Black Nights gears up for main event

  • 2008-11-26
  • By Matt Withers

MOVIE MADNESS: This year's Black Nights festival is pegged to become the largest in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The festival is one of the few in Europe that also highlights movies from Asia and the Middle East.

TALLINN - Estonia's celebrated Black Nights Film Festival is now entering full swing, with the main festival screenings due to kick off around the country on Nov. 28.
Black Nights, abbreviated from Estonian as 'POFF,' will showcase over 200 full-length works by directors hailing from 75 nations, including for the first time both European and worldwide premiers, making the festival a truly international event.

According to POFF's organizers the festival has now grown to become the biggest festival in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, with this year's event encompassing 247 features when including sub-festivals and shorts.
"Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is the most important film festival in the Baltics, both in its capacity and audience," Ulla Kattai, POFF's media representative, told The Baltic Times.
"Actually, with its 247 movies plus movies from the sub-festivals 's Sleepwalkers, Just film, Animated Dreams and mobile phone film festival Moff 's it's the biggest festival in Scandinavia and East Europe. Before POFF stands only the A-class festivals," Kattai said.

In 2008 POFF, now in its 12th year, is boldly focusing on New Wave Argentinean and Turkish cinema 's two industries currently sitting on the cutting edge of innovative independent filmmaking with their gritty and politically motivated take on cinema. The festival will feature a total of seven Argentinean and 10 Turkish films.
According to organizers this emphasis is part of a wider initiative to put a more audience-centric spin on the festival, a move spearheaded by the support of a greater diversity of films.
"Our program is more viewer-centered than ever before, without any compromises in artistic quality. We have big commercial blockbusters - not from Hollywood - and smaller art house works for film connoisseurs," Kattai said.

As part of their bid, POFF is also showcasing an unprecedented amount of Asian cinema. Given the typically Western 's even Eurocentric 's nature of the mainstream independent film circuit, Black Nights is considered something of a pioneer with its proactive involvement of Asian cinema.
While the main festival runs from Nov. 28 until Dec. 7, POFF also includes a host of sub-festivals running either before or in conjunction with the main show. In developing both the festival and the regional film industry Black Nights has this year included a pan-Baltic film competition to be adjudicated by an international jury.
"From the viewpoint of putting regional film in the focus, this is an extremely important step," a spokesperson for the festival told The Baltic Times.

Films featured in the festival will be screened nationwide but predominantly in Tallinn, where seven cinemas will be showing films. Outside the capital two cinemas will feature POFF films in Tartu, while Vilijandi, Narva, Johvi, Valga, Kardla and Kuressaare will all have a single cinema with festival involvement.