First online premier in Estonia

By Martin Aadamsoo
    Estonian producers Kuukulgur Film launched their short film Suits (Smoke) straight to YouTube on March 9, claiming it to be the first professional Estonian movie released online.

    Surprisingly, the film racked up over 50,000 views on the web during its first week, throwing open the prospect of more films, particularly with lower production profiles, skipping traditional release windows in search of audiences and cost-cutting.

    The logic of online releasing for low-profile films is apparent when marketing costs far exceed the potential box office revenue from cinemas and success is based on the number of viewers, not ticket sales. It remains to be seen whether the experiment will spill over to more ambitious films, particularly those deemed to be difficult sells in cinemas. Online releasing makes sense in a financing system where state subsidies for a film usually cover the whole cash budget of a project.

    The producers did report some intervention from YouTube, who reportedly removed parts of the film and limited the age of access to viewers, due to the gory content in a splatter genre. The film was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Development and directed by first-timer Jan Erik Nõgiste, starring the local celebrity comedian Jan Uuspõld.

    The film can be downloaded from www.youtube.com/suitsufilm or www.kuukulgur.ee/suitusfilm

    Producer Kaspar Kallas

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Niine 11, Tallinn, Estonia

    phone +372 617 7060