TARTU: The City Council of Tartu, Estonia’s second largest city, formally approved the launch of a regional cash rebate fund and set the fund’s initial annual budget at 150,000 EUR.

TALLINN: Elmo Nüganen’s historical epic 1944 has set a new opening weekend record in Estonia with 19,030 admissions.

TALLINN: With more cinemas and digital screens opening, cinema-going stays popular in Estonia as admissions reached 1.97 per capita in 2014. The box office was predictably dominated by Hollywood children’s fare that filled five of the top 10 slots.

Estonia looks set to launch its own cash rebate system for incoming productions after the general elections on March 1st. Pending governmental approval the new financial vehicle may open for applications as early as 2016, while the detailed provisions are still being worked out by a task force led by the Estonian Film Institute.

TALLINN: The Estonian Film Institute has announced its first feature film production grants for 2015. The support goes to Toomas Hussar’s Spy and Poet, produced by Allfilm in co-production with Croatia’s Nukleus Film and Triin Ruumet’s debut feature The Days that Confused (working title), produced by Kinosaurus Film.

TALLINN: Swedish-based Eyewell has picked up international rights for Elmo Nüganen’s upcoming Estonian war epic 1944. The film makes its market debut at this year’s Berlin European Film Market and will open domestically in February 2015.

TALLIN: Estonia has launched a new financing initiative for low-budget features, that will for the first time systematically bring on board private TV channels. The scheme is going to provide funding to the tune of 120,000 euros each for three low-buget features with expected premieres in 2016.

Estonia’s film year 2014 was highlighted by the opening of a significant number of new multi-screen and digital cinemas, growing admission figures, and the establishment of the second regional film fund for incoming productions. The year ended on the high note when the Estonian-Georgian film Tangerines (Allfilm) was nominated for the Golden Globes best foreign language film, a first ever for the country.

TALLINN: Zero.Point, the debut feature by Estonian director Mihkel Ulk, scored an impressive opening weekend with 9,581 viewers.

TALLINN: Landscape with Many Moons (Maastik mitme kuuga), the controversial feature film debut of Estonia’s internationally best known contemporary artist Jaan Toomik, struggled to find a festival slot but is now screening in the Tridens Estonian Film Prize section of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.