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PÖFF Shorts announces International Competition titles for 2020


Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival sub-festival announces 115 titles across five different competition as PÖFF Shorts (17th-25h November 2020) celebrates its first year of being an Academy Award qualifying festival.

The 2020 edition of PÖFF Shorts, an official sub-festival of the A-List Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, has revealed the films which will be part of its six competitions. More than 110 short films and animations will be screened between 17th and 25th November both online and in cinemas.

Alongside giving all the films the chance to win the Grand Prix in their respective programmes, PÖFF Shorts is also a qualifying festival for BAFTA, the European Film Awards and – for the first time, beginning this year in – the Academy Awards.  

Grete Nellis, the Head of PÖFF SHORTS said: 

“The world´s struggles emanate from the authors´ stories as they always do, allowing us to look at the world in a different way. This year we perhaps see it more than ever. But whether it is despite of or due to the global circumstances, we are in it together. With this year being the first year of PÖFF Shorts being an Academy Award qualifying festival, we are proud to be a part of this diverse community."

In the PÖFF Shorts Live Action section, 58 films will give audience the chance to see brand new work alongside films that have already won plaudits on the circuit across two competitions. 

In the Live Action Competition Audiences will be able to see the world premiere of Estonian HOW WE WAKE UP from Estonia, directed by Helen Takkin. Takkin, a strong female voice from Estonia, tells an urgent story of ‘gaslighting’ within a relationship. PÖFF Shorts audiences will also be the first in the world to see Russian film ONE MANGO PLEASE, the story a Thai woman working for a Russian family who must also deal with her wayward husband. The film is directed by renowned Russian actress Nadezhda Mikhalkova, the daughter of legendary director Nikita Mikhalkov who infamously appeared at the Academy Awards at the age of 6 with her father to accept the Oscar for Best Foreign Film for his film Burnt By The Sun

Audiences will also get to see a powerfully acted story of a teenage girl’s changing relationship with her mother in BETWEEN YOU AND MILAGROS (Colombia, Dir. Mariana Saffon), fresh from winning Best Short at this year’s Venice Film Festival. There’ll also be the opportunity to see DAVID (USA, Dir. Zach Woods), a hilarious comedy about a dysfunction father and son that stars Will Ferrell. The film comes with a glowing reputation after being selected for Cannes and screening at this year’s edition of Toronto. 

In the New Talents Live Action Competitions – dedicated to the best shorts from film students and film schools – audiences will get to see Estonia’s own recent Student Academy Award winner MY DEAR CORPSES, the dark comedy directed by German Golub. Audiences can also experience INFRACTION (France, Dir. Mickael Nezreg & Raphael Halle), a fantastical, absurd comedy starring Juliette Binoche and SUN DOG (Belgium, dir. Dorian Jespers), a unique film about a locksmith in the Russian Arctic is being followed by the filmmaker during his shift which won the ‘Tiger Shorts Competition’ at this year’s IFF Rotterdam.  

In the PÖFF Shorts Animation Competition, 57 films showcasing an eclectic range of styles and techniques will be screened. 

Films competing for the Best Short Animation include IT WASN’T THE RIGHT MOUNTAIN, MOHAMMAD (France, Dir. Mili Pechere) a forceful retelling of the Abraham & Isaac Biblical story by a film which premiered at this year’s edition of the Berlin Film Festival. Also screening at this year’s edition of Berlin was Russian animation director Sasha Svirsky’s MY GALACTIC TWIN GALACTION, a hilarious meta-comment on artistic identity. The film premiered at Berlinale Shorts 2020. SERIAL PARALLELS (Germany/Hong Kong) is an experimental animation by the acclaimed artist Max Hattler which re-imagines the Hong Kong architecture as parallel rows of film strips, a film that won the Off-Limits award at the Annecy Film Festival. Acclaimed and emerging LA filmmaker Kangim Kim returns with KKUM, a clever and affecting film about a mother’s dreams and the repercussions in her son’s life. A humane story of adaptation intimately told is TIE by Portuguese animation director Alexandra Ramires ( Xá ), recently screened at Toronto International Film Festival. 

