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PÖFF introduces new Critics’ Picks competition programme

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) announces the addition of a new Critics’ Picks competition programme to its 26th edition this November. 

Critics’ Picks will join existing competitive sections - the Official Selection, First Feature, Baltic Competition and Rebels with a Cause programmes - and will showcase up to 10 films handpicked by the festival’s programme team, which includes a number of internationally renowned professional film critics and theorists. It will serve to highlight and celebrate a curated selection of powerful and artistically-outstanding works which might otherwise be overlooked in PÖFF’s broader programme. Critics’ Picks screenings will take place from November 17-25.

Festival Director Tiina Lokk commented that, “The Critics’ Picks competition programme solves a challenge our programme team has seen for many years: small but brilliant films that are unfortunately often lost in the mix of our fast-growing lineup and large-scale international festivals. It’s essential to our mission as a festival to create structures to introduce films of all shapes, colours and sizes to our audience.” She added: “We trust that the critic programmers developing this new programme will succeed in bringing some uniquely compelling and engaging features films to wider audiences come this November.”

The Critics’ Pick programming team is headed by Nikolaj Nikitin, head of SOFA School of Film Advancement, bringing in several decades of experience as a curator, film magazine editor-in-chief, journalist and author. The Rebels with a Cause section will continue to be headed by Xavier Garcia Puerto, with Black Night Discovery Campus Managing Director Triin Tramberg focusing on the First Feature programmes, while Festival Director Tiina Lock continues to oversee the broader programme as Artistic Director. 

The extended deadline for submissions to this year’s 26th edition of PÖFF, including films to be considered for the Critics’ Picks programme, as well as sub-festivals PÖFF Shorts and Just Film, is August 17, 2022. The final deadline is August 24. This year’s festival runs from November 11-27.

  PÖFF25 Awards Ceremony 2021. Credit: Liis Reiman / PÖFF


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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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