Tallifornia Launches First Private Film Fund in Estonia


    TALLINN: The Estonia-based film development and production company Tallifornia has launched Tallifornia Film Fund, the first private film investment fund in Estonia, with an initial budget of 500,000 EUR in its first year.

    The fund, which was introduced at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival's European Film Forum industry event, announced its first three investments and plans to make at least 15 equity investments in Estonian and foreign film projects in the next four years.

    Rain Rannu, manager of the Tallifornia Film Fund, told FNE that the fund will invest “progressively more depending on the traction and success of the first projects” each year. “Each of our current investments is between 100,000 EUR – 200,000 EUR per project.”

    “The fund is open to films from Estonia as well as from other countries.” Rannu added that the fund is also supporting projects that are not part of the production company’s own output. “In fact two out of our first three announced investments are not Tallifornia productions.”

    “The fund is built on a vision that great films can come from anywhere,” Rannu continued. “All films we invest in should have a potential audience larger than their home country. Estonian films that are made only for the Estonian market may not be a good fit for us.” 

    Tallifornia Film Fund is designed to work alongside existing public funding, tax credit and local film funding schemes, and supplement them by adding an additional equity investment component to the mix. It will support projects by both experienced film-makers and younger or debuting filmmakers. 

    “We finance ambitions and creatively interesting film projects that have a potential to reach wider than their home country,” Rannu said.

    The fund will invest in up to five films in its first year, and has already selected its first three investments.

    They include the Estonia/Germany/UK coproduction Sentinel by Oscar-nominated director Tanel Toom, which has recently completed shooting; Invisible Fight, a wild kung-fu comedy which takes place in an Orthodox monastery in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, by writer-director Rainer Sarnet, a coproduction of Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Finland and Greece, and produced by Katrin Kissa (Homeless Bob Productions); and Infinite Summer by Spanish-Estonian director Miguel Llansó, a transhumanist mystery romp in one Estonian Summer produced by Tallifornia and Savage Rose (USA).

    All three films are expected to be released in 2023. 

    “Tallifornia Film Fund gives the producers wonderful opportunities to combine private equity with state support and foreign investments. It is a big step ahead for Estonian film industry, also - it is truly great to see that the fund is open for both - young and more seasoned film makers.” Ivo Felt, one of the producers of Sentinel commented on the initiative.

    Tallifornia Film Fund is managed by Rain Rannu, who has a background in filmmaking, entrepreneurship and investments, and Tõnu Hiielaid, co-founder and producer at Tallifornia. The fund is entirely financed from private capital with participation from Estonian investors.