Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces members of its seven juries

    The 23rd edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival will see six International and one jury, comprised of only Estonians, overseeing various sections of the festival.

    The jury of the Official Selection will evaluate the 21 films in the programme, handing out following prizes: Grand Prix for the Best Film (grant of 10 000 euros from the City of Tallinn, shared by the Director and Producer); Best Director (grant of 5000 euros); Best Script; Best Actress; Best Actor; Best Cinematographer (grant of 1000 euros from Angel Films); Best Music.
    The jury members are Michael Newell, Kerem Ayan, Lisa Carlehed, Pivio, Fabrizio Maltese, Rima Das.

    The First Feature Competition jury will hand out three awards – Best film and a 5000 euro grant shared by the director and producer of the film, along with two Special Prizes – to the 18 film in the programme.
    The jury members are Rubén Mendoza, Arsen Anton Ostojic, Şebnem Hassanisoughi, Michael J. Werner and Miae Choi.

    The Baltic Competition jury will award one of the 15 Baltic films with the Award for Best Baltic Feature Film (grant of 3200 euros, shared by the Director and Producer).
    The jury consists of Leslie Felperin, Milja Mikkola and Ricardo J. Méndez.

    The Rebels With A Cause jury will watch the 15 films in the Rebels competition, handing out the Rebel with a Cause Award (grant of 1200 euros from Nudist) to their favourite.
    The members are Mirtel Pohla, Ilkka Matila and Ahmet Kenan Bilgic.

    The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) will hand out the NETPAC award to one of the 14 Asian titles from the festival’s programme that have its world, international and European premieres at Black Nights.
    The jury members are Siddiq Barmak, Kanat Torebay and Jaanis Valk.

    The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) jury will select their favourite film from among the First Feature Competition.
    The jury members are Daria Badior, Joanna Orzechowska-Bonis and Aurelia Aasa.

    The Ecumenical jury selects, from among the Official Selection entries, the film to highlight, which, through its script, performances or production notably represents Christian principles or general human principles beyond specific world views, an emphatic and mutually considerate attitude to life, traditional life values and the sanctity of life.
    Jury members are Andres Põder, Madis Kolk, Urmas Viilma, Marge-Marie, Rainer Sarnet. 

    Official Selection - Competition

    Michael Newell – director, producer (United Kingdom)
    Mike Newell began directing at age 22, working on numerous plays for TV in BBC and ITV. His television feature “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1977), which was ultimately released as a feature film, served as a spring- board to international success. He subsequently directed Dance with a Stranger (1984), The Good Father (1985), “Enchanted April” (1991) that won 2 Golden Globes and Into the West (1994). In 1994 he made the box office hit Four Weddings and a Funeral that was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Film. In the US directed the mafia thriller “Donnie Brasco” (1997), followed by Pushing Tin (1999) and Mona Lisa Smile (2003). Newell has served as executive producer on several projects, including “Traffic” (2000) and “High Fidelity” (2000). As the director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Newell became the first British director to helm an instalment of the hugely popular franchise. Newell’s latest feature credits include Prince of Persia (2010), Great Expectations (2012) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018).

    Kerem Ayan – Festival director (Turkey)                                
    He was the Assistant Director and in charge of the Turkish cultural page in the Radio France Internationale for four years. Ayan started working for the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 and meanwhile, organized the International Literary Adaptation Market in Monaco. In 2005, he launched the Political Films Festival in Barcelona and directed it for three years. He became the assistent director of the Istanbul Film Festival in 2006, and the festival director in 2015.

    Lisa Carlehed – actress (Denmark)
    Lisa Carlehed is a Swedish actress with Bachelor’s degree from GITIS Scandinavia, living in Denmark. She has been to Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival with “Until We Fall” (2018). In the festival programme has also been “Into Your Arms” (2015), both by the French/Danish director Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm. She plays the leading role in Psychosia, directed by Marie Grathø, which premiered at the Venice IFF and will be screened in the Current Waves programme of Black Nights.

    Pivio – composer, artist (Italy)
    Pivio, founder of the new wave group Scortilla in 1979, moved after graduating in Electronic Engineering at the University of Genoa to Rome in the late 1980ies and, with Aldo De Scalzi, started an artistic partnership that focused on soundtracks. After obtaining international fame with the feature film “Hamam” (dir. Ferzan Özpetek), he has composed over a hundred soundtracks for cinema and television, including “Song ‘e Napule” and the musical “Ammore e Malavita” (by Manetti Bros) in competition at the Venice Film Festival 2017. He has also written music for the TV series “Distretto di Polizia” and “L’ispettore Coliandro. He is the president of ACMF (Association Composers Music for Films), the Italian association of com- posers for the cinema and TV.

