PÖFF films around the world

“PÖFF films around the world” is an expanding festival diary about the films that premiered at PÖFF and are later winning awards worldwide. What are the success stories that started from PÖFF? What is written about PÖFF in the global media? What’s cookin’ in the magnificent world of film festivals? Take a look below!

"Ann" premieres at DIFF for the domestic audiences

Dublin International Film Festival (Feb 23 - March 4) is the most significant yearly event for Irish Cinema. This year, the festival is going to be chiefly memorable for the Irish director Ciaran Creagh, whose "Ann" world-premiered at PÖFF 2022 and is now ready to premiere for domestic audiences in Dublin. After PÖFF, "Ann" was screened also at Kairo and Goa Film Festivals (both in A-category).

Recently, The Journal published an article by Creagh. The director explains the story about "Ann".
„It baffles me that such a small Irish story could be accessible to many audiences worldwide. It highlights that people are more alike than not and can resonate with the unspoken truth found at her story’s core,” speaks Creagh.

"Ann" by Ciaran Creagh

"Driving Mum" sealed a striking deal: a recap from Variety

Munich-based arthouse distribution company Prokino Filmverleih locked German-language and Swiss rights for PÖFF Grand Prix Winner 2022 “Driving Mum” from production-distribution outfit Alief. The Islandic-Estonian feature by Hilmar Oddsson is going to be released in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Alto Adige, Italy.

Ira Von Gienanth, the managing director of production, acquisitions & sales at Prokino commented:
“Just after Tallinn and reading some great reviews, we took a trip with Jon, his mother and the dog Bresnef and never looked back. We hope that our audiences will be as beguiled as we are with this wildly funny and magical ride through the vastness of Iceland."

Besides that, "Driving Mum" will have U.K. premiere at Glasgow Film Festival 2023. We wish good luck to our extraordinary and quirky Grand Prix Winner of 2022!

Check the full news and review here


JUST films got awarded in Hungary

For the 60th time, Hungarian film critics announced their awards for domestic films. The Best Picture prize was given to "Six Weeks" by Noémi Veronika Szakonyi and the Best Female Actress award was given to Katalin Román for the same feature. Notably, "Six Weeks" was the mind-blowing Grand Prix winner of Just Film 2022.
The Best First Feature prize was divided between two Hungarian films. One of them was Just Film Youth Competition contestant "Larry" by Szilárd Bernáth. The Best Male Actor award was given to Vilmányi Benett for the leading role in "Larry". László Onofer took the Best Supporting Male Actor award for his performance in the same feature.
"Larry" is currently screening in Hungarian cinemas and is repeatedly acclaimed by film critics.


"Six weeks" by Noémi Veronika Szakonyi

Andalusian Film Academy Awards - the Carmens

Andalusian film academy was founded in 2020. Quite obviously, their Academy Award is called "Carmen", according to the cultural heritage. Recently, the second batch of Carmens was given in 25 categories. Although "Modelo 77" by Alberto Rodríguez got the lion's share, some PÖFF alumni got awarded, too. For instance, "The Gentiles" by Santi Amodeo was nominated for 13(!) awards and got two of them: Best Female Actress (Paula Díaz) and Best New Actress (África de la Cruz). The film was in the PÖFF Official Selection Competition in 2021.

The winner of Just Film Children's Competition, "Oliver's Universe" by Alexis Morante got 9 nominations and 3 awards: Best Screenplay (Alexis Morante, Raúl Santos, Miguel Ángel González), Best New Male Actor (Lorca Prada) and Best Special Effects (Juan Ventura, Amparo Martínez Barco).


"Oliver's Universe" by Alexis Morante

Miami Film Festival - another springboard to America

The 40th edition of Miami Film Festival (3-12. March) took 5 films from 2022's PÖFF competitions into their official programme. The Miami festival is an outstanding chance for non-American films to make their way to other film festivals and cinemas in the USA.

From PÖFF Official Selection, Dana Nechustani's "Piece of My Heart" (NLD-BEL) and Matías Bize's "The Punishment" (CHL-ARG) are going to be screened. At the 26th PÖFF, "The Punishment" got the Best Actress Award and screened later at La Serena, FICVIÑA and Santo Domingo Film Festivals.

From PÖFF First Feature Competition 2022, "Everybody Wants To Be Loved" (GER) and "The Other Widow" (ISR) will be screened. From 2022's Baltic Film Competition, Signe Baumane's "My Love Affair With Marriage" (LVA) was also chosen for the programme. So far, all of these features can be considered successful festival films across the world.


