TALLINN: Estonia’s 2019 domestic film admissions have already surpassed the 2018 record, with over 802,000 admissions and another seven weeks still to come. There are two animated features and one documentary among the most-watched films, which is even more impressive.
The biggest hits among feature films are Truth and Justice and Class Reunion 3. The historical epic Truth and Justice directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Allfilm has surpassed 267,000 admissions. It’s also the Estonian candidate for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. Another local feature which has enjoyed the audience's acclaim is René Vilbre’s Class Reunion 3, produced by Taska Film. The last film of the comedy trilogy has had over 122,000 admissions.
The year has been remarkable for animated films. The third film of the successful Lotte franchise, Lotte and the Lost Dragons directed by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits, produced by Eesti Joonisfilm and Rija Films, has garnered more than 76,600 admissions.
The newcomer is Old Man Cartoon Movie directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, produced by the small animation studio BOP. The dark comedy started out on Youtube but has proven to be popular on the big screen. The film’s currently running in cinemas and has more than 85,500 admissions, making it one of the most successful Estonian animated films.
The hit documentary of 2019 is Ott Tänak: the Movie about the Estonian World Rally Championship drivers Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, who have just been crowned as the WRC champions of 2019. The film’s directed by Tarvo Mölder and produced by Sterotek Film. It's gained more than 95,500 admissions.
Estonia is also celebrating its first nomination in the Oscar Best Documentary category, Immortal directed by Ksenia Okhapkina, produced by Vesilind. The film will have its Estonian premiere at the Black Nights Film Festival, which starts on 15 November 2019.
Rounding out the success stories are films from several smaller studios, including the indie film company Tallifornia, which released Chasing Unicorns, a comedy about a start-up world, directed by entrepreneur Rain Rannu. Chasing Unicorns has gained over 28,000 admissions.
Estonia had 647,600 admissions for domestic films in 2018, compared to 282,400 in 2017. The surge in attendance for national films is the direct result of the Estonia centennial film funding programme.