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Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival launches new initiative to boost creative industries


This year sees the launch of Creative Gate - a platform designed to increase the visibility of the Estonian creative sector and help it explore new opportunities for growth and export.

A number of Estonian organisations in the field of film, culture, fashion, art and education have joined to create Creative Gate, whose main focus will be companies and professionals in production/post-production, film music, costume design, art direction, shorts/animation, casting and acting.  

Creative Gate will be presenting a number of events at this year’s Black Nights Film Festival and also provide year-round activities. Among the latter are the development of a new international brand platform for Estonian film based on a study conducted by Tallinn University, the website, and a project to promote Estonia as a location for recording film music using local sound studios, orchestras and choirs. Another priority is to support the companies in their international sales activity.

Tiina Lokk, Director of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival:
- Supporting the development of the wider audiovisual and creative industry is a key aim for us and we are excited to launch Creative Gate together with our partner organisations. With Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival now recognized as an A class festival we can offer a strong platform for new collaborations to emerge. The “gate” we envision opens in two directions – it will enable our talent to explore new markets, and make it easy for the international industry to discover the craftsmanship and creativity Estonia has to offer.  

Aivar Roop, Head of Creative Gate:
- Creative Gate is a recognition of the crucial roles music, cast, post production and other art department professions play for the creation of great films and we will be providing a wide range of initiatives to help develop and support them. The recent success and achievements of Estonian film makers put us in a great starting position. Many of our activities taking place after the festival are already fully booked, so we see a strong interest from the industry.

The partners of the project are Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival; Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University; ShortEst Estonian Short Film Centre, Estonian Film Institute; Estonian Fashion Brands’ Association; Estonian Film Industry Export Union; Estonian Film Art Department and Film Artists’ Union.

The project is supported with the amount of 300 000 EUR from the European Regional Development Fund.

Creative Gate events taking place during Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival:

Music Meets Film - Production Music Mentoring sessions - November 30 -December 1
In collaboration with Music Estonia, Music Meets Film offers a showcase of Estonian film music, masterclasses, concerts and mentoring sessions. Speakers include music supervisor Maggie Rodford (The King’s Speech, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), composer Tom Player (The Hobbit, Game of Thrones), music agent Nick Leonard and composer Chris Brown (House of Cards, Mad Men). The programme is curated by Estonian music editor Michael Pärt (The Danish Girl) who will also lead a session on “The How and the Why of Recording Your Next Score in Estonia”. Full programme:

Black Nights Catwalk - November 28
This evening event takes place in the black box of Kultuurikatel (Tallinn Creative Hub), and will bring together film music, fashion, and film art for an evening featuring a presentation of the new fashion umbrella brand “Northern Spirit”, the opening of a costume exhibition (see below), a presentation of Screen Stars Tallinn and Focus on Flanders, and much more.

Art Department Masterclass - November 28
Uli Hanisch, production designer and art director from Germany, whose credits include Babylon Berlin, Cloud Atlas and The Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, will give a master class for local film artists. In the afternoon, Hanisch will participate in a panel discussion – "International Co-production projects and travelling the world for film" – with production designer Markku Pätilä (The Man Without a Past, A Man’s Job) and costume designer Tiina Kaukanen (The Fencer, Frozen Land)

International Film Casting - How to Score the Roles You Dream About - November 28,
Meet the Screen Stars Tallinn mentors in a conversation about how to build an international career. Participants: Stephanie Holbrook, casting director (USA), Debbie McWilliams, casting director (UK), Beatrice Kruger, casting director (Italy), Molly Wansell, agent (UK), Georg Georgi, agent (Germany), Laura Munsterhjelm, agent (Finland), Deborah Kara Unger, actress (Canada) and Steven Bernstein, director (USA).

Costume Exhibition - November 28 - December 3
An exhibition of costumes and props used in Estonian films will open at the Black Nights Catwalk event, and be on display at Nordic Hotel Forum until the end of the festival.

In addition, there will be "FAM tours" – trips to potential film locations, with a focus on the company Nukufilm and the Estonian e-residency programme.

The programme is arranged with support from Max Factor, Flanders Film Fund and German Films.

For more information, please visit and












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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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