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ESTONIA: Country Report 2016 Featured

2017-02-14
Class Reunion by Rene Vilbre Class Reunion by Rene Vilbre

Estonian cinema had an outstanding year in 2016, with several records broken. Total admissions reached an all-time high of 3.29 m, a six percentage point increase from 2015. Another record is 2.4 admissions per capita. Total box office reached a record of 17.6 m EUR, with 12 percentage points more than in 2015.

Domestic films had 347,036 admissions, adding up to an 11% market share, roughly equal to 2015. Class reunion / Klassikokkutulek, directed by Rene Vilbre and produced by Taska Films, broke an all-time record for a domestic film with 189,000 admissions and over 1 m EUR gross.

Enterprise Estonia, the country’s industry development agency, supported two audiovisual infrastructure initiatives with a total of 2 m EUR to be spent over the next three years- TallinnFilmWonderland and a media incubator in the border city of Narva.

The cash rebate system generated over 1.5 m EUR of inbound investment.

PRODUCTION

When You Least Expect It / Õnn tuleb magades by Mart Kivastik started shooting in Iceland in 2016, after the Estonian shooting wrapped in 2015. The film was produced by Iceland’s Vintage Pictures and Estonia’s Kopli Kinokompanii, and was relased in Estonia and Iceland in October 2016.

The recepient of the first FilmEstonia cash rebate grant, Eternal Road / Ikitie, directed by Antti-Jussi Annilaand produced by Finland’s Matila Röhr Productions in coproduction with Sweden’s Person Anagram and Estonia’s Taska Film, started shooting in June 2016.          

Comrade Child / Seltsimees laps, directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, started shooting in August 2016 and will be released within the Estonian Republic 100 programme in 2018.

The Eternal Road by AJ AnnilaHeroes / Sangarid, directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Estonia’s Taska Film in coproduction with Finland’s Matila Röhr Productions and Latvia’s Film Angels Productions, started shooting in August 2016. The film is set to be released in February 2017.

Scandinavian Silence / Skandinaavia vaikus, directed by Martti Helde and produced by Three Brothers, started shooting in November 2016.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 377 films were distributed in Estonia in 2016. The average ticket price was 5.4 EUR, a 7.5 percentage point increase year on year from 2015. The largest number of titles, 199, originated from Europe. The US came second with 138 films. A total of 21 Estonian films premiered in cinemas through 2016 and two of them made it to top 10 - Class Reunion / Klassikokkutulekm, directed by Rene Vilbre and produced by Taska Films, topped the chart, while the art house film The Days That Confused / Päevad, mis ajasid segadusse, directed by Triin Ruumet and produced by Kinosaurus Film, ranked 8th.

The distribution market was dominated by Estonian Theatrical Distribution with five films in the top 10, followed by VaataFilmi / Forum Cinemas AS with two entries in the top ten and ACME Films.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Total admissions reached an all-time high of 3,290,750, a six percent increase from 2015. Another record is 2.4 admissions per capita. Total box office reached a record of 17,665,337 EUR, 12 percent more than in 2015.

Domestic films had 347,036 admissions, adding up to an 11% market share, roughly equal to 2015. Class reunion / Klassikokkutulek, directed by Rene Vilbre and produced by Taska Films, broke an all-time record for a domestic film with 189,000 admissions and over 1 m EUR gross.

The Spy and the Poet by Toomas HussarGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

In 2016 the annual state support for film industry was 10,421,294 EUR with 255,855 EUR from the Estonian Film Institute, 640,000 EUR from the Ministry of Culture and 2,035,461 EUR from the Cultural Endowment.

