PÖFF introduces its first ever Critics' Picks

Tallinn Black Nights announces its first ever Critics’ Picks.

The all-new Critics’ Picks joins existing competitive sections - the Official Selection, First Feature, Baltic Competition and Rebels with a Cause programmes - and showcases 16 films handpicked by the festival’s programme team, which includes a number of internationally renowned professional film critics and theorists. It serves to highlight and celebrate a curated selection of powerful and artistically-outstanding works which might otherwise be overlooked in PÖFF’s broader programme. Critics’ Picks screenings will take place from November 17-25.

Festival Director Tiina Lokk commented that, “The Critics’ Picks competition programme solves a challenge our programme team has seen for many years: brilliant arthouse films that are unfortunately often lost in the mix of our fast-growing lineup and large-scale international festivals. It’s essential to our mission as a festival to create structures to introduce films of all shapes, colours and sizes to our audience.” She added: “The critic programmers who have put together this new programme have succeeded in selecting some uniquely compelling and engaging features films. I can’t wait to introduce them to wider audiences this November.”

The Critics’ Pick programming team is headed by Nikolaj Nikitin, head of SOFA School of Film Advancement, bringing in several decades of experience as a curator, film magazine editor-in-chief, journalist and author. Nikitin commented on the Critic’s Picks selection that “I was not prepared for the amazing, diverse, excellent level and quality of films we had to choose from - it was easy in a way but, in another way, incredibly difficult to make the final selection. It’s a huge pleasure to join the Black Nights family and it’s been an honor to curate this competition with my own PÖFF debut - I feel privileged and very honored, especially as 13 outstanding titles are just a lucky number to start with and our opener ROXY, a genius and genuine genre thriller clearly proves - that European authors don’t have to hide behind Hollywood’s back.”

The inaugural Critics’ Picks selection includes ten world and three international premieres. Three films will screen out of competition, including a gala screening of Estonian co-production Call of God.

Critics’ Picks - In Competition

Roxy - 2022, Germany, Georgia, Belgium, director: Dito Tsintsadze | world premiere / Opening Film

Typist Artist Pirate King - 2022, United Kingdom, director: Carol Morley | world premiere

Conversations on Hatred - 2022, Argentina, director: Vera Fogwill | world premiere

About Us But Not About Us - 2022, Philippines, director: Jun Robles Lana | world premiere

The Rise & Fall Of Comrade Zylo - 2022, Albania, director: Fatmir Koçi | world premiere

Wake Me - 2022, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, director: Marko Šantić | world premiere

The Chambermaid - 2022, Slovakia, director: Mariana Čengel Solčanská | world premiere

Suna - 2022, Turkey, Spain, Bulgaria, director: Çigdem Sezgin | world premiere

In the Morning of la Petite Mort - 2022, Taiwan, director: Yu-Lin Wang | world premiere

A Childless Village - 2022, Iran, director: Reza Jamali | world premiere

The Good Person - 2022, Israel, director: Eitan Anner | international premiere / In Focus: Israel

The Young Arsonists - 2022, Canada, director: Sheila Pye | international premiere

The Bone Breakers - 2022, Italy, director: Vincenzo Pirrotta | international premiere

Critics’ Picks - Out of Competition

Sparta - 2022, Austria, Germany, France, director: Ulrich Seidl

Call of God - 2022, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia, Lithuania, director: Kim Ki-duk

Karaoke - 2022, Israel, director: Moshe Rosenthal | Closing Film / In Focus: Israel