The Other Widow" by Ma’ayan Rypp

PÖFF films got some Gaudís

For the 15th time, the Catalan Film Academy announced the winners of Gaudí awards. As expected, „Alcarràs” by Carla Simóni (PÖFF 2022 Best Of Programme) walked off with the most desired prizes. From 2022’s Just Film Youth Competition, “La Maternal” by Pilar Palomero took two prizes: 14-year-old Carla Quílez was awarded as the best new actress, Ángela Cervantes as the best supporting actress. Sadly, the ceremony was darkened by the fact that the multiple winner of Gaudí awards, 69-year-old Agustí Villaronga, had just passed away. His feature “Black Bread” was screened at PÖFF 2015.


*"La Maternal" by Pilar Palomero

“The pearl of the Caribbean” - Festival de Cine Global de Santo Domingo

Festival de Cine Global de Santo Domingo is the most outstanding international film event in the Dominican Republic and in the overall Caribbean region. The Caribbean film feast takes place from the 22th until the 29th of January. In the 2023 edition, “Upon Entry” (ESP) by Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez competed in the Official Competition Programme. The film world premiered in the PÖFF 2022 First Feature Competition Programme.
Several features that premiered in the PÖFF competition programmes were represented in the side programmes of the Caribbean festival: “The Punishment” (CHL-ARG) by Matías Bize, “The Gentiles”(ESP) by Santi Amodeo; Rebels with a Cause Competition Winner – “Rebelión” (COL-ARG) by José Luis Rugeles, and the winner of Just Film Children's Competition – “Oliver's Universe” (ESP) by Alexis Morante.


Rebels With A Cause Competition Winner - "Rebelion" by José Luis Rugeles

Scottish film festivals: two became one

The two most outstanding film events in Scotland have been Glasgow and Edinburgh Film Festivals. Sadly, the last edition was the final for the 75-year-old Edinburgh festival. Being one of the most old-established film festivals in the world, the festival fans and local inhabitants are protesting against the forced termination of the event. However, the constantly increasing expenses make the continuation of the ongoing format extremely difficult.

On the other hand, Glasgow Film Festival (1.-12. March) is preparing for the 23th edition. The program includes films that world premiered in the last edition of PÖFF festival.
The Main Program presents PÖFF Grand Prix Winner of 2022 – “Driving Mum” by Hilmar Oddson (ISL-EST); Critic’s Picks Competition Programme contestant “Typist. Artist. Pirate. King” (UK) by Carol Morley and the international premiere of Baltic Competition “A Letter to Helga” (ISL-NLD-EST) by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir.
New Zealand’s “Punch” by Welby Ings is contesting for the Audience Award (PÖFF First Feature Competition Programme contestant) and in „Viva el cine español!” programme can one find “La Maternal” (ESP) by Pilar Palomero.The film was a contestant in 2022’s Just Film Youth Competition. Additionally, “Pensive” (LTU) by Jonas Trukanas was selected to programme „FrightFest”.


"Punch" by Welby Ings

PÖFF films at Solothurn Film Festival

Solothurn Film Festival is the most representative annual Swiss film event since 1966. In this year’s edition (18.–25. Jan), the main award “Prix de Soleure '' was given to “Until the Branches Bend” by Sophie Jarvis (CAN-CHE). The film premiered in the PÖFF First Feature Competition Programme in 2022. Remarkably this was one of the two fiction features in the Main Competition among the documentaries in Solothurn. The second fiction film from the Main Competition was also a PÖFF debut feature- “The Land Within” by Fisnik Maxville (CHE-XXK)

With the 3 competitions (Official Selection, Audience Award Selection and First Feature Competition), the festival is remarkably choosy when selecting the competition films, however, the overall programme of the festival is wide. Notably, in all the 3 competitions, fiction features and documentaries are competing on equal terms. That is pretty extraordinary in the film festival world.


"The Land Within" by Fisnik Maxville

PÖFF films in the epicentre of Marathi-language cinema

India is such a populous country that almost every union territory has its own inclusive film festival. In Maharashtra state, two large film festivals are taking place: the capital, Mumbai, is the centre of Hindi Bollywood Cinema with its own big festival. The second largest city, Pune, is the centre of Marathi-language cinema. Accordingly, Pune Film Festival has a Competition Programme exclusively for Marathi-language films. Despite that, the Pune festival has also shown some Estonian films - first, “Letters to Angel” (2011) by Sulev Keedus and a decade later, “Sandra Gets a Job” by Kaupo Kruusiauk.