In 2016, the Estonian Film Institute, the national film agency, provided production grants for the following feature films and minority coproductions: November, based on the hit novel Rehepapp by Andrus Kivirähk, directed by Rainer Sarnet and produced by HomelessBobProductions; Mihkel, an Iceland/Estonia coproduction directed by Ari Alexander Magnussen and coproduced by Amrion; Scandinavian Silence / Skandinaavia vaikus, directed by Martti Helde and produced by Three Brothers; The Last / Viimane, directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by HomelessBobProductions; The Monk / Munk, directed by Oscar-nominated director Zaza Urushadze and coproduced by Allfilm; The Spy and the Poet / Luuraja ja luuletaja, directed by Toomas Hussar and produced by Allfilm; Portugal, directed by Lauri Lagle and produced by Allfilm; Mankiller. Innocent. Shadow / Mehetapja. Süütu. Vari directed by Sulev Keedus and produced by F-Seitse, and The Swan / Luik, an Iceland/Estonia coproduction directed by Asa Helga Hjörleifsdottir and coproduced by Kopli Kinokompanii.

In 2016, Estonia launched a pilot cash rebate system, FilmEstonia, targeted at foreign feature and quality TV productions. The overall budget in the first year of the cash rebate system reached 0.5 m EUR.

Estonia’s cash rebate allows for reimbursement of up to 30% of locally incurred costs. The system imposes a 1 m EUR minimum budget threshold for feature films and 2 m EUR for animated films, as well as minimum requirements for local spend (300,000 EUR for features film, 100,000 EUR for animated films).

In its pilot year, Estonia’s cash rebate system supported one Finnish/Estonian/Swedish coproduction, The Eternal Road / Ikitie, directed by Antti-Jussi Annilaand produced by Ilkka Matila through Finland’s MRP Matila Röhr Productions with the Estonian partner Kristian Taska through Taska Film, and one long animated film Hodja, directed by Karsten Kiilerich and produced by the Dannish company A Film.

The cash rebate system generated over 1.5 m EUR of inbound investment, delivering a return of 3.3 EUR to the local film industry on 1 EUR invested. Based on the initial success of the scheme, the budget for FilmEstonia Fund increased four-fold to 2 m EUR in 2017.

The Monk by Zaza UrushadzeEnterprise Estonia, the country’s industry development agency, supported two audiovisual infrastructure initiatives with a total of 2 m EUR, to be spent within three years. TallinnFilmWonderland, a special purpose firm backed by six local film companies and a cluster body uniting a further 17, is developing a film industry hub in the capital city of Tallinn.

The new hub will be the largest audivisual production centre on the Baltic Sea shores, with three film studios and a total floor space of 1,200 square meters, postproduction facilities and offices for resident companies. The project is budgeted at 6 m EUR, with 5 m EUR coming from banks and strategic investors. TallinnFilmWonderland is scheduled to open by the end of 2018.

The second investment of 1 m EUR from Enterprise Estonia went towards the establishment of a media incubator in the border city of Narva facing Russia. Narva Creative Incubator, established by four organsations, will set up a creative media hub in Narva (a town with a population of 50,000) by the end of 2018. The incubator will have a render farm for audiovisual industry, a virtual reality / motion capture studio, interactive demo space, business incubator for media startups with offices and co-working space, and an arena for cybersports.

The Days That Confused by Triin RuumetTV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting operates three channels: the flagship ETV, the culturally oriented ETV2 and the recently launched Russian-language ETV+, that is yet to capture a sizeable audience of Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and TV3, both of which also beam a host of niche channels.

Netflix entered the Estonian market early in 2016, but with a heavily limited programme with no Estonian subtitling so far.

A 10-part TV drama series The Bank / Pank won the first award in a competition for the Republic of Estonia 100 anniversary year in 2018. The production of this project will be financed by the State Chancellary jubilee fund.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus Str 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Phone: +372 699 91 50
www.kulka.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Rao Heidmets
 
ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
J. Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokfilm.ee


ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kinoliit.ee
Contact: Erika Laansalu
 


ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 58 258 962
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESC
www.esc.edicypages.com/et


 
THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 6464517
Fax: +372 6464516
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.enliit.ee


 
THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
Phone: +372 55 33894; +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Jaan Ruus


 
THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Olmet Raivo

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUM
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Maria Mang
www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum


 
ESTONIAN MOVIE DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.efis.ee/en


 
ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng

Report by Martin Adamsoo (2017)
Sources: Estonian Film Institute, Enterprise Estonia

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