GALLERY I PÖFF announces the winners

Awards of the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival have been announced.


Jury: Trine Dyrholm, John Altman, Xie Fei, Hilmar Oddson, Inna Sahakyan

Grand Prix for the Best Film

Grant of 20 000 euros from the city of Tallinn, shared by the director and producer

Misericordia | Italy, 2023. director: Emma Dante; producer: Marica Stocchi

Jury comment: "A powerful film about how to stay supportive and, above all, exhibit humanity in a marginalised environment. Beautifully directed, shot and acted, the Best Film Award goes to Misericordia."

Best Director

Grant of 5000 Euros from Alexela

Andrea's Love | Spain, 2023. director: Manuel Martín Cuenca

Jury comment: "For his ability to direct a human story told with respect, heart and flair for its characters and their circumstances, the Best Director Award goes to Manuel Martin Cuenca for Andrea´s Love"

Best Cinematography

Grant of 1000 Euros from Cramo

Goert Giltay for
Natasha's Dance | Netherlands, 2023. director: Jos Stelling

Jury comment: "Visually stunning with a dream-like ambience, the film transports us to a surreal environment. Based on one of the contemporary folk tales, the cinematography doesn’t just show us the beauty but immerses the viewer in a world of the characters."

Best Script

Manuel Martín Cuenca (director) & Lola Mayo (screenwriter) for
Andrea's Love | Spain, 2023

Jury comment: "For a touching and emotional story-telling about an eternal relationship between parents and children, delicately told in this brilliant script, the Best Script Award goes toManuel martin Cuenca and Lola Mayo for Andrea´s Love."


Simone Zambelli in Misericordia

Best Actor

Simone Zambelli for
Misericordia | Italy, 2023. director: Emma Dante

Jury comment: "For an exceptionally truthful, courageous, physically empowering and moving performance, the Best Actor Award goes to Simone Zambelli for his role as Arturo in Misericordia."

Best Actress

Lubna Azabal for
Amal | Belgium, 2023. director: Jawad Rhalib

Jury comment: "For her powerful and stunning portrayal of an idealistic teacher struggling with preconceived ideas the Best Actress award goes to remarkable actress Lubna Azabel for Amal"

Kim Higelin for
Consent | France, 2023. director: Vanessa Filho

Jury comment: For her moving multi-layered performance as a teenager, whose painful coming-of-age is caught up in a toxic relationship the Best Actress award goes to remarkable actress Kim Higelin for Consent."

Best Original Score

David Van Keer, Birger Embrechts for
The Magnet Man | Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, 2023. director: Gust Van den Berghe

Jury comment: For capturing the music of the circus and developing it into an important motif throughout the score, the Best Music Award goes to David van Keer anBirger Embrechts for The Magnet Man."

Best Production Design

Patient #1 | Georgia, 2023. director: Rezo Gigineishvili

Jury comment: "For convincingly bringing back the atmosphere of the USSR in the 1980s the Set Design Award goes to Patient #1"


Best first feature: The Moon is Upside Down.


Jury: Nicolás Celis, Radhika Madan, Ran Huang, Diana Iljine, Ron Fogel

Best Film Award

Grant of 5000 Euros shared by the Director and Producer

The Moon is Upside Down | 2023, New Zealand, director: Loren Taylor; producers Philippa Campbell and Georgina Conder.

Jury comment: "The film is a bittersweet, multi-layered combination of three stories intervending in a perfect way about people who try to find their place in the world. Shot magnificiously in the outbacks on a distant land in a very impressive and smart way, especially for a first feature."

Special Jury Prize #1

Mo Mamma | 2023, Estonia, director: Eeva Mägi

Jury comment: "for being a true gem of a film, which deals in a very sophisticated way with three generations of women, using different cinematic formats and combining brilliantly between experimental and conservative film making. "

Special Jury Prize #2

Tentigo | 2023, Sri Lanka/India, dir: Ilango Ram

Jury comment: "This film manages in a credible way to deal with subjects such as truth and family, which are specific to the place it was shot and also very universal."


