Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival sets new attendance record with a boost from online industry events

    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event estimate that 101 833 physical and virtual attendances took place, setting a record for the industry events which saw over 35 000 virtual attendances. Over 1600 professionals were accredited to the events.

    As anticipated by the festival’s team, the ticket sales saw a notable drop this year with over 34 000 physical attendances and an estimated 19 000 virtual film viewings*, compared to last year’s 70 000 physical cinema and event attendances. The festival’s new online film-watching platform that was available to accredited viewers across the globe registered 9779 viewings. 

    A major shift took place with the virtual event attendances as Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event had over 800 virtual accreditations – a new record – and made several events available online without accreditation as well, including it’s most popular event – the European Film Forum. This resulted in over 3000 virtual attendances on the Elisa Stage platform, while the overall virtual attendance, including the virtual opening and closing ceremony transmission and nearly a hundred Q&A’s and interviews made for the PÖFF TV, rose to 35 478.

    With mentions in over 6000 articles in 71 languages detected by the Meltwater media monitoring service, the global potential media audience of the festival of 2020 stands at around 9.1 billion. The festival accredited 161 journalists (68 foreign) and over 26 bloggers, while only 15 foreign journalists were able to attend the events physically this year due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. 

    Black Nights director Tiina Lokk commented: „It was a most difficult year and edition that will be remembered for a long time! What we suffered in the loss of revenue, we made up in terms of global visibility – reaching completely new people this year thanks to going virtual. I believe that online is here to stay, though it will not beat the experience of physical attendance which will still very much remain our focus in the future!“

    Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event director Marge Liiske commented: “Having organised a record attendance numbers' virtual industry event over five consecutive days in three parallel broadcasting channels, project presentations and meetings, showed us the potential of online in the future. We also feel really grateful for the industry professionals having such a strong sense of community and a powerful will of collaboration. I hope to meet and thank you all in person in 2021!”

    • Attendance 101 833
    • 646 physical screenings
    • Number of films at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: 172 feature-length, 15 short films, 13 series.
    • Number of films at Youth and children’s film festival Just Film: 42 feature-length films
    • Number of films at PÖFF Shorts: 171 short films and 132 animations
    • Premieres at Tallinn Black Nights: 35 world, 30 international, 9 European
    • Premieres at Just Film: 3 world, 2 international, 1 European
    • 1600 accredited professionals, guests, press
    • Over 160 accredited journalists, out of which 66 were foreign, 15 foreign journalists attended physically.
    • Potential media audience 9.1 billion
    • Physically attending guests: foreign 85, Estonian 125
    • Budget 1.7 million euros

    The Festival Thanks

    Having organised by presumably its most difficult edition the team of Black Nights would like to express gratitude to the hundreds of people and dozens of organisations who have made the festival organisation possible.

    Estonia’s Ministry of Culture and the Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas, 
    European Regional Development Fund, 
    Enterprise Estonia and Visit Estonia, 
    City of Tallinn and Visit Tallinn, 
    Cultural Endowment of Estonia, 
    European Commission and MEDIA – Europe Loves Cinema, 
    Estonian Film Institute,
    Foto in Motion

    Presenters: Elisa and Nordic Hotel Forum

    Official Partners: Toyota, Reval Cafe, Cramo, Postimees, SYNLAB, Medicum, Sinu Arst
    Sponsors: Solaris, Levira, Freixenet, EuroPark, National Geographic, 3stepIT, LUXCharter, Metropol, Filmzone

    Media partners: Estonian National Broadcasting, Levira, ENMEDIA Public Relations, Meedius, Screen International, Cineuropa, Dirty Movies

    Institutions & Embassies: Integration Foundation of Estonia, Year of Digital Culture 2020, British Council, Estonian Research Council, Social Ministry of Estonia, City of Tartu, Estonian Human Rights Centre, Estonia’s Environment Agency, Estonia’s Olympic Committee, Estonia’s Ministry of Justice, Children’s Ombudsman, The Hungarian Institute, Goethe-Institut, German Films, Embassy of the United States of America, Embassy of Canada, French Institute of Estonia, Japan Foundation, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Turkey, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Georgia, Embassy of Austria, Embassy of Italy, Embassy of Denmark

    Liviko, Comdecor, Alpaka, Ellington, Dr. Hauschka, MyFitness, Coop, Zone, Tallink, Fazer, DHL, Workland
    Partners: Garden, FranklinCovey, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Eventival, FIPRESCI, Tallinn Airport, Forum Cinemas, Pariisi Vesi, Icon Print & Light, Kino Artis, Saku, Piletilevi, Eventech, Tartu Elektriteater, Apollo, Shift72, Vialog, Shishi

    * It is estimated that at least two people watch the films virtually. This is based on viewers’ survey results made prior to the festival, in which according to over 90% of the responders claimed this.

    Black Nights Award Ceremony. Photo by Aron Urb

    Festival director Tiina Lokk. Photo by Aron Urb


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