    Fabrizio Maltese - Cinematographer, director, photographer (Italy)
    Fabrizio Maltese is an award-winning portraitist, photographer and documentary director. His work has been featured on the covers of GQ, Rolling Stone, Studio Ciné Live, Sight & Sound and The Hollywood Reporter and his extensive portrait portfolios for the latter have become a defining part of the Reporter’s festival coverage. Solo exhibitions include Faces of French Cinema (Edinburgh, Lisbon, Sao Paulo in 2009) and Role/Play (Sydney, Luxembourg in 2012). His documentaries include Twenty-Five Palms (2015), 50 Days in the Desert (2016) and California Dreaming (2019) that will be screened at Black Nights’ Doc@PÖFF section this year.

    Rima Das – director (India)
    Rima Das is a self-taught screenwriter, producer and director best known for making indigenous and realistic films with non-professional actors. Her film Village Rockstars was presented at the Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event International Works In Progress and screened at over 80 film festivals around the world, including Tallinn Black Nights, becoming India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in 2019. Her debut feature Man with the Binoculars: Antardrishti had its world premiere in the First Feature Competition of Tallinn Black Nights in 2016.

    First Feature Competition

    Rubén Mendoza – director (Colombia)
    Rubén Mendoza is a scriptwriter and director of eight short and seven feature films. He has won awards, scholarships and development funds from the most important institutions in the world, including Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, San Sebastián, Havana, Clermont-Ferrand, FondSud, Chicago, etc. His filmography includes Wandering Girl, that won the Grand Prix (Best Film award) of Tallinn Black Nights in 2018, Memories of a Vagabond (2014), Dust on the Tongue (2014), The Stoplight Society (2010) and several documen- taries.

    Şebnem Hassanisoughi – actress (Turkey)
    Şebnem Hassanisoughi is a theatre, TV and film actress from Istanbul. She has taken roles in several TV shows and for her role in the film “Geriye Kalan”, she received Best Actress award at the 12th İzmir International Film Festival, and the Ayhan Işık Special Award at the 18th Sadri Alışık Actor’s Awards. With her performance in the Zeki Demirkubuz’s film Bulantı she won Best Supporting Actress at the 48th Siyad Awards. She was also honoured with the 20th Year Special Award at the 20th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival. Hassanisoughi recently played in Josefine Kirkeskov’s The Lifeboat that had its world premiere in the First Feature Competition of Black Nights in 2017.

    Arsen Anton Ostojic – director, producer (Croatia)
    Arsen Anton Ostojic had made four award-winning feature films, the first three being Croatia’s official candidates for Oscar – A Wonderful Night in Split (2004), No One’s Son (2008), Halima’s Path (that also screened at PÖFF in 2012) – and most reecntly, F20. He has worked on about twenty feature films in Europe and in the United States as an assistant director or production manager and coproduced the animated feature film Oddsockeaters (2016).

    Michael J. Werner – producer (Hong Kong)
    Michael J. Werner is a Producer, foreign Sales Agent and was for more than twenty years the co-head of the pioneering art-house foreign sales banner Fortissimo Films. Over his career he has been involved in as Producer/EP/Distributor on a number of now classic titles including Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000) and The Grandmaster (2013). Most recently he produced Suk Suk by director Ray Yeung which was presented at the 2019 Busan IFF. Werner has also served on numerous governmental advisory committees and panels including Hong Kong’s HAF, The Asian Film Awards, Screen Singapore, Busan’s Asian Film Market Advisory Committee, and the International Film Festival and Awards Macao, while currently serving as a consultant for Asia to The Netherlands Film Commission, the completion bond leader for Film Finances International and The Sundance Institute.

    Miae Choi – producer (South Korea)
    Miae Choi, born in Korea, She has been producing nine of director Kyu Hwan Jeon’s films since 2008 and has made notable achievements by receiving awards from the film festival circuit with high praises and afforded Jeon international recognition at the Berlin IFF, Venice IFF, PÖFF with films such as Mozart Town (2008), Animal Town (2009), Dance Town (2010), The Weight (2012), Angry Painter (2015), The End (2017) and the Wonderful Woman (2019) that screens in the Signatures programme this year.

