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Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Tallinna Pimedate Ööde Filmfestival,13-28. nov 2012, Report by Johannes Horstmann, Germany

PÖFF in short, is an annual film festival held in Tallinn, Estonia. The 16th “Black Nights Film Festival” took place 13. – 28. November.
PÖFF is one of the largest and most distinctive film events in the whole of Northern Europe.. Recognized by FIAPF, PÖFF embraces a cluster of events. - For example: “Animation film Festival Animated Dreams”, “Children and Youth Film Festival Just Film” and “Student and Short Film Festival Sleepwalkers”. ‘Animated Dreams’ has established itself as the biggest animation film festival in North-Eastern Europe. ‘Just Film’ is the most extensive children and youth film festival in the region.
In addition there are international industry gatherings (e.g. ”PÖFF Industry Events & Black Market Online” and “Baltic Event co-production market”).
The “Black Nights Film Festival Main Programme” includes four programmes:
International competition programme EurAsia
Tridens Herring Competition
Heave(i)N Estonian Competition
Competition of North American indie films

The FICC-Jury watched “EurAsia”. The jury gives the ”Don Quijote Award” to
“Keep Smiling”, directed by Rusudan Chkonia, Georgia/F/L 2011. A humoric and intelligent Film, unmasking the cynic practices of so called “Reality TV”.

The media-world is also the world in “Seenelkäik” (Mushrooming), Estonia 2012. Thomas Hussar convinces the audience with his satirical tone and its intelligent critique of contemporary media politics. (Award “Heave(i)N Estonia Competition”)

“Wadjda”, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi-Arabia/D 2012 impressed the jury by the courage of the (female) director for formulation a desire of an islamic society that fully accepts equal rights for men and women. ‘(Special Mention FICC).

War is the theme of several movies. “Dom S Bashenkoy” (House with a Turret”), Eva Neymann, Ukraina 2011, winner of the Grand Prix, about the 2nd. World War in the Ukraina. The director “and her fellow filmmakers have crafted a haunting work of cinematic art that brings us face with the hardship or war through the eyes of an innocent child”.
“Halimin Put” (Halima’s Path) tells about the war(s) in former Yugoslavia and the aftermath. A tragic film about innocents caught in the web of war and religious conflict. (Special Mention, EurAsia-Jury)
Religious excitement dominate the life of Anna, the main figure in” Paradies: Glaube” (Paradise: Faith), directed by Ulrich Seidl, A/F/D 2012. “She is unable to recognize that her blind love of Jesus leads to inhumanity and an inability to love”. (S. Seidl)
A ”multidimensional treating of actual questions like religious extremism, guilt, confrontation of different value systems and circulation of violence in closed societies on the base of a convincing and touching actin”: “Dotsh” (The Daughter), Aleksandr Kasatkin/Natalya Nazarova, Russia 2012. (FIPRECI-Award)

PÖFF 2012: A festival of diversity; a festival of remarkable films; Tallinn, a capital with charm.

Johannes Horstmann

(Quotations: Juries’ statements of argumentation)