The juries for the 15th Black Nights Film Festival promise to bring debate and intensity to their careful scrutiny of competition films as they head to Tallinn, Estonia between 16th and 30th October 2011. Jury members include Sergei Loznitsa, the director of the hugely praised My Joy which won the Grand Prix at PÖFF 2010, and Oscar nominated filmmaker Juanita Wilson

    The International Competition EurAsia Jury will award a Grand Prix and jury prizes for Best Director, Actor and Actress from a diverse and excellent selection of films from Europe and Asia., Sergei Loznitsa (Russia) - who has directed 11 documentaries and seen his feature debut “My Joy” premiered in the main competition at the Festival de Cannes and Juanita Wilson (Ireland) - whose first short film “The Door” was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 and who has recently been named among Variety’s top ten directors to watch for in 2011 – will both be amongst those deciding on the Grand Prix winner. They will be joined by Karen Young (USA)– an actress who has appeared in over two dozen films and is a regular on the New York stage, appearing last year in actor/director Ethan Hawke's revival of Sam Shepard's “A Lie of the Mind”- and Peter Zeitlinger (Austria) who has been working with Werner Herzog since 1995 when he was the director of photography on Herzog's documentary Death For Five Voices. This has led to an intensive collaboration on films such as Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. The jury will be rounded off by Indu Shrikent (India), the festival director of Osian’s- Cinefan Film Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, and a member of FIPRESCI and Peeter Urbla (Estonia), a producer, director and screenwriter whose most famous films are Ma pole turist, ma elan siin, Agent Sinikael”, Lilja 4-ever and Stiilipidu.

    The Tridens Baltic Feature Film Competition will concentrate on the best films emanating from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Here the jury will consist of Dita Rietuma (Latvia), a member and founder of the FIPRESCI in Latvia, expert at the Cultural Foundation of Latvia and the Ministry of Culture and lecturer at Latvian University and the founder of film school Kinoskola; Xavier Garcia Puerto (Spain), the co-founder and Art Director of REC International Film Festival of Tarragona and Laufey Gudjónsdóttir (Iceland), currently a board member of Einar Jonsson's Museum, MEDIA in Iceland, International Women's Film Festival in Iceland, Icelandic Literature Fund and Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

    The North American Independent Film Competition jury will consist of Gabor Greiner (Germany) a former acquisitions executive at international sales agent The Match Factory who now works at French-German sales company Films Boutique, Youngjoo SUH (South Korea) the founder of, Cineclick Asia in 2000 and producer of such films as Kim Ki-Duk’s 3 Iron and Peeter Rebane (Estonia) and entrepreneur, producer and film director. They will attempt to find North American films that have the best potential for distribution.

    Other juries are the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) which will consist of Marjan Riahi (Iran), a member of various film and journalism organizations and the founder and manager of Short Film News the first news network on short films and documentaries in Iran and Asia, Brian Bennet (Thailand), the festival director of Bangkok’s largest short film festival 9FilmFest and Joonas Kiik (Estonia), a film aficionado who regularly writes about films on the Internet and in various Estonian newspapers and magazines from Eesti Ekspress to Kinoleht; the International Federation of Film Clubs which will be represented by Emelie Sundberg (Sweden), Bijan Sen Sarma (India) and Birgit Pajust (Estonia) and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) which will be made up of by respected film critics Donald Tomberg (Estonia), Pamela Pianezza (France) and Katja Čičigoj (Slovenia)

    The director of the Black Nights Film Festival Tiina Lokk said:

    “It’s great to welcome our Grand Prix winner back to take a place on the jury alongside many other friends both old and new. We are sure that – despite their difficult tasks – they will have a great time watching a diverse range of excellent movies that the Black Nights Film Festival is famous for screening”

    Full programme information about the Black Nights Film Festival will be released over the coming days.

    PÖFF is part of the programme of the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011.