Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces the full programme

    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has released its full lineup, adding two world and three international premieres, raising the total film count of the main festival to 200.

    Together with its two sub-festivals, youth and children’s film festival Just Film and short and animation film festival PÖFF Shorts, Black Nights presents 255 features, 8 series and 320 short films and animations at a total of 854 screenings. The films originate from 77 different countries. The festival hosts a record number 31 world and 31 international premieres.

    For the upcoming edition, Black Nights has introduced several structural changes in addition to the ones already announced with the competition sections. Former non-competitive programmes titled Panorama and Forum have been restructured and replaced with new programmes called Current Waves - a more extensive selection of world cinema and Signatures – a smaller selection of directors with a very distinct directorial style and of special relevance to the festival. The former Fashion Cinema has broadened its scope too in terms of topics, in addition to fashion and cultural phenomena, it now includes films about new technologies, urban culture, etc and has been renamed #Trending.

    Special Screenings
    Black Nights screens six films as Special Screenings, which include five documentaries and one feature film. Last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award laureate Mark Soosaar presents the world premiere of his latest entry in the series ofanthropological observations of the small and unique island culture of Kihnu in Estonia in Kids of Kihnu. It is the last chapter in his trilogy of feature-length Kihnu films that began with the Woman of Kihnu in 1974 and continued with Man of Kihnu in 1986. The festival screens all three films.

    Another world premiere is Nordic Pulse directed by David Donnely, that follows the visionary Estonian composer and conductor Kristjan Järvi during a Nordic tour with his orchestra Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

    Andrey A. Tarkovsky presents Andrey Tarkovsky: A Cinema Prayer, a documentary about the private intellectual world of the legendary director, juxtaposing his never-before-released personal recordings with recitals of his fathers’ poems, with whom the director had a very deep bond.

    The section is rounded by South Korean historic spectacleThe King’s Letters by first-time director CHO Chul-hyun, set in the Joseon era, as king Sejong battles his own court to create an original alphabet for Korea.

    Among the 18 titles to be screened,  Venice Golden Lion winner Milcho Manchewski (Before the Rain) arrives in Tallinn to present his latest feature Willow, a decades-spanning tale of a woman trying to conceive a child.

    Goran Paskaljevic, a two-time Golden Bear, Golden Palme and Golden Lion nominee and San Sebastian Special Jury Prize winner (Midwinter Night’s Dream, 2004) presents his latest film Despite the Fog, 

    The programme also includes the international premiere of Wonderful Woman of South Korean director Kyuhwan Jeon, who’s won the best director award at Black Nights with The Weight. The film follows a middle-aged woman who needs is battling life’s hardships as she looks for money to have surgery for thyroid cancer while trying to find her husband whom she hasn’t seen in years, so they could attend their estranged daughter’s wedding as a couple one last time.

    Midnight Shivers
    The Midnight Shivers section, screening ten genre highlights, is headed by the Estonian premiere of Robert Eggers The Lighthouse, the only chance to see the film in the high tech iSense screening hall, where the festival’s Official Selection premieres also take place. Director Can Evrenol, whose new film Girl With No Mouth is part of the festival’s Official Selection - Competition, will also present his horror hit Baskin, the film which he also introduced at the Black Nights side-festival HÕFF in 2016.

    The programme also includes Black Nights regulars Aaron Benson and Jason Moorhead (directors of the indie sci-fi hit Spring fame), this time returning with several projects, having directed the programme entry Synchronic, while also involved as producers with Jeremy Gardner’s and Christian Stella’s horror survival comedy After Midnight, a tale of a man coming to terms with a lost love, forced to fight a creature with his best friend.

    Director Michael Meyer and his crew will be presenting the international premiere of Happy Times, a black comedy of a Jewish family celebrating sabbath in a Hollywood villa, as the evening takes a violent wrong turn.

    Spanish director Miguel Llanso presents the Spanish-Estonian-Ethiopian co-produced and Kickstarter-backed absurdist spy thriller with exploitation elements. The film arrives from a successfully started festival run that includes genre fests like Sitges and Fantasia.

    Other programmes
    Screen International’s critics have yet again chosen seven films for the Screen International Critics’ Choice, that includes the previously announced German Academy Award submission System Crasher by director Nora Fingescheidt, Cannes Best Screenplay winner Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Skiamma and Gitanjali Rao’s animation Bombay Rose that has screened at Venice, Toronto and Busan, among a long list of festivals.

    2019 will also see the return Doc@PÖFF with 15 films, some shared with other sections of the festival. It includes the spectacular Honeyland by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotvska, North Macedonia’s entry for the Academy Awards and the international premiere of Oleksandr Zaporoshchenko’s Where Are You, Adam? - a study of a small ‘cloister state’ on the Athos peninsula, a secluded area in Greece where only male monks reside.

    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival runs from the 15th of November until the 1st of December.


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

    23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival TEASER.


    Press accreditation for the 23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and Inudstry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event is in progress. Please apply by clicking on the link below.



    The festival's press office gladly helps with any question regarding the accreditation, press screenings and conferences and helps to organise interviews with the festival's guests. 

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    Last modified on 12-11-2019