Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

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Black Nights Film Festival
PÖFF logo.svg
Location Tallinn, Estonia
Founded 1997
Awards Golden Wolf/ Wolf
No. of films 268 features (2014)
Website www.blacknightsfilmfestival.com

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, or PÖFF (Estonian: Pimedate Ööde Filmifestival), is an annual film festival held since 1997 in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. PÖFF is the only festival in the Nordic and Baltic region with a FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association) accreditation for holding an international competition programme in the Nordic and Baltic region with 14 other non-specialised festivals, such as Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Karlovy Vary, Warsaw and San Sebastian. With over 250 feature films from more than 75 different countries (2015) screened and over 80000 attendances (2015), PÖFF is one of the biggest film festivals of Northeastern Europe and cultural events in Estonia in the winter season.

The Festival runs three competitive programs - International Competition, The Tridens First Film Competition and The Tridens Estonian Feature competition. The top prize of the festival is the Golden Wolf, given to the director and producer of the best film of the International Competition programme. Also, the festival hosts several non-competitive programmes, including the Screen International Critics' Choice, as well as several retrospectives, a panorama of the best films of the year, and other special programmes.

Concurrently with the festival takes place Industry@Tallinn, the annual summit of film industry events of Black Nights Film Festival, Baltic Event co-production market, and in 2015 the European Film Forum Tallinn, organised in partnership with European Commission. Industry @ Tallinn comprises the international Sales and Distributors Meeting Point, European Genre Forum - a creative camp for genre professionals for project and skills development - and two works in progress panels: the presentations of regional upcoming films from Baltic, Finnish and old CIS countries and international screenings ranging from Asia to Latin America.

There are three sub-festivals taking part concurrently with the main programme: Children’s and Youth Film Festival Just Film, Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams, International Short Film Festival Sleepwalkers .[1] In addition BNFF organises two smaller film festivals: Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival and Tartu Love Film Festival tARTuFF.


2015 Tallinn Black Nights Film festival Award Ceremony

When it began in 1997, PÖFF was principally a showcase for Nordic film with 4500 attendances, but as the festival has grown it has dramatically expanded its overview. Today BNFF is one of the largest film events in Northern Europe. During its 19th edition in 2015 the festival screened more than 600 films (including 250+ feature-length films from 80 different countries), bringing over 900 screenings to an audience of over 80, 000 people as well as over 700 accredited guests and journalists from 50 different countries. In 2010 the festival held the European Film Awards ceremony in Tallinn and in 2015 the European Film Forum conference was held here in co-operation with the European Commission. BNFF was recognised by FIAPF in 2011 and upgraded in 2014, as the first festival in Northern Europe, gaining the competitive feature film festival accreditation, joining 14 other major festivals in the world.[2]

Notable filmmakers, actors and industry professionals that have visited PÖFF include Aki Kaurismäki, Krzysztof Zanussi, Olga Kurylenko, Lee Joon-ik, Jos Stelling, Jan Troell, Catherine Breillat, Roy Andersson, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Neil Jordan, Philip Glass, Lukas Moodysson, Michael Nyman, Jerzy Stuhr, Tom Schilling, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Isaach de Bankole, Fiona Shaw, Sergei Loznitsa, Ross Partridge, Mikael Persbrandt, Vassilis Mazomenos and many others.


International Competition[edit]

  • Grand Prix (Golden Wolf) for the Best Film shared by the director and producer
  • Wolf for the Best Director
  • Wolf for the Best Cinematography
  • Wolf for the Special Jury Prize
  • Wolf for the Best Actor
  • Wolf for the Best Actress

The Tridens First Feature Competition[edit]

  • The Tridens Award for the Best First Feature shared by the director and producer
  • Wolf for the Best Cinematography

The Tridens Estonian FIlm Competition[edit]

  • The Tridens Award for Best Estonian Feature shared by the director and producer

Additional Awards for full-length films[edit]

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Audience Award
  • International Federation of Film Societies (FICC) Award
  • Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award
  • International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award
  • Ecumenical Jury award presented by Spiritual leaders of largest congregations in Estonia

Grand Prix winners[edit]

Year Film Original Title Director(s) Nationality of Director
2004 Shiza Shiza / Шиза Gulshat Omarova  Kazakhstan
2005 Shanghai Dreams Qīng hóng / 青紅 Wang Xiaoshuai  China
2006 Dark Blue Almost Black Azuloscurocasinegro Daniel Sánchez Arévalo  Spain
2007 Takva: A Man's Fear of God Takva Özer Kızıltan  Turkey
2008 Hunger Steve McQueen  United Kingdom
2009 Ajami Ajami / عجمي Scandar Copti  Israel
Ajami / עג'מי Yaron Shani  Israel
2010 My Joy Schastye moyo / Счастье моё Sergei Loznitsa  Ukraine
2011 A Simple Life Táo Jiě / 桃姐 Ann Hui  China
2012 House with a Turret Dom s bashenkoy / Дом с башенкой Eva Neymann  Ukraine
2013 The Great Beauty La grande bellezza Paolo Sorrentino  Italy
2014 Lucifer Gust Van den Berghe  Belgium
2015 The Throne Sado / 사도 Lee Joon-ik  South Korea
2016 A Quiet Heart Lev shaket / לב שקט מאוד Eitan Anner  Israel


Tallinn Black Nights' industry programme, consisting of Industry@Tallinn industry summit and Baltic Event regional co-production film market, is a platform aiming to connect Northeastern Europe with Asia, the US and South America. It hosts 450+ industry guests annually. The 2015 edition of Industry @ Tallinn will include screenings of works in progress, Sales Agents and Distributors Meeting Point, European Genre Forum, a digitech showcase for regional media, film and entertainment startups and services and European Film Forum, hosted in co-operation with the European Commission.

Baltic Event film and co-production market[edit]

The largest regional film market, and place to meet the Baltic film industry.[citation needed]


Animated Dreams has established itself as the biggest animation film festival in northeast Europe, screening an international competition of short animations alongside non-competitive programmes, filmmaker retrospectives and country focus. It has the following programmes: international competition programme of short and medium-length animated films; non-competitive informative programmes, retrospectives and special presentations; full-length animation programme.

Just Film is the biggest children and youth film festival in the region. The festival includes a competitive programme with €3000 grant for the best youth film (shared by the director and producer), children's rights programme and a special programme for documentaries. The festival is truly designed for its young audiences; the best films are selected by juries of local youngsters whilst the festival blog is created by young film critics who post their daily reviews of the films.

The International Short Film Festival Sleepwalkers is the biggest short film festival in Estonia, running the following programmes: International Competition programme of short and medium-length films made by film or media students; International Competition programme of short and medium-length films; International Competition programme of short and medium-length from countries from the Baltic Sea region (Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden); National Competition programme of Estonian short and medium-length films; Non-competitive film programmes, retrospectives and special presentations.

20th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: 11 to 27 November 2016[edit]

  • Black Nights Film Festival main programme, 11–27 November
  • Student and Short Film Festival Sleepwalkers, 12–16 November
  • Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams, 16–20 November
  • Children's and Youth Film Festival Just Film, 12–20 November
  • Industry@Tallinn, 17–23 November


  1. ^ "Film Festival". http://blacknightsfilmfestival.com/.  External link in |website= (help);
  2. ^ International Federation of Film Producers Association homepage http://www.fiapf.org/intfilmfestivals.asp.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]