In the New Talents Animation Competition for Best Student Film, audiences at PÖFF Shorts will get to see NAKED, this year’s winner of a Cristal for a Graduation Film at Annecy. The film from Russian director Kirill Khachaturov tells a story of contemporary relations under a superhero cloak and an exciting experimental aesthetic. Polish animation director Natalia Durszewicz presents her own PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, a film which deals and forcefully (and elegantly) defies prescribed stereotypes. US filmmaker Mitch McGlocklin uses inventive 3D computer animation to tell a story about life and death and our own fears before technology and AI in FOREVER.

For the first time, 10 animation films will vie for the Jury Prize for Best Children’s Film.  These will include German-based animation director Gil Alkabetz who returns with a delightful story in A STORMY NIGHT while Lithuanian Ignas Meilūnas presents a well-known school story about knowing as opposed to memorising in MATILDA AND THE SPARE HEAD

Information on the awards and the PÖFF Shorts juries will be announced in the coming days, as well the candidates for the National Competition and the rest of the films screening in the PÖFF Shorts side programmes.  

PÖFF Shorts will run from 17th-25th November and takes place both live and online. 

PÖFF Shorts website:
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival:



Notes for Editors 

The Complete list of films screening in the PÖFF Shorts International Competition are below 

NB: WP = World Premiere, IP = International Premiere, EP = European Premiere, BP = Baltic Premiere 


3 MINUTES OF SILENCE (Dir. Ben Price, United Kingdom, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

BEAR HILL PATH (Dir. Tatjana Moutchnik, Germany, Iceland, 2020, Fiction, IP) 

BETWEEN YOU AND MILAGROS (Dir. Mariana Saffon, Colombia, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

CARRIE'S DOING GREAT (Dir. Alex Salkicevic, Bryce Kraehenbuehl, Australia, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

DANIEL (Dir. Claire van Beek, New Zealand, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

DAVID (Dir. Zachary Woods, United States, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

DROUGHT (Dir. Remi Itani, Lebanon, UK, 2020 Fiction, BP) 

EGGSHELLS (Dir. Slava Doytcheva, Bulgaria, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

THE EXPLOSION OF A SWIMMING RING (Dir. Tommi Seitajoki, Finland, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

FERAL (Dir. Bojana Babić, Serbia, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

FIVE TIGER (Dir. Nomawonga Khumalo, South Africa, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

GOOD THANKS, YOU? (Dir. Molly Manning Walker, United Kingdom, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION (Dir. Zhannat Alshanova, Kazakhstan, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

HOW WE WAKE UP (Dir. Helen Takkin, Estonia, 2019, Fiction, WP) 

I, TONY (Dir. Argyro Nicolaou, Margaux Fitoussi, Cyprus, 2019, Documentary, EP) 

IT'S NOTHING (Dir. Anna Maguire, United Kingdom, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

THE LAMB OF GOD (Dir. David Pinheiro Vicente, Portugal, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

THE LAST IMAGE OF FATHER (Dir. Stefan Djordjevic, Serbia, 2019, Fiction) 

MAN OF THE HARVEST (Dir. Orion Eshel, Luther Clayton, United States, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

MONEY HONEY (Dir. Issac Knights-Washbourn, New Zealand, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

MOUNTAIN CAT (Dir. Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir, Mongolia, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

ONE MANGO PLEASE (Dir. Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Russian Federation, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

PILGRIMS (Dir. Farnoosh Samadi, Ali Asgari, Turkey, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

RED ANTS BITE (Dir. Elene Naveriani, Switzerland, Georgia, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

TEEN HORSES (Dir. Valérie Leroy, France, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

THE TONGUES (Dir. Marja Bål Nango, Norway, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

VOICES APART (Dir. David Heinemann, Elvina Nevardauskaite, Lithuania, 2020, Documentary, WP) 

WHEN I DANCE, THE EARTH TREMBLES (Dir. Otto Lazić-Reuschel, Germany, 2020, Fiction, IP) 

WHITE EYE (Dir. Tomer Shushan, Israel, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

YAMB (Dir. Winnele Veyret, France, 2020, Fiction, WP) 



4 NORTH A (Dir. Jordan Canning, Howie Shia, Canada, 2020, BP) 

ANNA, CAT-AND-MOUSE (Dir. Varya Yakovleva, Russian Federation, 2020, BP) 