2023’s edition of Pune (2-9th of February) showed the Estonian film “Minsk” by Boris Guts. The film premiered in PÖFF Baltic Film Competition in November 2022. After Pune Festival, "Minsk" will be screened at the Yashwanti film festival in Mumbai. Moreover, "Minsk" got an invitation to Victoria Film Festival (CAN) and Tromsø Film Festival (NOR). Among other PÖFF competition films, Krzysztof Zanussi’s “Perfect Number” and Ádám Császi’s “Three Thousand Numbered Pieces” were selected to the World Cinema Competition programme. Notably, 83-year-old Krzysztof Zanussi was honoured with the PÖFF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022.

Additionally, out of competition screened “A Childless Village” (IRN) by Reza Jamali. The film was world premiered in the 2022’s PÖFF Critic’s Picks Competition programme.


"Minsk" by Boris Guts

Probably the most minimalistic film awards in the world

Did you know that the most prestigious Finnish film award is called Jussi and it is the nickname for the Finnish name “Juhani” or “Juho”, corresponding to Jack?
Established in 1944, the Finnish film award Jussi is one of the oldest in Europe and the award itself is a simple plaster figure of a man with a hat. Moreover, the Finns have given up awarding “male” or “female” prizes and prefer gender-neutral acting awards instead. In 2023, the first time will be given out the best side acting award. The fourth acting award, “Valkokankaan Valopilkku” (eng. “The Spotlight”), is the fourth acting award and it is given to an actor/actress who has had the most touching, funny, frightening, traumatic, provocative or entertaining role/roles in the past year.

Finnish Film Foundation

Jussi awards. Source: Finnish Film Foundation

As a result of the well-cooperating Estonian and Finnish film industry, quite a batch of Estonian filmmakers have been honoured with a “Jussi” – Andris Feldmanis, Livia Ulman, Liina Pihel, Eugen Tamberg, Jaagup Roomet and Kalju Kivi. This year, Finnish-Estonian co-production “Hit Big” will be pursuing Jussi-awards: from the Estonian side, Meelis Veeremets is nominated for the Best Cinematography Award and Kaire Hendrikson for the Best Make-Up Artist. The nominees from the Finnish side are Ilkka Heiskanen (Best Support Acting), Stefan Pasborg (Best Original Score) and Kaisa Mäkinen (Best Film Artist). “Hit Big” was a part of PÖFF 2022’s Official Selection Competition Programme.


"Hit Big" by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää

Trieste Film Festival - East meets West

Trieste Film Festival in Italy (21.-28. Jan 2023) is a meeting point of Central and Eastern European Cinema. After World War II, the region itself was controlled by the USA, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia military administrations until 1954. With today’s population of 205 000, the city hosts 2(!) film festivals.

At the 34th edition, two Eastern-European gems from PÖFF Baltic Competition Programme were screened: “Aurora’s Sunrise” (ARM-LTU-GER) by Inna Sahakyan and Signe Baumane’s “My Love Affair with Marriage”(LVA).
From the PÖFF Official Selection Competition, “Jailbird” (ITA-UKR) by Andrea Magnani was presented at Trieste. Right after PÖFF, “Jailbird” was shown also at Torino Film Festival and has been now selected for multiple Italian independent film festivals and events.

The winner of the PÖFF Lifetime Achievement award, Krzysztof Zanussi got an honourable special award with his film “Perfect Number” (POL-ISR-GER). The award is given for a significant promotion of the relationships between Eastern and Western Europe.


"Jailbird" by Andrea Magnani

PÖFF world premieres reached Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Film Festival in California (8.–18 Feb) can be viewed as a springboard for independent films outside of the United States. With a wide film programme all around the world, it gives the opportunity to reach a broader audience in Northern America. The 38th edition will celebrate 52 world premieres and 78 USA premieres.
Last year, only two films from the PÖFF competitions were selected. In 2023, the list is quite significant:

PÖFF Official Selection Competition:

„Sanaa” by Sudhanshu Saria (India)

PÖFF First Feature Competition:

“Everybody Wants to Be Loved” by Katharina Woll (Germany)

“The Other Widow” by Maayan Sue Rypp (Israel-France)

PÖFF Critic’s Picks Competition:

“The Chambermaid” by Mariana Čengel Solčanská (Slovakia-Czech Republic)

“The Young Arsonists” by Sheila Pye (Canada)

PÖFF Baltic Film Competition:

“A Letter to Helga” by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttiri (Island-Netherlands-Estonia) –

“Traces” by Dubravka Turic (Croatia-Lithuania-Serbia)


"The Young Arsonists" by Sheila Pye

*PÖFF wishes good luck in California!

