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Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival kicks off a very special 25th anniversary edition

At the opening ceremony on Friday night, legendary Estonian actress Elle Kull was awarded PÖFF's Lifetime Achievement Award and Pääru Oja was recognised with the Bruno O’Ya award supporting up and coming actors.

The 25th edition of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival began with an opening gala in the Alexela Concert Hall, featuring performances from Holy Motors, and followed by a screening of Ildikó Enyedi’a The Story Of My Wife. The opening film, in a year that features a programme demonstrating the depth and breadth of Hungarian cinema, was attended by director Ildikó Enyedi, producer Monika Mécs and composer Adam Balazs. 

The full opening ceremony can be watched on our Elisa Stage platform here.


PÖFF Opening Ceremony photo gallery



The next film with the world premiere at the International Youth Competition is 98 Seconds Without Shadow.

The film has a very individual and creative way of storytelling. Imagine reading a 16-year-old girls mind and seeing her fantasies. That's exactly what this movie does! The narrative is guided by Genoveva’s thought process and the director Juan Pablo Richter with his team gives it a visual form. By the way, on the screen we also see aliens and the girl's cosmic-romantic encounters. The story takes place in Bolivia in the mid-80s and this era really gives a pleasant retro feel in the stylistics of the film.


 PÖFF Shorts full programme announced

The short film and animation festival set to take place from November 16 to 24 will screen 16 cassettes with 250 films.


Inspired by the Black Nights Film Festival's (PÖFF) focus and what we believe is important to highlight, the Panorama tackles a broad selection of topics and filmmakers to challenge and inspire our viewers. 

This year's programme includes

  • a selection of this year's European Film Academy nominees
  • Estonian animation legend Rao Heidmets' retrospective
  • internationally recognised horror shorts






Liesl Tommy and Sebastian Meise will receive the DDA Spotlight Award at the 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

The directors of Respect and Great Freedom will each receive the second annual DDA SPOTLIGHT AWARD, which shines a light on diversity and inclusion in cinema.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and DDA named filmmakers Liesl Tommy (Jessica JonesThe Walking Dead) for Respectand Sebastian Meise (Still Life, Outing) for Great Freedom as the recipients of this year’s DDA SPOTLIGHT AWARD.

Tallinn Black Nights initiated the annual award in 2020 to mark DDA’s 50th anniversary and celebrate the company’s close ties with the festival. The Award honours artists whose most recent work contributes to showcasing diversity, inclusion and representation in the cinematic arts.


More information






New PÖFF initiative Black Nights Discovery Campus aims to offer year-round education for film professionals

Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event, together with the Black Nights Film Festival, will launch a new international continuing education programme Black Nights Discovery Campus that encourages young film professionals to pursue and complement their studies in filmmaking. A new banner unites the established programmes like Black Nights Stars, Music Meets Film and Black Room together with refreshed and new stands Future to Film and Young Critics.

The Black Nights Discovery Campus, taking place on 19-26 November in Tallinn at Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event will present new talents in different fields of film and will include live workshops and masterclasses by award-winning professionals dedicated to programme participants and wider audiences. The events will also be accessible on with accreditation and the programme will be followed by online courses by acknowledged mentors into 2022.


Read more about the programme






PÖFF side-festival KinoFF will take place for the third time in three cities in the prominently Russian-speaking region Ida-Virumaa in Eastern Estonia

The region is on the eastern border with Russia, thus marking the eastern border of the European Union with Russia. Ida-Virumaa is also the historic centre of the country’s controversial oil shale mining industry - the central source of energy for the country.

Festival KinoFF holds special focus on Russian cinema. The programme will consist of 18 films.


KinoFF full programme






This year's Industry@Baltic Event introduces a new programme involving Script Pool competition for film projects – presenting five projects and teams behind them and a Discovery Showcase, highlighting the six directors nominated for the European Discovery 2021 – Prix FIPRESCI for their first full-length feature film. The programme also welcomes an internationally acclaimed director, writer and producer Baltasar Kormákur at the inspirational talk.

According to Triin Tramberg, manager of Discovery Campus, the educational platform that includes Future to Film, the programme is targeted to ​emerging scriptwriters, directors and producers. “Script Pool competition provides support and coaching to the teams that are on their first feature film. The five teams, taking part this year, will have an opportunity to work together with well-known script doctors and pitching mentors in order to improve the script and maximise its production and distribution potential.”


Read more about Future to Film




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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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