Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) announces the full line-up of the Official Selection Competition

    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) announces the full line-up of the Official Selection Competition credit: POFF

    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival unveils the full lineup of the Official Selection Competition of it’s 27th edition, adding 11 world premieres and 5 international premieres to the previously announced teaser selection.

    The Official Selection Competition has been run in its present form since the festival received it’s ‘A-category’ status from FIAPF in 2014. Ever since, the Official Selection Competition has been curated without any geographic restrictions. This year, the programme includes world and international premieres of those established filmmakers that the festival’s programming team wishes to highlight for the audience, film critics and the international film industry. 

    Festival director and head of programme, Tiina Lokk, shares her excitement over the selection: "This year's diverse programme has remarkably high artistic value with sharp social perspective. Each film tackles contemporary and relevant issues with a stimulating, fresh angle. At the same time, our Official Selection aims to connect high-quality narrative films with auteur cinema. Hence, new artistic approaches and cinema languages have always caught our attention." She adds humorously: "Everything that's currently in the air, will end up on the screens of the Tallinn Black Nights cinemas."


    Andrea's Love | International premiere
    After becoming one of Spain’s most respected directors and being honored at the most relevant film festivals around the world, Manuel Martín Cuenca comes back with this touching film on love, family and disillusionment. 
    Andrea, a young, fifteen-year-old girl, is desperate to recover the love of her father, who disappeared from her life after getting divorced from her mother a few years ago. Andrea remembers her father as a loving, affectionate man and cannot understand why he doesn’t want to see his children now. 

    Ben-Joe | World Premiere
    Akira Iwamatsu's latest work is on the true story of a young girl who cut into the darkness of the hearts of Japanese youth. In his previous film, Happy Ending, Iwamatsu portrayed a family through fantasy. Here, he takes a completely opposite approach, once again looking at family issues. Through social issues such as eating disorders and domestic violence, the film depicts the pain of the human heart and the search for reconciliation between division and reconciliation.

    Consent | International premiere
    Consent is the second collaboration of Vanessa Filho (Angel Face, 2018) and cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist, 2012). It is provocative and cerebral, an intriguing narrative elevated by exquisite visual language. Paris, 1985. Vanessa is thirteen years old when she meets Gabriel Matzneff, a renowned fifty-year-old writer. The teenager becomes the lover and muse of this man, who is celebrated by the cultural and political world. Losing herself in the relationship, she suffers more and more violently from the destructive influence this predator exercises over her.

    Familiar | World Premiere
    Familiar is story about Dragoș, a Romanian film director, who decides to make a film about his family's emigration to Germany in the 80s. Because the emigration was done under suspicious conditions, Dragos investigates undercover, with help from his former girlfriend, Ilinca. The collaboration brings the two closer together, however, complicating things with his fiancee. The director, Călin Peter Netzer, is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers in Romania. 

    Forever Hold Your Peace | World Premiere
    Set on the Mediterranean seaside, Dragana gives up marrying Momo two days before the date. His dangerously stubborn father forces the disastrous wedding into happening. The film includes an ensemble of wild characters who follow a series of absurd steps, complete with alcohol, gunfire and dynamite. The director, Ivan Marinović, is a member of the European Film Academy and was a two-term president of the Montenegrin Association of Film Directors and Producers. Forever Hold Your Peace is his second feature film as a writer/director.

    Invisible Windows | World Premiere
    Three-time Indian National Film Award Winner Dr. Bijukumar Demodaran is not a newcomer to bold socio-political topics such as state discrimination and its blatant disregard towards the weak. Invisible Windows is impregnated with surreal imagery, the film depicts the characters’ strife against the “powerful and evil, who will always find a reason to hurt the powerless and poor.  Dr. Bijukumar Demodaran' first film Saira screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007, and his films have been screened at many international film festivals and won numerous awards.

    Misericordia | International premiere
    The director, Emma Dante, has gained even greater recognition as a playwright and theatre director. Misericordia is born from a play written and directed by the director, which can still be seen on the stage. Three prostitutes live in the wasteland by the sea, where a village of outcasts has emerged. It is life in a harsh reality of poverty, ignorance, and violence. And the only ray of light in their lives is Arturo, whom they care for together. The young man is a weak-minded child in an adult body. What will the fate of this young man be in an environment he has not chosen and cannot choose because of his disability?

    Natasha's Dance | International premiere
    Jos Stelling's latest work, Natasha's Dance, tells a visual story of an outsider, introverted Danny, and Natasha, a former ballerina and graduate of the school of hard knocks. The lives of this unlikely duo become inextricably interwined, as their fates bound up together. Stelling's world premiere of his debut film Mariken van Nieumeghen took place in 1975 in the Cannes competition programme. He also owns several art-house cinemas in his hometown of Utrecht, where, of course, the film d'auteur plays an important role.

    October Metafiction | World Premiere
    This is a daring experiment that leverages AI technology to enhance storytelling. From transforming the heroine’s Japanese dialogue to creating a visual diary through AI-generated art, this film pushes the boundaries of cinematic innovation. The awarded director Kyu-jun Cho is a filmmaker with a passion for low-budget substantial independent films. 