    Rebels With A Cause

    Ilkka Matila – producer (Finland)
    Ilkka Matila is one of the most prolific film producers in Finland, häving produced 23 feature films, numerous shorts, serial dramas and documentaries during the past 30 years. He has twice received the Finnish Jussi Award for Best Film, chosen to be the Producer of the Year. He’s the co-owner of the production company MRP Matila Röhr Productions. Several of his productions have screened at PÖFF, for example Lovers & Leavers (2002), Mother of Mine (2005), The Eternal Road (2017) and the series All the Sins will screen at the festival’s TV Beats section this year.

    Ahmet Kenan Bilgic – composer (Turkey)
    Ahmet Kenan Bilgiç is the composer, producer, guitarist and vocalist of a progressive rock band Gevende and the founder of LU Records. He has composed and produced music for cinema, mapping and video game projects since 2006. He won The Best Music Award at the 30th Istanbul International Film Festival with his first feature film “Atlıkarınca” in 2011. Two of his films have screened at Sundance – Ivy in 2015 and Butterflies in 2018, that won Grand Jury Prize in World Drama.

    Mirtel Pohla – actress (Estonia)
    Mirtel Pohla is an Estonian, who’s worked eight years in the internationally recognised Theatre NO99, while also collaborating theatres abroad like Lyric Hammersmith in London and Münchner Kammerspiele. She has won several theatre awards and has been nomi- nated at Estonian Film and Television Awards for her role in the film Pretenders in 2017, most recently playing the leading role in Portugal (2018).

    Baltic Competition

    Leslie Felperin – film critic (United Kingdom)
    Leslie has taught animation’s relationship with child audiences at Goldsmiths and Middlesex universities before transitioning to journalism. She worked at magazines Sight and Sound, Moving Pictures, Variety and The Big Issue, before  starting to write film and theatre reviews for The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, while also writing for The Guardian in the U.K.

    Ricardo J. Méndez – scriptwriter, writer (Germany)
    Ricardo is the Technical Director for Europe at Samsung NEXT, where he works doing investments on technology innovation. His alter-ego writes essays on film, books, games, and anime.

    Milja Mikkola -  festival programmer (Finland)
    Since 2005 Milja Mikkola has been part of the Arctic Circle’s legendary Midnight SunFilm Festival where she currently holds the post of Programme Manager. She is also founder and co-director of Helsinki’s Viva Erotica Film Festival, which celebrates the history of sex with rare gems screened in their original format.

    NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema)

    Siddiq Barmak – film director (Afghanistan)
    Siddiq Barmak’s Osama won the Golden Camera and Junior Award at the Cannes IFF and the New Currents – Special Mention and Audience Awards at Busan IFF, among other numerous awards in 2003.

    Kanat Torebay – producer (Kazakhstan)
    Kanat Torebay produced the film The Stranger, that was part of the Official Selection of Black Nights in 2015, winning the NETPAC award.

    Jaanis Valk -  director (Estonia)
    Jaais Valk’s first feature-length documentary film Ahto. Chasing A Dream won the Best Estonian Film award at the 22nd Black Nights Film Festival.

    FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics)

    Daria Badior (Ukraine)
    Daria Badior is a  journalist and Culture Editor in LB.ua, one of the biggest Ukrainian online outlets. Co-founder of The Union of the Ukrainian Film Critics and head of the selection committee of Kyiv Critics' Week film festival.

    Joanna Orzechowska-Bonis (France)
    Joanna Orzechowska-Bonis is writing film criticism, interviews, catalogues, portraits of filmmakers and actors, analyses of French and international cinema.

    Aurelia Aasa (Estonia)
    Aurelia Aasa is a freelance culture critic, who regularly writes for multiple publications and co-hosts a monthly film-show at IDA radio. She’s the Estonian correspondent for the international platform FNE and a member of the Estonian Association of Film Journalists (FIPRESCI). Currently works at the Estonian Film Institute as an international distribution coordinator

    Ecumenical Jury

    Andres Põder - Archbishop Emeritus, President of Estonian Council of Churches
    Madis Kolk - Editor-of-chief, culture magazine Teater. Muusika. Kino
    Urmas Viilma - Archbishop, Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
    Marge-Marie Paas - Press Officer, Roman Catholic Church
    Rainer Sarnet - Film and stage director, winner of the Best Estonian Film award at Black Nights with November in 2017.


    The film stills and presskits of the programme can be found HERE. 

    23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival TEASER.


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