PÖFF films awarded in Bangladesh

Despite the high demographic population, the number of film festivals in Bangladesh is quite low. However, Dhaka International Film Festival (14.-22. January) is the most remarkable of them. The festival facilitators prioritize the female voices in the cinema - therefore, a special competition programme „Women Filmmakers'' was established.
In this special section, two PÖFF competition films were represented and got awarded. Best female director award was given to Katharina Woll for her feature “Everybody Wants To Be Loved” (GER). Maria Douza got The Best Film Award in the “Women Filmmakers” section for her film “Listen” (GRC).



"Everybody Wants To Be Loved" by Katharina Woll

“Upon Entry” got awarded in India and is on its way to America

“Upon Entry” (ESP) by Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez had a world premiere in PÖFF First Feature Competition in 2022. The magnificent debut got the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI award. Remarkably, Alejandro Rojas has been a film journalist who has covered A-Class film festivals and interviewed filmmakers at Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance and Berlinale.
Just a month after PÖFF, the film triumphed at the Calcutta Film Festival and won the International Competition main prize. The film also got an invitation to the famous South by Southwest Film Festival at Austin.

The trailer of “Upon Entry” displays the staging approach of the entire film. It seems to work well in Europe, Asia and hopefully also in Northern America.


"Upon Entry" by Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez

Europa! Europa: an Australian film festival that enjoys Baltic cinema

The head of St Martins Youth Art Centre, Thomas Caldwell, was the programmer of Melbourne Film Festival for 8 years. Currently, he works as an artistic director of a brand new Europa! Europa Film Festival in Australia. The festival describes itself as a “celebration of the best new European cinema”. Last year, the festival screened Peeter Simm’s “On the Water” (EST). This year, multiple feature films from the PÖFF Baltic Competition 2022 will be screened at Europa! Europa: “Aurora’s Sunrise” by Inna Sahhakjan, “Kalev” by Ove Musting and “My Love Affair with Marriage”

Interestingly, the festival takes place simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne and each film has altogether 8 screenings.


"Kalev" by Ove Musting

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PÖFF films rocked in Hungarian charts

In the year-end film charts, it is always worth following the charts of the domestic films of the countries. In a sense, this is feedback for the programmers, because the selections are made half a year before the rankings are compiled.
The Hungarian cultural publication KULTer published its 2022 ranking of domestic films.

In ninth place is the world premiere of PÖFF25, "Perpetuity" by György Pálf, who won the Best Production Design award.

In fifth place is the world premiere of the PÖFF26 Just Film competition for youth films, „Summer to Come” by György Mór Kárpáti, who got Jury special mentioning.

In fourth place is the Grand Prix laureate of the PÖFF26 Just Film youth film competition, „Six Weeks” by Noémi Veronika Szakonyi.

In first place is the PÖFF26 Just Film competition film for youth films, „Larry” by Szilárd Bernáthi.

Of course charts, even festival awards, are not the absolute truth. But based on the list above, it can be argued that Just Film's programmers made the most of Hungarian feature films.

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PÖFF films in Indian media

Outlook is a major Indian publishing house that is managing magazines in print and online. The circulation of the paper magazine is 1.8 million. Online, Outlook India receives about 8.5 million hits per month, of which 2/5 are readers from India and the rest of the world. Prateek Sur is one of the Associate Editors of this publication, who writes about films and film news. To get an idea of the work of a film journalist in India, it is worth looking at how many stories he writes a day - four to ten!

This journalist prepared his recommendation for readers, „What Lies Ahead In 2023: 5 Film Gems To Look Out For”. Among these five suggestions, is the world premiere of PÖFF's main competition program „Sanaa” by Sudhanshu Saria.

„Sanaa is one such story, a social drama, that follows a headstrong and ambitious girl raging an internal battle rooted in unhealed trauma. The film has talented actor Radhika Madan as the lead, along with Pooja Bhatt, Sohum Shah and Shikha Talsania in pivotal roles. Sanaa had its world premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival which is one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe. It was the only Indian film competing for The Grand Prix For Best Film in 2022 at the Festival. The film is directed by National Film Award-winning filmmaker Sudhanshu Saria.”

Giedrius Tamoševičius and Vytautas V. Landsbergis "The Poet”

Who needs film critics anyway?

