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Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival crowns winners


The 15th edition of the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival crowns Even Husby Grødahl’s Downs of the Dead as the Méliés Short Film Competition winner and Mart Sander’s Eerie Fairy Tales as the best Estonian genre film.
The Silver Méliés went to Downs of the Dead by director Even Husby Grødahl (Norway), that tells a humorous tale of zombies attacking a nursery for the intellectually disabled. The jury lauded the film: „We were enchanted by the film’s powerful and comic performances, strong dialogues and amusing song lyrics. The film has a boundaryless punk spirit that seems to resurrect the soul of Peter Jackson. We believe these filmmakers have one hell of a bright future ahead of them, should they survive life’s obstacle titled „zombies high corona“.“
The jury consisted of Magnus Paulsson, Miguel Llansó and Helen Lõhmus.
The Silver Méliés will grant the film a chance to compete for the Golden Méliés and become Europe’s best short film. The competition’s winners are announced at the annual ceremony that is usually held in November by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, of which HÕFF is a member.
The first-ever Estonian Genre Film Competition was overseen by a jury made up of five students from the Läänemaa High School: Katarina Sits, Pia Margaret Reinberg, Rasmus Valdmann, Mattias Metsalu and Robin Pae. They decided to award Eerie Fairy Tales, an anthology of fantastic tales  by director Mart Sander with the Best Estonian Genre Film award. 

They commented: “Eerie Fairy Tales was easy to follow and the film made clear sense. The tales were original and caught our interest. The acting was good and believable. The transitions between the films also caught our interest. The film was an exciting whole.“
The jury also gave the comedy Chasing Unicorns, directed by Rain Rannu, a special mention, saying: „The film was unique and very funny, and also served a strong motivational purpose: if you really want something, then act and don’t give up!“
The festival will announce the statistics, including the size of the viewership of films and virtual events as well as the audience's favourite film tomorrow.



Méliès Short Film Festival Competition 

Downs of the Dead, Norway, director: Even Husby Grødahl 
Two Bodies on a Beach, Finland, director: Anna Paavilainen 
The Burden, Netherlands, director: Nico van den Brink 
The Rave, Estonia, director: Johannes Magnus Aule 
Snowflakes, United Kingdom, director: Faye Jackson 
Smiles, Spain, director: Javier Chavanel 
Estonian Genre Film Competition 

Dora Who Came From the Highway, 2019 director: Urmas E. Liiv 
Eerie Fairy Tales, 2019, director: Mart Sander 
The Old Man Movie, 2019, directors: Oskar Lehemaa, Mikk Mägi 
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, 2019, director: Miguel Llansó 
Justice, 2019, director: Toomas Aria 
Chasing Unicorns, 2019, director: Rain Rannu 

All Q&A’s can be watched at



Film still: Downs of the Dead



Film still: Eerie Fairy Tales



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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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