ARKA (Dir. Natko Stipanicev, Croatia, 2020, BP) 

CAREFUL (Dir. Alice Saey, France, 2020, BP) 

CARROUSEL (Dir. Jasmine Elsen, Belgium, 2020, BP) 

THE CHIMNEY SWIFT (Dir. Frédéric Schuld, Germany, 2020, BP) 

COLDSHOT (Dir. Evin Collis, Canada, 2020, EP) 

CONVERSATIONS WITH A WHALE (Dir. Anna Samo, Germany, 2020, WP) 

CRAB (Dir. Shiva Sadegh Asadi, Iran, 2020, BP) 

THE FABRIC OF YOU (Dir. Josephine Lohoar Self, United Kingdom, 2019) 

FANTASMIA (Dir. Luise Fiedler, Germany, 2019, BP) 

FLESH (Dir. Camila Kater, Brazil, 2019, BP) 

FRIEND OF A FRIEND (Dir. Zachary Zezima, France, 2019, BP) 

GON, THE LITTLE FOX (Dir. Takeshi Yashiro, Japan, 2019, BP) 

HORACIO (Dir. Caroline Cherrier, France, 2020, WP) 

IT WASN'T THE RIGHT MOUNTAIN, MOHAMMED (Dir. Mili Pecherer, France, 2019, BP) 

IT´S ALL THE SALT´S FAULT (Dir. María Cristina Pérez, Colombia, 2020, BP) 

JUST A GUY (Dir. Shoko Hara, Germany, 2020, BP) 

KAPAEMAHU (Dir. Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe WIlson ,United States, 2019, BP) 

KKUM (Dir. KIM Kang-min, Republic of Korea, 2020, BP) 

THE MAN AND THE HEAD (Dir. Nilas Røpke Driessen, Denmark, 2020, BP) 

MILD MADNESS, LASTING LUNACY (Dir. Marine Laclotte, France, 2020, BP) 

THE MISTRESS OF THE COPPER MOUNTAIN (Dir. Dmitry Geller, Russia Federation, 2020) 

MY GALACTIC TWIN GALACTION (Dir. Sasha Svirsky, Russian Federation, 2020, BP) 

PRECIOUS (Dir. Paul Mas, France, 2020) 

PUSH THIS BUTTON IF YOU BEGIN TO PANIC (Dir. Gabriel Böhmer, United Kingdom, 2020, BP) 

SERIAL PARALLELS (Dir. Max Hattler, Hong Kong, 2019, BP) 

THE SIX (Dir. Chen Xi / An Xu, China, 2019, BP) 

SOUVENIR SOUVENIR (Dir. Bastien Dubois, France, 2020, BP) 

TIE (Dir. Alexandra Ramires ( Xá ), Portugal, 2020, BP) 

WASHING MACHINE (Dir. Alexandra Májová, Czech Republic, 2020, BP) 

XYLEM (Dir. Michael Hughes, United Kingdom, 2019, BP) 



22:47 LINIE 34 (Dir. Michael Karrer, Switzerland, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

ANITA (Dir. Sushma Khadepaun, United States, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

THE AUDITION (Dir. Guy Lichtenstein, Austria, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

BACKWARDS (Dir. Marco Augelli United Kingdom 2019 Fiction BP 

BEFORE OUR TIME COMES (Dir. Chloé Terren, France, 2019, Fiction, EP) 

BROKEN ROOTS (Dir. Alberto Gross, Spain, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

CARRIE (Dir. Emma Lindahl, Poland, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

INFRACTION (Dir. Marion Decoste, Mickael Nezreg, Manon Ryckelynck, Maiwen Koskas, Jeremie Hannoah, Florian Morelli, Raphael Halle & Aurelie Vanden Borren, France, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

KITTY (Dir. Maria Pawlikowska, United Kingdom, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

LIGHT FLUCTUATIONS (Dir. Egor Voronin, Russian Federation, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

MY DEAR CORPSES (Dir. German Golub, Estonia, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

PAPER PROMISES (Dir. Uzair Amjad, Finland, 2020, Fiction, IP) 

