Official Selection - Competition

Brand new films by well-established filmmakers, representing the geographical, thematic and stylistic diversity of the cinematic art. Only world and international premieres.

First Feature Competition

The first films of promising young talents, representing youthful vivacity, questing ideas and unexpected viewpoints – the future of cinematic art. Only world and international premieres.

Critics' Picks Competition

The newest currents in the art of film through the eyes of a film critic. For a demanding palate. Only world and international premieres.

Rebels with a Cause Competition

Films produced in a more experimental format or carrying a more rebellious message from all over the world. Testing the boundaries of the cinematic art. Only world, international or European premieres.

Baltic Film Competition

The best of Estonian, Latvia and Lithuanian film, assessed by international experts.

First Feature Out of Competition

The first full-length feature film by directors who have already made a name for themselves in other film genres.

Rebels with a Cause - Out of Competition

Films which represent a more experimental format or a more rebellious message from all over the world, which have already been screened at other festivals.

Critics' Pics - Out of Competition

New films by renowned authors closely related to the history of PÖFF, which are important for us, but have already been screened at some other festivals.

Opening film

A film from the focus programme to symbolically introduce the Festival.

As a Guest in this World. Homage to Bruno O´Ya

A tribute to one of the best-known Estonian actors internationally, Bruno O'Ya, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

The Golden Ratio. Three films with Lembit Ulfsak.

A retrospective dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Lembit Ulfsak, the actor of the century.

Special Screenings

Films, the authors of which have a special meaning for the Festival.

In Focus: Israel

A representative selection of the explosive film art of the guest country Israel.

Spotlight: Brazil

The Brazilian art of film has never before been so diverse and so acute.

Best of Fest

Crème de la crème of the art of film of the world. Films that have already premiered or won awards at other prestigious festivals.

Screen International Critics' Choice

True cinematography through the eyes of critics. Iconic works selected by the prestigious Screen International.


Exciting personas, intriguing topics, dramatic conflicts. Real life, which can be more unbelievable than fiction.

Flowers are not silent. Resistance films of Belarus

Oppositional Belarusian filmmakers in action. Cooperation with the Northern Lights Film festival.

Midnight Shivers

Over-the-top fantasy spree. The best of recent horror, fantasy and B Category films.

Estonian Olympic Committee Sports Film Programme

Sports and film – more than just a sports film. The Estonian Olympic Committee presents.

Environment Agency Environmental Film Programme

The climate is warming. The environment is changing. PÖFF is highlighting it.

TV Beats

A programme dedicated to TV series, aimed at highlighting the increasingly blurry line between the small screen and the big screen.

PÖFF Expanded

Time Quartet marks the launch of the new PÖFF Expanded programme dedicated to artists’ and experimental films. The 26th edition of the Black Nights Film Festival premieres an expanded cinema project, the Time Quartet, which marks the launch of the new PÖFF Expanded programme dedicated to artists’ and experimental films. The four films of Time Quartet explore human nature through time, language and empathy. Accompanied by live performative and visual arts elements, as well as the participation of filmmakers, the screenings constitute a unique shared experience in an immersive environment designed to push the boundaries of cinema. [Tickets and info about the films](

Youth Competition

Just Film’s International Youth Competition brings along new and fascinating films from all over the world. This year’s programme consists of 11 films and is very broad in topics and geographically as well. Just Film’s Grand Prix will be handed out by the members of the International Jury and the Youth Jury.

Children's Competition Programme

Children’s Competition programme consists of 9 full-length films and the best film is chosen by Just Film Children's Jury.

Youth Programme

The Youth Programme is an overview of this year’s prime youth films that have received a lot of attention all over the world already.

Children's Programme

Children’s Programme is prepared for the youngest film-viewers, their parents and grandparents. The programme brings to the viewers joyful fairytales and many funny and unexpected adventures. Some of the programme’s films are dubbed into Estonian.

Toddler's Screening

Just Film Toddler's Screening is prepared for the youngest film-viewers, their parents and grandparents. The programme brings to the viewers joyful fairytales and many funny and unexpected adventures. This screening is dubbed into Estonian.

