The awards will be given to Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things) and Jonathan Glazer (The Zone Of Interest).
The directors of Poor Things and The Zone Of Interest will both receive the annual Dennis Davidson (former DDA) Spotlight Award, which shines a light on diversity and inclusion in cinema. The award will be presented at the Closing Ceremony of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.
The award is PÖFF's tribute to Dennis Davidson, founder and CEO of DDA. After establishing one of the international film industry's leading public relations companies 53 years ago, Davidson retired from DDAPR this March. The award honours artists whose most recent work contributes to improving diversity, inclusion, and representation in the cinematic arts.
In making the announcement, Dennis noted that Searchlight’s Poor Things has received excellent reviews, including the following:
"For all its hilarity, explicit sex — which, for the record, is a) extremely sexy, b) earned, and c) hysterically funny — and foul-mouthed dialogue, Poor Things is a romance about a woman learning to fall in love with herself, no matter what others think she should be. For that reason alone, Bella is a cinematic heroine for the ages and Poor Things is a unique piece of artistry." — Entertainment Weekly.
Likewise, A24’s The Zone of Interest is garnering accolades from all corners, as shown by the following:
"It’s (The Zone of Interest) a remarkable film — chilling and profound, meditative and immersive, a movie that holds human darkness up to the light and examines it as if under a microscope. In a sense, it’s a movie that plays off our voyeurism, our curiosity to see the unseeable. Yet it does so with a bracing originality." — Variety
Tiina Lokk, founder and director of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, confirmed that the DDA Spotlight Award has been renamed the Dennis Davidson Spotlight Award. PÖFF established the DDA Spotlight Award in 2020, when the DDA celebrated its 50th anniversary.
“Dennis has long been a friend and supporter of our festival and I am delighted we can continue this special Award in his name,” said Lokk.
Dennis Davidson responded: “DDA was built way before quotas or diversity targets, on embracing all religions, sexualities, ethnicities, formal educational attainments, and social backgrounds. This continues to be the values sacrosanct to my successors. So, when Tiina created the Spotlight Award, to shine a light on meaningful filmmakers and messaging, I was delighted to be in a position to have a window through which to continue our long-held convictions”.
Founded in London in 1970, DDA has helped to introduce over 600 films to the world, including The Lord of the Rings, Cinema Paradiso, The King's Speech, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Four Weddings and a Funeral. The DDA Group is recognised today as one of the most respected in the entertainment sector.
Starting in cinema management straight from school, aged 16, Dennis Davidson founded DDA seven years later. A firm believer in the power of film festivals to launch new talent, globally or regionally, Dennis is impressed by the unique footprint of the Black Nights Film Festival, which includes the Baltics, Scandinavia, Northern and Eastern Europe.
The awards will be presented at the closing ceremony of PÖFF on Saturday at 19:00 in the Alexela Concert Hall, Tallinn. Dennis Davidson will also attend the ceremony.
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival runs until the 19th of November.