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Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival announces its Méliès Competition shorts lineup and jury


Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival will screen some of the most exciting short, European horror, science-fiction and fantasy films this June.

While HÕFF has been rescheduled for August to allow for more onsite screenings, this selection of seven competing shorts will be shown online on the PÖFF online cinema, hosted by Elisa Stage and accessible throughout Estonia, from the 4th to 13th of June.
The jury’s winner will advance to the final round of the European Best Fantasy Film Competition, named after French film illusionist Georges Méliès. The competition is organised by the Méliès Federation of European Fantasy Film Festivals, which HÕFF has been a member of for many years. 

The films will be judged by a jury of Alan Ssali Hofmanis, producer at Uganda’s Wakaliwood, critic Kaspar Viilup, producer Helen Vinogradov and screenwriter Andris Feldmanis.

Estonia’s “Cerberus” leads the pack. Directed by Kaspar Ainelo, the film premiered at the Brussels Fantasy Film Festival and will screen in its home country for the first time. Competition is provided by Xosé Zapata and Lorenzo Degl´Innocenti’s animated “The Monkey”, Laurent Ardoint and Stéphane Duprat’s horror comedy “The Killer In Cursed Water”, Spanish sci-fi “The Following Year” from Miguel Campaña, Juho Fossi’s phychological horror “Expectancy”, Alice Barsby’s fantasy drama “Aquaticans” and horror comedy “Hospital Dumpster Divers” from Anders Elsrud Hultgreen.

Last year, Norwegian director Even Husby Grødahl won the Silver Méliès with horror comedy Downs of the Dead.

Henryk Johan Novod and Ra Ragnar Novod, who put together the program, characterised the selection as “captivating, curious and bizarre.” In total 252 short films were submitted to the festival for consideration.


The Monkey (Spain), directed by Xosé Zapata and Lorenzo Degl´Innocenti
It is the year 1588. A Spanish Army ship sent by King Felipe II to conquer England is blown off course by storm. One survivor is found off the coast of Ireland. The court sentences him to death. In war, anything is possible, but can you really try a monkey? Watch the trailer.
"Cerberus" (Estonia), directed by Kaspar Ainelo

Meelis suspects strange foul play, while searching for his lost dog. In trying to uncover the truth behind the disappearance, the temptation to doubt threatens to claim another victim.

“The Killer In Cursed Water” (France), directed by Laurent Ardoint and Stéphane Duprat
Cindy and Quentin aim to spend a romantic weekend by the lake, but find themselves hunted by a particularly dangerous killer. Watch the trailer.

“The Following Year” (Spain), directed by Miguel Campaña
A widowed farmer acquires a clone of a woman who died in tragic circumstances. Watch the trailer.

"Expectancy” (Finland), directed by Juho Fossi
While renovating a room for his future child, Alex finds himself tormented by the sounds of the baby monitor announcing his impending failure as a father and husband. Watch the trailer .

“Aquaticans” (France), directed by Alice Barsby
An old couple refuses to leave an already abandoned seaside town, threatened by ever rising tides. On Christmas Eve, they are visited by their son Evan, who tries to persuade them otherwise, but stays longer than originally planned.

"Hospital Dumpster Divers" (Norway), directed by Anders Elsrud Hultgreen
Chaos reigns in a Norwegian hospital, when careless refuse disposal births a boggle-eyed, needle-backed landfill mutant. Watch the trailer.

Still from "Hospital Dumpster Divers"
Still from "Cerberus"
Still from "The Following Year"



Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival is the largest genre film festival in the Baltics and takes place this year from the 13th to 15th of August. Almost 30 feature-length horror, science fiction and fantasy films from more than ten countries will be screened at the Haapsalu Cultural Center and online for Estonian audiences.



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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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