    Once Again (for the very first time) | World Premiere
    A legendary street dancer and a young spoken word poet reflect on their lives and past relationship, through dreams, dance battles, rap battles and memories. The film is a blend of surrealism, drama, rap, dance and music; showcasing talents and voices that both call to the roots of their art and lean towards it's future. The director, Boaz Yakin's first feature Fresh won Filmmaker's trophy at Sundance 1994; he is also a prolific screenwriter and producer. 

    Patient #1 | World Premiere
    With his latest feature, Rezo Gigineishvili demonstrates his maturity to make sense of the grotesque manifestations of power that are taking place in our current society. Late USSR. The General Secretary lies in the government clinic. He is old and frail, but has a tight grip on power. Various groups are scoring their political points while the “body” is alive. The situation is ridiculously absurd and at the same time absurdly sad. Patient #1 is a winner of Werner Herzog's Award 2023. 

    Ten Months | World Premiere
    After years of failed attempts to get pregnant, Marev finally succeeds, but her pregnancy turns out to be a strange and dangerous one. Merav needs the support of her family, who refuses to accept the pregnancy and tries to terminate it. The director, Idan Hube's films and TV-shows feature neo-realistic aesthetics and and explore social injustice through the eyes of marginalized characters. 

    Teresa | International premiere
    Paula Ortiz (The Bride) has created an adaptation of the stage play La Lengua en Pedazos by Juan Mayorga, which is based on the figure of Saint Teresa of Jesus, also known as Teresa of Ávila. In the film, Teresa, a Carmelite nun, reformer, and mystic of the Roman Catholic Church, has been ostracized for her beliefs. She will meet with the Inquisitor. All kinds of decisions regarding her are possible.

    The G  | World Premiere
    This film is a “winter noir” based on real-world elder scams, and inspired by director's own grandmother’s story and character. It’s about a woman who- regardless of her age or situation- refuses to accept that her life is over. The director, Karl R. Hearne was raised in Ireland and Québec where he studied at McGill before earning a graduate diploma from the University of Nanjing, China. His films have premiered at TIFF, SXSW and New Directors/NewFilms.

    The Magnet Man | World Premiere
    Lucien is a human magnet: everything made of iron sticks to his body. Rural Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century is no place for his unusual natural talent. The film tells the tragicomic tale of how our greatest talents can become ourgreatest flaws, and how unpredictable our lives can be. The director, Gust van der Berge, is a multidisciplinary artist and film producer. He has worked with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and as an assistant director at the Royal Flemish Opera.

    White Flag  | World Premiere
    Saran and Naran are young women in their early twenties trying to start a new life in the steppe as nomads. Despite their close bond, both are troubled by a ghost from the past. Batbayar Chogsom is a Mongolian director and screenwriter based in Switzerland. His debut, Out of Paradise (2018), was awarded Best Film at the Shanghai International Film Festival. White Flag is his second feature.

    FULL LINEUP AND FILM DETAILS (including the 4 previously announced films)

    Amal | International premiere; Belgium, 2023. director: Jawad Rhalib

    Andrea's Love | International Premiere; Spain, 2023. director: Manuel Martín Cuenca

    Bad Actor | World Premiere; Mexico, 2023. director: Jorge Cuchi

    Ben-Joe | World Premiere; Japan, 2023. director: Akira Iwamatsu

    Consent | International Premiere; France, 2023. director: Vanessa Filho

    Familiar | World Premiere; Romania; France, Taiwan, 2023. director: Călin Peter Netzer

    Forever Hold Your Peace | World Premiere; Montenegro, Serbia, Czech Republic, Croatia, North-Macedonia, Slovenia, 2023. director: Ivan Marinović

    Invisible Windows | World Premiere; India, 2023. director: Dr. Bijukumar Demodaran

    Misericordia | International Premiere; Italy, 2023. director: Emma Dante

    Natasha's Dance | International Premiere; Netherlands, 2023. director:  Jos Stelling

    October Metafiction | World Premiere; South Korea, 2023. director: Kyu-jun Cho

    Once Again (for the very first time) | World Premiere; USA, 2023. director: Boaz Yakin

    Oxygen Station | World Premiere; Ukraine, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia, 2023. director: Ivan Tymchenko

    Patient #1 | World Premiere; Georgia, Russian Federation, 2023. director: Rezo Gigineishvili

    Ten Months | World Premiere; Israel, 2023. director: Idan Hubel 

    Teresa | International Premiere; Spain, 2023. director: Paula Ortiz

    The G  | World Premiere; Canada, 2023. director: Karl R. Hearne

    The Man from Rome  | International Premiere; Netherlands, Germany, 2023. director: Jaap van Heusden. 

    The Magnet Man | World Premiere; Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, 2023. director: Gust Van den Berghe

    White Flag | World Premiere; Mongolia, Switzerland, Japan, 2023. director: Batbayar Chogsom

    The Grand Prix for the Best Film (Grant of 20,000 Euros) will be handed over by Tallinn City Council. 

    The festival will take place from the 3th until the 19th of November, while the festival’s industry platform Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event will run from 13th until the 17th of November.
    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival with Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event and with the two sub-festivals, Just Film and PÖFF Shorts, has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe and the busiest regional industry platforms. The festival is an important meeting point for a rapidly growing number of industry professionals from around the globe.