TALLINN: The year 2023 was certainly eventful for Estonia, both locally and internationally. The steady increase in admissions and box office didn’t reach the pre-pandemic levels, but took the total a whole lot closer. Cinemas were popular, films were talked about, and the wrap-up of 2023 seems like a good place from where to continue.

TALLINN: The filming for Estonian feature Long Papers will wrap on 31 December 2023. This is the sophomore feature of the new generation filmmakers Meel Paliale (director and scriptwriter) and Urmet Piiling (scriptwriter), who made a colourful lo-fi splash with their debut feature Tree of Eternal Love / Kiik, kirves ja igavese armastuse puu, produced by Tallifornia, in 2021.

TALLINN: Rainer Sarnet’s feature film The Invisible Fight / Nähtamatu võitlus, which is a coproduction between Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Greece, has been sold to North America after a successful North American premiere at Austin’s Fantastic Fest in September 2023. Theatrical, digital and video distribution rights have been acquired by Kino Lorber, which plans to release the film in 2024.

TALLINN: The hostage drama Deserted by Kadri Kõusaar received the top prize for best film at the 6th annual Estonian Film and Television Awards (EFTA). The best documentary award went to The Diary of Vaino Vahing by Rainer Sarnet, who also won the best director award.

TALLINN: Kalev, a biopic about the legendary Estonian basketball team of the nineties, will be released domestically by Hea film on 22 September 2022, after a difficult production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kalev is the directorial debut of the renowned music video maker Ove Musting.

TALLINN: The Estonian/German/Latvian/Lithuanian trilogy Melchior the Apothecary by Elmo Nüganen has been acquired by Global Screen. The final instalment of the series, Melchior the Apothecary: The Executioner's Daughter will be released in Estonia on 14 October 2022.

TALLINN: Melchior the Apothecary: The Ghost, the second film in a series of adaptations of Indrek Hargla’s medieval whodunits, had 20,181 admissions over the opening weekend. Besides leading the weekly box office, Elmo Nüganen’s film is the third to break the 20,000 opening weekend mark in 2022 after Minions: The Rise of Gru (68,636 admissions) and the first installment of the series, Melchior the Apothecary (29,642 admissions).

TALLINN: The second edition of the Animist International Animation Festival will screen 104 films of which 49 will be competing in the best short animation and best student animation categories. Held in Tallinn 17-20 August 2022, Animist is the only film festival in Estonia dedicated to animation.

TALLINN: The magical-realist tragedy 8 Views of Lake Biwa / Biwa järve 8 nägu by Marko Raat is currently shooting in Estonia. The Estonian/Finnish coproduction is led by Estonia’s most established film production company Allfilm, partnering with Helsinki-based Bufo.

TALLINN: The president of Estonia Alar Karis appointed Piret Hartman as new Estonian Minister of Culture on 18 July

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