Estonian film history with 44,879 admissions. The film has surpassed 100,000 admissions so far.
The film was produced by Kristian Taska through Estonia's Taska Film in coproduction with Ilkka Matila through Finland's MRP Matila Röhr Productions. It stars Kristjan Üksküla, Kaspar Velberg and Maiken Schmidt. World sales is handled by the Swedish company Eyewell AB.