TALLINN: Ülo Pikkov, born in 1976, represents Estonia at the Emerging Producers 2018 programme taking place at the Jihlava IDFF, running 22-27 October 2018.
Pikkov has established himself as a filmmaker, producer and film scholar. Pikkov studied animation at the Turku Arts Academy in Finland and has, since 1996, directed several award-winning animated films (Empty Space, Tik-Tak, Body Memory). In 2005 he graduated from the Institute of Law of the University of Tartu, focusing on the media and author’s rights. Currently, he is completing his PhD studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts and working as a manager and producer of documentary and animation films at his company Silmviburlane.
What was the deciding factor in your choice to become a documentary film producer?
Ülo Pikkov: Out of all types of films, documentary is the closest to life and the human. And nothing is more interesting for me than the human! I have moved through animated films ever closer to documentaries, where I see more opportunities to unfold various aspects of being a human. Ideally, I like to combine animation and documentary in my films.
What has been your most rewarding moment as a documentary film producer?
Ülo Pikkov: Perhaps the most touching moments were when complete strangers wrote to me or just approached me and mentioned that one of my films had affected them. And if you see that it is sincere, it is the best reward for a filmmaker.
What one mistake would you advise beginning documentary film producers to avoid?
Ülo Pikkov: I assume there are critical moments in the making of all the films regardless of their budget and duration. Moments when the team does not share the vision, the days are too long and exhausting, or meeting the deadlines requires strict discipline. It can easily be overcome if you and your team believes in the film. My advice is to dedicate to the development of the film and put together the team very thoroughly and only enter production, when everyone is certain of the success of the project. Every hour not spent on development equals an extra day during production!
Letting Go directed by Ülo Pikkov (2017), animated short documentary, 11 minutesZEBRA directed by Ülo Pikkov (2015), experimental animation, 6 minutesBody Memory directed by Ülo Pikkov (2011), stop motion, 10 minutesFlowers from the Mount of Olives directed by Heilika Pikkov, (2013) documentary, 70 minutes
Projects in Development:
Roots, collection of short documentaries, in production, to be released in 2018.Why Not to Go Then? directed by Liina Särkinen, mid-length documentary, in production, to be released in 2018