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19 November - 5 December 2010, Tallinn, Estonia
The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, held in the historic city of Tallinn, Estonia is one of the largest and most prestigious film events in Eastern Europe. This year's 14th edition runs from 19 November to 5 December, where the Festival will screen over 300 films, host several professional sidebar events and also serve as the venue for the European Film Awards on 4 December.
Focus On Finland In Tallinn
A narrow body of water separates Estonia and Finland and the two cultures have been intertwined for centuries. This special relationship is again being played out with the Focus On Finnish Cinema program at POFF, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, which continues through the weekend in the capital city of Estonia. The effort is supported by the Finnish Film Foundation, the Soome Instituut and the Embassy of Finland in Tallinn.
The program is a mix of contemporary and classic films, showcasing the unique cinema contributions of Finnish innovators, from the well known to the rather obscure. FREETIME MACHOS (Mika Ronkainen) is a rolllicking documentary about a group of melancholy rugby players, which has played over the past year at such major showcases as the Edinburgh, Tribeca and IDFA film festivals. STEAM OF LIFE, Finland's bid for the Oscars this year and also a nominee at tomorrow evening's European Film Awards, is a revealing documentary on the role of the sauna culture that is so vital to Finnish men as a safe place where they can open up about their innermost emotions. The film, co-directed by Kppmas Berghall and Mikea Hotakainen, has been embraced at the major international documentary festivals, including Silverdocs, Hot Docs, while winning the top prize at Doc Aviv, Israel's major non-fiction film event.
LAPLAND ODYSSEY is a Finland/Sweden/Ireland co-production by director Dome Karukoski which is a racous road comedy about several n'er-do-well friends who are out for cheap thrills in the frozen far north of the country. HELLSINKI by Aleksi Makela is a multi-character story about the notorious parts of the Finnish capital city in the 1960s and 1970s that has been seen at festivals in Portugal, Germany and Finland (and now in Estonia). PUDANA-LAST OF THE LINE by co-directors Anastasia Lapsui and Markku Lehmuskallio is based on Lapsui's childhood memories of being taken against her will to a boarding school in a Russian village.
SKIN SKIN (Mikko Niskanen)
A special retrospecitve program organized by the National Audiovisual Archive in Finland is presenting a group of rarely-seen Finnish film from the 1960s that are clearly influenced by the "nouvelle vague" innovations in French cinema and an experimental approach to storytelling that was endemic of that generation of film artists. In PRIVATE PROPERTY (1962), director Maunu Kurkvaara takes on the contemporary subject of urban alientation as a famed architect takes hiw own life amidst the life-crushing modernity of a country in transition. A GAME OF CHANCE (1965) by Risto Jarva is a classic love triangle between a reporter, a model and a stewardess that is in tune with the "swinging sixties" attitudes of the time. ADVENTURE STARTS HERE (1965) by Jorn Donner looks at a couple who met in Berlin and now are trying to find themselves and each other in a constantly changing Helsinki. SKIN SKIN (1966) by Mikko Niskanen was a major box office hit and influence in its time, with its story of student life, complete with promise, discontent and anxiety.
By presenting both contemporary and "lost classics", POFF is demonstrating the continue vitality of Finnish cinema and reasserts its connection with its neighbor to the north. For more information on these and other titles at POFF, visit: www.poff.ee. For more information on the Finnish film industry, visit the website of the Finnish Film Foundation: www.ses.fi and the website of the Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export: www.favex.fi
Sandy Mandelberger, POFF Dailies Editor
The Bulletin Board
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