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Black Night Fest First Feature Competition Jury, Fipresci, Netpac and Ecumenical Jury

First Feature Competition Jury

Reza Mirkarimi graduated from the Tehran Fine Arts University in graphic arts. His cinema activities began in 1987 with a series of shorts followed by two TV series for young people. His first feature „The Child and The Soldier“ (1999) was released in France in 2001. His second feature „Under the Moonlight“ won the 40th Critics’ Week Best Feature award at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival. Three of his films have been entered by Iran for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. His latest feature „Daughter“ (will be screened also at PÖFF) won the Golden George award for the Best Film, the Silver George award for the Best Actor’s Performance and the Russian Film Clubs’ Federation award for the Best Film at the 38th Moscow International Film Festival.
Sudhanshu Saria was born in the tea estates of Darjeeling, India. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film and photography from the Ithaca College in New York. „Love“, his feature writing and directing debut, world premiered in the first features competition at the 2015 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and has since been screened at numerous film festivals around the world; it also won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival. „I Am Here“, his second feature-length screenplay, was selected for the International Film Finance Forum at the Toronto International Film Festival and is currently in pre-production.
Dorothee Pfistner spearheads acquisitions at Neue Visionen, a leading independent Berlin based film distributor, known for German box office hits „Bad Serial Weddings“, „The Sense of Wonders“, Venice Golden Lion Winner „A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence“, and select documentaries. Dorothee graduated with a master’s degree in media & culture management at the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris and started her career in film at Paris-based mini-major MK2 as the international sales & marketing executive, moving up to become their senior sales & acquisitions executive and handling a wide range of directors and award-winning movies.
American producer and founder of Pierpoline Films, known for producing the award-winning cult classic „Teeth“. Her current film „The Transfiguration“ premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Past credits include „Angelica“, „Happy Tears“ and the multi award-winning first film by Neil LaBute, „In the Company of Men“. Joyce began her career in France in charge of international press for the Cannes Film Festival, and then as the acquisitions and production executive for UGC-PH. She is co-chair of the Women’s Impact Network of the Producers Guild of America, the member of BAFTA and the EFA.
Music Producer
Michael Pärt has gained renowned recognition in the music and film communities by working closely with Oscar and Grammy award-winning artists. Michael holds a masters degree in „Composing for Film and TV“ from Kingston University in London, and has for the past 15 years been engaged as Producer and Music Editor, with his most recent project being „The Danish Girl“. His previous work brought him together with Icelandic megastar Björk, film directors Peter Jackson, Francis Ford Coppola and Tom Hooper as well as composers Danny Elfman, Alexandre Desplat and Howard Shore among others. Away from music production he co-founded the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, Estonia, a foundation with the aim of preserving and researching the creative heritage of his father’s music. The Arvo Pärt Centre is currently in the process of finalising plans for constructing a new building for the Centre, set to open to the public in 2018.

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Jury

Katrin Kissa is among the most renowned producers in Estonia. In 2006, the producer-director duo Katrin Kissa and Veiko Õunpuu created a production company Homeless Bob Production to provide a home for vagabond filmmakers. In 10 years, this company has produced author-driven features that have been premiered in Venice, Berlin, Sundance, Busan, Tokyo, Rotterdam, chosen as Estonian Academy Award submissions, selected Films of the Year in Estonia, and received nominations at the European Film Awards. In 2015, HBP received the Media Slate funding for 4 new films in development. Among others is the new film by Veiko Õunpuu, „The Last Ones“, planned to be shot in Lapland in 2017.
Curator, critic
Andrey Vasilenko lives and works in Vladivostok. He studied architecture and philosophy at the Far East State University. Since 2008, he works as a member of the selection committee and the curator of special programs for the Vladivostok International Film Festival Pacific Meridian. In 2011, he organized the large-scale project „Thesis of Architecture“, then the project entitled „Mind the Gap: Contemporary Video Art of Taiwan“. Apart from curatorship, Andrey Vasilenko is a contributor of the most influential Russian film magazine Iskusstvo Kino (The Art of Cinema), and has elucidated current issues of cinema theory and published analytical reviews of dedicated new art-films.
Director, Editor
Asif Rustamov was born in 1975 in Baku (Azerbaijan) and studied at the private Economic University (1992-1995) and the Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Art (2000-2004), at the cinema department, film director faculty. His filmography includes shorts and documentaries, which have participated and been awarded at many international festivals. Co-founder of the Association of Young Filmmakers of Azerbaijan, he is also one of the editors of the Azeri film magazine Fokus. In 2014, he made his debut feature „Down the River“ which premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and has since participated in many festivals and won several prizes.

FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Jury

Andrei is a civic activist, who through his work in multiple organizations tries to help turn Estonia into the coolest country on Earth. A political scientist by education, he tries to use his experience to further various causes from open governance to work with disadvantaged children. After hours he dives into the darkness of the movie theatre to become a film critic, writing regularly for culture outlets such as Sirp and co-hosting a weekly radio show called „A Clockwork Tangerine“. He first visited the Black Nights Film Festival as a 12-year-old boy and hasn’t looked back since, having almost 300 screenings under his belt.
Florian Vollmers has been writing film reviews for German newspapers and magazines since 1998 (Junge Welt, Weser-Kurier, Szene Hamburg and the website He has also worked as a press officer for the Nordic Film Days Lübeck and the International Filmfestival Emden-Norderney and as the festival manager for the Independent Filmfestival Osnabrück. Since 2014, Vollmers is a board member of the German Film Critics Association VdFk. Florian has studied media science, film studies and Scandinavian studies, and has specialized in Scandinavian cinema. His master’s thesis was on „The German occupation of Denmark in Danish film history“.
After graduating in psychology from the Middle East Technical University, Senem completed her MA in film and television at the Istanbul Bilgi University. She has worked at that department between 2001 and 2005, and continued lecturing at various institutions afterwards. She has been on the editorial board of Altyazı Monthly Cinema Magazine since 2004 and one of the editors of the magazine since 2006. She also organizes and teaches film seminars and writes on films.

Ecumenical Jury


Estonian Council of Churches, President Archbishop Emeritus
Estonian evangelical Lutheran Church, Archbishop
Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, Metropolitan
Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan
Roman Catholic Church in Estonia, Bishop
Union of Free Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Estonia, President Rev



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About Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Started in 1997, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe and busiest regional industry platforms, hosting more than 1000 guests and industry delegates and over 160 journalists. The festival screens around 250 features and more than 300 shorts and animations and sees an attendance of 80 000 people annually. In 2017 the festival was covered in 71 languages with a potential global media audience of over 1.1 billion people.

As of 2014 the festival holds the FIAPF accreditation for holding an international competition programme which puts the festival into the so- called A-category of film festivals, alongside other 14 festivals in the world (including Cannes, Berlinale, Venice, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Shanghai, Tokyo etc).  

Black Nights has an umbrella structure with two sub-festivals PÖFF Shorts and youth and children's film festival Just Film taking place concurrently with the main festival,
two off-season festivals - Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival and Tartu Love Film Festival - and a fully-fledged film industry platform Industry@Tallinn, organised jointly with the Baltic Event Co-production market.

Black Nights Film Festival 16 Nov - 2 Dec
PÖFF Shorts 20 Nov - 25 Nov
Just Film 16 Nov - 2 Dec
Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event 26 Nov - 30 Nov



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