PATISOTAM (Dir. Kio Shijiki (志自岐希生), Japan, 2020, Fiction, IP) 

PERFECT BODY (Dir. Jessica Pupo, France, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

THE PUBIC HAIR (Dir. Carolin Glomp, Germany, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

RICE & BREAD (Dir. Greta Griniūtė, United Kingdom, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

ROCK BOTTOM (Dir. Syver Flem, Norway, 2019, Fiction, IP) 

SETTLING THE SCORE (Dir. Zuzanna Grajcewicz Poland 2019 Fiction BP 

THE SCHOOL BUS (Dir. Ramazan Kılıç, Turkey, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

SHOAL (Dir. Tammes Bernstein, United Kingdom, 2020, Fiction, BP) 

THE SIMULATION OF BEING (Dir. Stefan M. Bürkner, Germany, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

SPIN (Dir. Jorge G. Camarena, United States, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

SUN DOG (Dir. Dorian Jespers, Belgium, 2020, Fiction) 

THE THIRD PERSON (Dir. Pouya Aminpouri, Iran, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

THEY WON'T LAST (Dir. Portlynn Tagavi, United States, 2019, Fiction, BP) 

VLADA GOES TO LONDON (Dir. Arti Savchenko, Israel, 2020, Fiction, WP) 

WEDDING WALTZ (Dir. Severi Koivusalo, Finland, 2019, Fiction, IP) 

WHO GOES THERE? (Dir. Astrid Thorvaldsen, United Kingdom, 2020, Fiction, BP) 



ARMED LULLABY (Dir. Yana Ugrekhelidze, Germany, 2019, BP) 

BLACK SHEEP BOY (Dir. James Molle, France, 2019, BP) 

DÉJEUNER SUR L'HERBE (Dir. Jocelyn Charles, Jules Bourgès, Nathan Harbonn-Viaud, Pierre Rougemont, France, 2019, BP) 

FOREVER (Dir. Mitch McGlocklin, United States, 2020, BP) 

HIT AND RUN (Dir. Hannah Brewerton, United Kingdom, 2020, BP) 

I'M HERE (Dir. Julia Orlik, Poland, 2020) 

INSIDE ME (Dir. Maria Trigo Teixeira, Germany, 2019, BP) 

MARBLES (Dir. Natalia Spychala, Poland, 2019, BP) 

MONACHOPSIS (Dir. van Loon Liesbet, Belgium, 2020, BP) 

NAKED (Dir. Kirill Khachaturov, Russian Federation, 2019)  

NIGHT SHIFT (Dir. Linda Stūre, Latvia, 2019) 

OBSERVATION POINT (Dir. Aleksander Jozefczyk,  Poland, 2019, BP) 

PEARL DIVER (Dir. Margrethe Danielsen, Norway, 2020, BP) 

PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN (Dir. Natalia Durszewicz, Poland, 2020, BP) 

UN DIABLE DANS LA POCHE (Dir. Antoine Bonnet & Mathilde Loubes, France, 2019, BP) 



BENCH (Dir. Rich Webber, United Kingdom, 2020, BP) 

CORNSTALK (Dir. Anastasiia Zhakulina, Russian Federation, 2020) 

EATEN (Dir. Mohsen Rezapour, Iran, 2019, BP) 

FRIENDS (Dir. Florian Grolig, Germany, 2019, BP) 

HOPUS (Dir. Lucie Kokoliová, Czech Republic, 2019, BP) 

MATILDA AND THE SPARE HEAD (Dir. Ignas Meilūnas, Lithuania, 2020) 

ONE STORMY NIGHT (Dir. Gil Alkabetz, Germany, 2019, BP) 

SO BUT NOT SO (Dir. Pedro Brito, Portugal, 2019, IP) 

TWIN TREES (Dir. Emmanuel Ollivier, France, 2020, IP) 

YOU ARE NOT A KIWI (Dir. Maria Saveleva, Estonia, 2020) 



PÖFF Shorts 2019 Award Ceremony. Photo: Aron Urb / PÖFF



HOW WE WAKE UP (Dir. Helen Takkin, 2020)



MY DEAR CORPSES (Dir. German Golub, 2020)






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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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