Jury: Jim Stark, Mania Akbari, Andrius Blaževičius

The Award for Best Film

award for Director and Producer

Five and a Half Love Stories in an Apartment in Vilnius, Lithuania | 2023, Lithuania, Ireland, Latvia, director: Tomas Vengris, producer: Uljana Kim

Jury comment: "With great photography and acting, this film tells five and a half touching stories of couples meeting, loving and breaking up all in one AIR BNB apartment in Vilnius, which leave an indelible impression on the audience that even the disappearance of the apartment at the end of the film cannot erase."

The Award for Best Director

I Trust You | Argentina, 2023. director: Agustín Toscano

Jury comment: "Transitioning between the present and haunting memories of past trauma, this film depicts the injustice inflicted on a same sex couple falsely accused of a heinous crime. It is a moving illustration of how cinema can speak the truth to the legal brutality of power."

Award for Best Rebel with a Cause Short Film

Element | director: Will Niava. Côte d'Ivoire, 2023.

Jury comment: "From Cote d’Ivory, a country not known for its cinema, comes this beautifully shot and acted film of a young street hustler who nearly loses his life in the blind pursuit of money."


Jury: Dina Iordanova, Bahman Tavoosi, Jani Pösö

The Award for Best Film

award for director and producer

The Land Where Winds Stood Still | Kazakhstan, 2023, director: Ardak Amirkulov

Jury comment: "A monumental existential tragedy is shown through the means of pure cinema. The exquisite photography in black and white strengthens the film’s powerful and profound condemnation of totalitarian colonialism."

The Award for Best Director

Great Sertão | Brazil, 2023, director: Guel Arraes

Jury comment: "The director has taken an impossible task and has succeeded. A beautifully executed dystopian vision, which is nowadays, unfortunately, more relevant than ever."

Special Jury Mention

The Milky Way | Israel, France 2023, director: Maya Kenig

Jury comment: "for exploration of themes such as class, race and gender within Israeli society in a bold and innovative script."


Best Baltic film: Smoke Sauna Sisterhood.


Jury: Eleanora Granata Jenkinson, Ari Tan, Leon Prudovskiy

The Award for Best Baltic Film

Grant of 5000 Euros from Piletilevi, shared by the director and producer

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood | Estonia, France, Iceland 2023, director: Anna Hints; producer: Marianne Ostrat

Jury comment: Anna Hints’ documentary about the communal, cathartic experience in a smoke sauna takes the viewer into an atmosphere of magical rituals where the safe, womblike sauna allow the characters to reveal their innermost emotional life. The director’s extreme care and precision in revealing the universal female experience—through the smoke, the laughter and the pain—is empowering. Every aspect of this film is precise and masterful, from the choice of the camera angles to the mesmerizing chants and music.

The Award for Best Baltic Producer for Co-production

Slow | Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, 2023, director and producer: Marija Kavtaradze

Jury comment: "With a deeply emotional script and luminous, exceptional performances, this film is an exploration of a seldom-seen take on a complex relationship confronting identity and sexuality. The protagonists’ love is beautifully shot and portrayed with sensitivity and nuances. Their tenderness, intimacy, and pain are both an ode and a challenge to the power of love."

Audience Award

Grant of 3000 Euros, the award for the Director

Once Again (For The Very First Time) | USA, 2023, director: Boaz Yakin


Audience award winner: Once Again (For The Very First Time)


Jury: Yael Shuv, Tonci Valentic, Tõnu Karjatse

Falling Into Place | Germany, 2023. director: Aylin Tezel

Jury comment: "For rethinking the narrative structure of romantic drama and enveloping it in fresh and flowing cinematic language, while creating a sincere and fully realized portrait of an enchanting heroine, the FIPRESCI prize goes to the emotionally authentic Falling into Place, written and directed by its wonderful lead actress, Aylin Tezel."


FIPRESCI awardee: Falling Into Place


Jury: Mohhamad Attebai, Ra Ragnar Novod, Italo Spinelli

Inpaintings | Turkey, 2023. director: Ozan Yoleri

Jury comment: "An insightful debut film, enjoying an impressive narrative style depicting inner struggles."


NETPAC awardee: Inpaintings