Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

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Black Nights Film Festival
LocationTallinn, Estonia
AwardsGolden Wolf/ Wolf
No. of films250 features (2016)
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

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 Northern Europe or the Baltic region with a FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association) accreditation for holding an International Competitive Feature Film Program, which places it alongside 14 other non-specialised competitive world festivals including Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Karlovy Vary, Warsaw, and San Sebastian. With over 250 feature-length and over 250 short films and animations from 80 countries (2018) screened, and an attendance of over 80,000 (2018), PÖFF is the one of the largest film festivals in Northern Europe. The festival, its sub-festivals and the audiovisual industry platform Industry@Tallinn hosted around 1200 film professionals and journalists in 2018.

Running concurrently with the festival is Industry@Tallinn and the Baltic Event Co-Production Market, the biggest audiovisual industry meeting in the region. Industry@Tallinn consists of the International Sales and Distributors Meeting Point; the European Genre Forum, a creative camp for genre professionals promoting 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. For 2017 the festival has teamed up with the Culture Ministry of Estonia to co-host and co-curate the Estonia’s European Union Presidency Conference Pictured Futures: Connecting Content, Tech & Policy In Audiovisual Europe.

In addition, two sub-festivals take part concurrently with the main program: Children’s and Youth Film Festival Just Film, and PÖFF Shorts, dedicated to short films and animations . BNFF also organises two smaller off-season events: the only genre film event in the Baltic countries Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival taking place in April every year and Tartu Love Film Festival tARTuFF, taking place in August.


Starting in 1997 with 4,500 attendances, PÖFF was originally primarily a showcase for Nordic films, but as the festival grew it dramatically expanded its overview. Today PÖFF is the largest film gathering in Northern Europe. During its 19th edition in 2015, the festival screened more than 600 films (including 250+ feature-length films from 80 countries), bringing over 900 screenings to an audience of over 80,000 people, including over 700 accredited guests and journalists from 50 countries. In 2010 the festival hosted the European Film Awards ceremony in Tallinn, and in 2015 the European Film Forum conference was held in co-operation with the European Commission. PÖFF was recognized by FIAPF in 2011 and upgraded to an A-list festival in 2014, making it the first festival in Northern Europe to gain a Competitive Feature Film Festival accreditation, joining only 14 other major world festivals.[1]

Every year, the Black Nights Film Festival employs more than 300 volunteers. They help with ticket sales, checking tickets, escort of delegations, work at information desks, etc.[2]

Some notable filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals who have visited PÖFF include Aki Kaurismäki, Krzysztof Zanussi, Olga Kurylenko, Sergei Loznitsa, 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, Pavel Lungin, Fiona Shaw, Ross Partridge, and Mikael Persbrandt, along with many others.


Official Selection[edit]

  • Grand Prix for the Best Film
  • Jury prize for Best Director
  • Jury Prize for Best Script
  • Jury Prize for Best Actress
  • Jury Price for Best Actor
  • Jury Prize for Best Cinematographer
  • Jury Prize for Best Music
  • Award by the jury of International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI)
  • Cross Religion award presented by spiritual leaders of largest congregations in Estonia

The First Feature Competition[edit]

  • Best Film Award
  • 2X Jury Special Prize

The Baltic Film Competition[edit]

  • Best Baltic Film

Additional Awards for Feature-Length Films[edit]

  • Audience Award
  • Rebel with a Cause Award
  • Award for Best Asian film by the jury of Network for the Promotion of
  • Asian Cinema (NETPAC)
  • Bruno O’ya Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

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 / עג'מי Scandar Copti  Israel
Yaron Shani
2010 My Joy Schastye moyo / Счастье моё Sergei Loznitsa  Ukraine
2011 A Simple Life Táo Jiě / 桃姐 Ann Hui  Hong Kong
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
2017 Night Accident Tunku Kyrsyk Temirbek Birnazarov  Kyrgyzstan
2018 Wandering Girl Niña Errante Rubén Mendoza  Colombia
2019 Kontora Kontora Anshul Chauhan  Japan
2020 Fear Страх Ivaylo Hristov  Bulgaria
2021 Dear Thomas Lieber Thomas Andreas Kleinert  Germany


Tallinn Black Nights' industry program, consisting of the Industry@Tallinn industry summit and the Baltic Event Regional Co-Production Film Market, is a platform aiming to connect Northern Europe with Asia, the US, and South America. It hosts 700+ industry guests annually. The 2017 edition of Industry@Tallinn will include screenings of works in progress, a Sales Agents and Distributors Meeting Point, a European Genre Forum, an acting talent showcase: Screen Stars Tallinn, the Estonian EU Presidency Conference, an Audiovisual Content, Technology, and Policy Conference, and much more.

Baltic Event Film and Co-Production Market[edit]

The Baltic Event Film and Co-Production Market is the largest film market in the region, and serves as a primary place to meet the Baltic film industry.[citation needed]


Just Film[edit]

Just Film – Youth and Children's Film Festival. Official website www.justfilm.ee

Just Film is the largest children's and youth film festival in the region. The festival includes a youth and a children's programme, an international youth film competition programme as well as ECFA competition programme, a children's rights programme, and two programmes of documentaries - one about lifestyle and sports (Doc@Just) and the other about science (Science360). The festival is truly designed for its young audiences; the best films are selected by juries of local youth, and the festival blog is filled by young film critics posting their daily reviews of films.

PÖFF Shorts[edit]

  • PÖFF Shorts - a shorts and animation film festival that includes several competition programs judged by international juries.

23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: 5 November - 1 December 2019[edit]

  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival main program, 15 November - 1 December 2019
  • PÖFF Shorts, 19–27 November 2019
  • Children and Youth Film Festival, Just Film, 15 November - 1 December 2019
  • Industry@Tallinn, 25–29 November 2019


  1. ^ "International Federation of Film Producers Association homepage". Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  2. ^ https://poff.ee/ru/artikl/pof-fi-article-19/ https://2019shorts.poff.ee/uudised/tule-poffile-vabatahtlikuks

External links[edit]