Children's Rights Programme

Just Film’s Children’s Rights Programme consists of films that address children’s and young people’s lives. All the films talk about children and young people who are still discovering the world and themselves. Often they are faced with difficult decisions in life. Some are lucky enough to get help from their parents, but others have to stand alone. The young are happy and proud about their achievements but also feel sadness when they fail. The Children's Rights Programme is put together by the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Affairs, Social Insurance Board and Estonian Union for Child Welfare. The Children’s Rights Programme will run at the Just Film Festival for the 12th year.


Just Film documentary programme consists of films about sports, including extreme sports, music, dance, social media and current events, trends of the world. Discover the world through documentaries!


This year, for the 7th time Just Film and the Estonian Research Council have put together the Science360° programme that brings the best science films to the audience. The purpose of the programme Science360° is to discover the world and learn how chemistry, physics and mathematics translate into everyday life and understand how our world really works. This year’s programme is greatly dedicated to the environment and nature conservation. Science helps us in knowing how to improve life and its quality. There is always more to discover!

ECFA Competition

With the ECFA Award, ECFA both gives special attention to quality films for a young audience and shines a spotlight on European children’s films. A number of European children & youth film festivals, all members of ECFA, are selected annually to host an ECFA jury and vote for the ECFA Award for their particular festival. Each festival adds their winning film to a shortlist of nominated films, competing for the overall award. The final vote is open to all ECFA members, choosing the ‘Best European Children’s Film of the Year’. The award is handed out during the International Filmfestival Berlin – Berlinale. The ECFA Award was launched in 2011. There is no money prize connected to the ECFA Award. However, it is the only European children’s film award given out by professionals so the value and prestige of this award can’t be underestimated.


The programme consists of films that have been created during the PÖFF and Just Film scholarship call and are made by Estonian school-kids themselves. Come and experience what the youth has to say and support their efforts and their expression.

Shorts Live-Action Competition

As the world continues to revel in uncertainty, we all need something. To be loved. To be safe. To be happy. The shorts in the International Live Action competition deal with universal truths and people searching to find their place in the world. Through the prism of issues of gender identity, immigration, growing up and growing old – amongst many, many other things - our films give us a snapshot of what it’s like to live in our interesting times. But the films are not just a document of the zeitgeist. They are a chance to see filmmakers use the cinema to its best advantage. Sometimes the films follow the rules of classic filmmaking. Others see filmmakers breaking boundaries (and the fourth wall) and defying convention. As realism, surrealism, comedy and drama meet amongst a myriad of talented filmmakers, the International Live Action competition has a sense of exhilaration and excitement. If you’re still looking for your place in the world, might we suggest beginning your search in the cinema.

Shorts Animation Competition

Animation has the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, and this year's crop of competition films is no exception. An ordinary dance can become an adventure, and the sea is always the place for reaffirming your desires or getting into new troubles. Nature is a major force, both as a mysterious wonder and a warning; there are bears who simply need to get noticed and landscapes that remind us of the awe of our first natural experience. And there are agents as well: women who still have to talk about rights and men's privileges, religious figures who have to face indecisiveness when it comes to human rights, and students who need to come to terms with historical events best forgotten. Yet in all these, the tone is nothing but realistic: from quirky comedy to grand-Guignol dramas, and from stop-motion to 2D and 3D animation, the animation competition films promise an emotional and rational rollercoaster where nothing is taken for granted and everything constantly moves.

Shorts New Talents Competition: Animation

It couldn’t get more fresh than this! Once again the New Talents programme introduces artists who are truly experimenting with the format of animation and applying their talents into storytelling and visual expression. The long progressive process of film studies tends to lead into creative and unexpected solutions. Animation is a very time consuming technique yet the result is far from slow and boring. Appropriately, time is strongly present in this set of films. Life passes before the eyes like a filmstrip when we travel through the time starting from growing up until getting old and passing forward to the afterlife. These life flavored scenes are seen from various point of views whether it happens by literally jumping into the skin of another persona or observing the world from a stray dog’s perspective. Expressive ways of using lines, colours and visual elements animate life that shares fragile personal experiences and absurdly funny moments with the audience.