Fifteen years ago, a war of words broke out in Germany over film criticism. Several directors and producers were the attacking parties. For example, producer Guenter Rohrbach called film critics autistic and elitists, writing among other things: „Do we even need them, these elite self-promoters who turn pirouettes around our films? Is the meagre praise they occasionally give worth all the suffering they inflict, all the damage they do to us?”

This was answered by Josef Schnelle, the head of the film critics' organisation at the time. He brought the discussion to a wider level. First, he accused the dailies of only bringing together film critics. Second, the "thumbs up, thumbs down" from the US (Roger Ebert's initiative) is said to have turned film criticism into a "product test". Schnelle also poked a hornet's nest by saying that only quality journalism by seasoned, full-time film critics can advance filmmaking, while inferior amateur critics and "hate blogs" prevent sophisticated films from establishing themselves. The debate at the time took place at a time when the number of film blogs was growing exponentially. Of course, bloggers did not fail to answer it.

Time has given thoughts. We also had a peak time of film blogs in Estonia, which is now fading into non-existence. There are few established film critics who write on a daily basis. Newspapers prefer short "product introductions" rather than what Josef Schnelle fought for: „It is the critics’ prerogative to praise and promote smaller productions that might get missed. When it comes to big-budget or Hollywood films, the critics have virtually no influence on the box office because the audience for these films rarely read reviews.”

Because of this, Estonian film criticism needs a film portal that unites writers in order to survive and develop, which would significantly expand the publishing possibilities.

Ten years ago, Meredith Taylor founded the online film magazine Filmuforia. This is not a solo project of one person. As an editor, he has been able to form a solid circle of writers. At the same time, he continues to write for several other publications in addition to his magazine. Last year, the magazine published reviews of films shown at the Sundance, Rotterdam, Berlin, Bergamo, Karlovy Vary, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Toronto, San Sebastian, Marrakech, and Red Sea film festivals. And of course, the magazine was also accredited by PÖFF. And the "thumbs up, thumbs down" rating hasn't gone anywhere either. Since it is perhaps too radical, more asterisks are used. The highest grade is 4/4.


Béatrice Pollet "And Yet We Were All Blind” (France) - 3,5/4

Sérgio Machado "River of Desire” (Brazil) - 3/4

Hilmar Oddsson "Driving Mum” (Iceland, Estonia) - 4/4

Matías Bize "The Punishment” (Chile, Argentina) - 3/4


Giedrius Tamoševičius and Vytautas V. Landsbergis "The Poet” (Lithuania) - 4/4

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir "A Letter from Helga” (Iceland, Netherlands, Estonia) - 4/4

Sérgio Machado "River of Desire”

The International Cinephile Society is a global organisation of professional film critics, journalists, scholars and historians. Its 150 members also present their awards every February.

Matthew Joseph Jenner (South Africa) selected two films from PÖFF program to review.

Sérgio Machado "River of Desire" (Brazil) - 3.5/5

„A beautiful document of working-class Brazil and the people who inhabit it, as filtered through the perspective of a director who has an implicit understanding of all the details that make these stories so compelling.”

Jun Robles Lana "About Us But Not About Us” (Philippines) - 4/5

„Complex, riveting and achingly beautiful, About Us But Not About Us is a film with a remarkable grasp on the human condition and its many existential peculiarities.”

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Quinlan reviews at PÖFF

The Quinlan is a magazine of Italian film critics. It is classic in this sense that there is an editorial board next to the editor-in-chief. The magazine is always present at the Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Turin and Rome film festivals. It is gratifying that the professional film critics there have also noticed PÖFF. If in 2020 and 2021 only one review of PÖFF films was published in the magazine each year, now four films have already been introduced.

Giampiero Raganelli wrote about the following PÖFF films:

Hilmar Oddsson "Driving Mum” (Iceland, Estonia)

Kôji Shiraishi "Safe Word” (Japan)

Krzysztof Zanussi "Perfect Number” (Poland, Israel, Italy)

Ryuichi Mino ”Ginji The Speculator" (Japan)

marypickford (1).jpg
Mary Pickford Theatre

It is not often that several Estonian films are shown on the same day and in the same cinema at a foreign film festival. In this sense, January 7 was noteworthy.

The Palm Springs Film Festival alongside other films, two Estonian feature films that participated in the PÖFF Baltic competition program were also on the schedule:

The program „Awards Buzz – Best International Feature Film” included film „Kalev” by Ove Musting. Program „World Cinema Now” included film „Melchior the Apothecary” by Elmo Nüganen. Note that this is was Nüganen's second film at the Palm Springs Film Festival: the film "1944" was on the program in the year 2016.

