Three domestic films landed in the Estonian cinema box office Top 10 in 2007, making it one of the most successful years for the country's film industry. The three features fought off Hollywood, European and Russian competition to land in spots 3, 8 and 9.

A six-member international consortium including the Estonian CinemaBus team has launched the first comprehensive online animation teaching site for use in schools and by amateurs.

The sixth edition of the Baltic Event co-production market will kick off in Tallinn on Dec. 2 with the longest guest list ever. Modelled on its Scandinavian counterpart the Nordic Event, the Baltic Event revolves around three principle axes: a co-production market, screening of Baltic films, and panels and workshops.

The Estonian draft state budget for 2008 includes 5 million kroons (€320,000) for reopening and equipping the long-derelict cinema network outside the capital city of Tallinn. The appropriation, now under discussion by Parliament, is a response to the drastic closing of cinemas in the 1990s that cut their number from around 650 to a dismal dozen or so today

This year's Karlovy Vary award winner The Class by Ilmar Raag is Estonia's national nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Academy Awards next February.

Estonia is celebrating its jubilee anniversary of animation production in November with a series of exhibitions and DVD releases, as well as an industry conference including the first World Championships in Animation.

To the delight of the Estonian film community, the country's first-ever entry in the Venice Biennale's official lineup, Autumn Ball by debutant director Veiko Õunpuu, walked away with the main prize in the "Orrizonti (Horizons)" side-programme.

The Estonian government has released €640,000 from its contingency reserve to finance the production of a patriotic epic, a highly unusual step in a country with well-established national film funds.

"They were young. They were beautiful. They looked like Germans." A film with a logline like that is bound to raise some eyebrows. But the European Council co-production fund Eurimages at its last meeting awarded the documentary project Nazis and Blondes a grant of €28,000 in production support.

The 2007 Karlovy Vary East of the West jury award winner The Class by Ilmar Raag has been picked up for international distribution by the Scandinavian sales company NonStop Sales AB.

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