Shorts New Talents Competition: Live-action

The word ‘new’ conveys excitement, a sense of discovery and exhilaration. But it can sometimes also indicate a certain sense of naivety, a narrow point of view in which experience must be gained. The films in the New Talents Live Action Competition fall firmly into the latter category whilst displaying a worldview and technical skill that would be the envy of many an established filmmaker. The New Talents competition takes us on a journey that provides ups and downs, thrills and tears. There’s a world of loners, strange characters and people spinning on the edge of the world. There are journeys to take, hills to climb and freefalling to be had. It’s as chaotic as the world is right now whilst offering hope, a chance for change and a message that the world is not as bad as we think. Many of these filmmakers will be the future of cinema. But they are here to speak of the now and – just maybe – bring us closer together.

Shorts National Competition

What this year’s National Competition does is show how diverse Estonian cinema can actually be. There are classic and moving dramas. There are exhilarating genre films. Thought provoking documentaries. Surrealism, dance and comedy all appear. The sheer breadth of ideas and styles shows that filmmakers are still experimenting and pushing the boundaries. And that is just with the live action offerings. Amongst the animation you’ll see that a boy does crazy things to attract his dad's attention, a sober funeral can turn into a very obnoxious event, and a horse brings a lot of memories into the foreground. Non-conventional, experimenting with live-action and film genres, Estonian animation films continue to surprise, affect and enjoy audiences in their own, unique way. The films speak of universal experiences but also of the history of Estonia itself, its past and the folklore that is such an intrinsic part of the fabric of the country. The National Competition is a celebration of filmmaking talent but also what connects Estonia with the rest of world as well as what makes it so unique.

Shorts Kids Animation Competition

We’re back with the freshest batch of animated films for children: come and feast on our carefully selected mix in 3 different screenings. Together we’ll learn how not to fear the shadows and how to overcome differences among us. We’ll set out on an adventure to find snow in the most unexpected places and witness many unlikely friendships. A brave girl will befriend a giant rock, a sceptical snake will find comfort next to an old camel, and a little diver will form a bond with a young astronaut. On the road we’ll encounter hungry mice, a crocodile that lost her brain, even a squirrel that’ll teach us how to write. If you ever wondered what the mole and other underground creatures in grandma’s garden think of us, you might just find out. Many colorful flavors are awaiting on the screen. And this eye candy is good even for your teeth! Films are live-dubbed in Estonian.

Rebels With Their Shorts

The very best works of art push boundaries. They dare us to think about the world in which we live. They challenge our traditional views. They show us that there are more things in heaven and Earth. The shorts in the Rebels With A Cause programme embody these ideals with their bold and provocative techniques. But while these films often revel in the surrealistic, it is perhaps appropriate – in a time in which the real world often seems to be nonsensical – that they deal with many important and pressing issues of the day.. These films will take part in Rebels With A Cause, a competition section of the Black Nights Film Festival dedicated to films that defy the traditional modes of filmmaking. The selection provides a mixture of new filmmakers who will lead the way in cinema over the coming years and more established talents Each short will be eligible for the honorific prize of Best Rebels Short chosen by the Rebels With A Cause jury members.


Humans have always found ways of maintaining the record – from the beginnings of spoken to written word, to documentary films and other mediums. Documentaries have evolved into much more than “non-fiction films which document reality”. The factual information remains the core of the medium, however, we’re also offered glimpses of different viewpoints, giving us a chance to experience the lives of fellow men or even poetically reflect on how we lead our own lives. The selection of live action and animated documentaries in the DOC@Shorts programme bring you the compelling stories of real people and places. We invite you to join these inspiring and gripping journeys of love and loss, the challenges, closures and acceptance, the odd ones out and how our choices can affect the environment and others around us.

Shorts Panorama

A calming sight of the sea? A glimpse of mountaintops, or the wind running through some trees? Or perhaps a look into the deepest corners of someone's heart instead? The best view in any room must be a cinema screen, because film art can give you all that and more. Panorama illuminates the current state of humanity with an agenda to provoke and inspire.

Shorts Alternatives

There are times we have to change the way we move forward. With clever genre shorts, quality dance films and unexpected perspectives to the world around us, the Alternatives is a fun and fearless exploration of how far, low, deep and weird we can go.

Main programme of Kinoff

KinoFF main programme

KinoFF Shorts

International Shorts programme dedicated to the women’s rights, identity and life of the national minorities.