Both films were shown at the Mary Pickford Theater. It was opened in 2001. The cinema got its name from the fact that there was a small Pickford museum in the lobby, which is no longer there: at some point, the actress's family took back the items deposited in the museum. Looking at the facade of the cinema, it is hard to believe that there are 14 halls with a total of 3,000 seats. The cinema has its own solar panel park, the first of its kind in the US, greatly saving energy costs.

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Krzysztof Osica works daily as an editor for the Polish broadcasting company TVN Group. But besides that, he has been a contributor to the Polish film site Filmaster for eleven years. It is a connecting platform for film lovers to publish reviews, rate movies, etc.

He is extremely modest when it comes to giving stars to films. Only several films have earned 9/10 or 8/10 points in the last few years. On the other hand, published reviews are quite interesting (translated thanks to Google Translate).

He published the following reviews from the latest PÖFF:

Juraj Lehotský „Plastic Symphony” (Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic) - 5/10

Matías Bize „The Punishment” (Chile, Argentina) - 7/10

Sudhanshu Saria „Sanaa” (India) - 5/10

Ádám Császi „Three Thousand Numbered Pieces” (Hungary) - 7/10

Ove Musting „Kalev” (Estonia) - 6/10

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Dirty Movies reviews at PÖFF

This is the season for all sorts of lists and charts.

Here is one of them, from the authors of Dirty Movies. Each year, the authors watch tirelessly PÖFF competition programs and promptly published all the reviews. In random order, here are the PÖFF competition films that got 5/5:

Ahmad Bahrami „The Wastetown” (Iran)

Christopher Roth „Servus Papa, See You in Hell” (Germany)

Gentian Koçi „A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On” (Albania, Portugal, Greece, Kosovo)

Hilmar Oddsson „Driving Mum” (Iceland, Estonia)

Fisnik Maxville „The Land Within” (Switzerland, Kosovo)

Çiğdem Sezgin „Suna” (Turkey, Spain, Bulgaria)

Dito Tsintsadze „Roxy” (Germany, Georgia, Belgium)

Inna Sahhakjan „Aurora's Sunrise” (Armenia, Lithuania, Germany)

Giedrius Tamoševičius, Vytautas V. Landsbergis „Poet” (Lithuania)

Etienne Fourie „Stiekyt”

There is reason to talk about one of the premieres of the PÖFF main competition program, the South African (LAV) film „Stiekyt” directed by Etienne Fourie. The film has been invited to participate in the Harbor program of the Rotterdam festival. The festival characterises this program as "Echoing Rotterdam's port city identity, Harbor offers a safe haven to the full range of contemporary cinema that the festival champions."

But what is more important here is that LAV did not submit its film to the Oscar for a non-English language film this year. There, the matter is organized in such a way that the authors of the films themselves submit their wishes to the National Film and Video Fund, which makes a selection from among them. The result should have been revealed by the end of November at the latest: the makers of nine films waited, but the fund remained silent.

In the middle of December, the press was interested, and the answer of the representative of the foundation was laconic: LAV will not participate this year. The reason is that most of the films submitted for consideration do not meet Oscar regulations. And those that do not represent minority groups in an appropriate way.

Brett Ahlers-Innes, the producer of "Stiekyt", has given comments to the press. He says that at the moment the Oscar nomination is not important, but rather the label that one or another film has been presented, which gives the domestic film more distribution and sales potential. And it goes without saying that he is disturbed and even considers the argument that the film that met the conditions "did not appropriately represent a minority community" to be dangerous. Ahlers-Innes argues that "Stiekyt" was after all selected for such top festivals as PÖFF and Rotterdam. The foundation's justification is said to be an ear wedge for the minority communities who participated in the creation of the film and who are now being accused of portraying minorities in an inappropriate manner.

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PÖFF films in Kerala, India

Kerala is an Indian state, which is a few thousand square kilometres smaller in area but has a population 38 times larger than Estonia. The most important film festival of the state, which is held with the notable support of the government, is as old as PÖFF.

The Best Indian Debut Award went to Siddharth Chauhan for the film "Amar Colony", which was first pointed out by PÖFF: we received the special award of the debut film competition for the original for the vision.

But the Kerala festival had other things to highlight as well. The World Cinema program which consists of 78 films showed PÖFF's opening film, Leon Prudovsky's work “My Neighbor Adolf”, as well as PÖFF's main competition film, Etienne Fourie "Stand Out".