Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

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Black Nights Film Festival
Location Tallinn, Estonia
Founded 1997
Awards Golden Wolf/ Wolf
No. of films 250 features (2016)
Website www.poff.ee

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, or PÖFF (Estonian: Pimedate Ööde Filmifestival), is an annual film festival held since 1997 in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. PÖFF is the only festival in Northern Europe or the Baltic region with a FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association) accreditation for holding an International Competitive Feature Film Program, which places it alongside 14 other non-specialised competitive world festivals including Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Karlovy Vary, Warsaw, and San Sebastian. With over 250 feature films from more than 70 different countries (2016) screened, and an attendance of over 80,000 (2016), PÖFF is the largest film festival in Northern Europe and the biggest annual cultural event in Estonia. The festival hosts nearly 300 festival guests and 700 industry delegates each year.

The Festival runs three competitive programs: Official Selection, First Feature Competition, and Estonian Film Competition. The top prize of the festival is the Golden Wolf, given to the director and producer of the winning film of the Official Selection. The festival also hosts several non-competitive programs including the Screen International Critics' Choice, various retrospectives, and a panorama of the best films of the year.

Running concurrently with the festival is [email protected] and the Baltic Event Co-Production Market, the biggest audiovisual industry meeting in the region. [email protected] consists of the International Sales and Distributors Meeting Point; the European Genre Forum, a creative camp for genre professionals promoting project and skills development; and two works in progress panels, the presentations of regional upcoming films from Baltic, Finnish and old CIS countries, and international screenings ranging from Asia to Latin America. For 2017 the festival has teamed up with the Culture Ministry of Estonia to co-host and co-curate the Estonia’s European Union Presidency Conference Pictured Futures: Connecting Content, Tech & Policy In Audiovisual Europe.

In addition, two sub-festivals take part concurrently with the main program: Children’s and Youth Film Festival Just Film, and PÖFF SHORTS, dedicated to short films and animations .[1] BNFF also organises two smaller film festivals: Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, and Tartu Love Film Festival tARTuFF.


2015 Tallinn Black Nights Film festival Award Ceremony

Starting in 1997 with 4,500 attendances, PÖFF was originally primarily a showcase for Nordic films, but as the festival grew it dramatically expanded its overview. Today PÖFF is the largest film gathering in Northern Europe. During its 19th edition in 2015, the festival screened more than 600 films (including 250+ feature-length films from 80 different countries), bringing over 900 screenings to an audience of over 80,000 people, including over 700 accredited guests and journalists from 50 countries. In 2010 the festival hosted the European Film Awards ceremony in Tallinn, and in 2015 the European Film Forum conference was held in co-operation with the European Commission. PÖFF was recognized by FIAPF in 2011 and upgraded to an A-list festival in 2014, making it the first festival in Northern Europe to gain a Competitive Feature Film Festival accreditation, joining only 14 other major world festivals.[2]

Some notable filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals who have visited PÖFF include Aki Kaurismäki, Krzysztof Zanussi, Olga Kurylenko, Sergei Loznitsa, Lee Joon-ik, Jos Stelling, Jan Troell, Catherine Breillat, Roy Andersson, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Neil Jordan, Philip Glass, Lukas Moodysson, Michael Nyman, Jerzy Stuhr, Tom Schilling, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Isaach de Bankole, Pavel Lungin, Fiona Shaw, Ross Partridge, Mikael Persbrandt, and Vassilis Mazomenos along with many others.


Official Selection

  • Grand Prix (Golden Wolf) for Best Film, shared by the film's director and producer
  • Wolf for Best Director
  • Wolf for Best Cinematography
  • Wolf for Special Jury Prize
  • Wolf for Best Actor
  • Wolf for Best Actress

The First Feature Competition

  • The Tridens Award for the Best First Feature, shared by the director and producer
  • Two Special Jury Prizes

The Estonian Film Competition

  • The Award for Best Estonian Feature Film, shared by the director and producer

Additional Awards for Feature-Length Films

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Audience Award
  • International Federation of Film Societies (FICC) Award
  • Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award
  • International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award
  • Ecumenical Jury award, presented by Spiritual leaders of the largest congregations in Estonia

Grand Prix winners

Year Film Original Title Director(s) Nationality of Director
2004 Shiza Shiza / Шиза Gulshat Omarova  Kazakhstan
2005 Shanghai Dreams Qīng hóng / 青紅 Wang Xiaoshuai  China
2006 Dark Blue Almost Black Azuloscurocasinegro Daniel Sánchez Arévalo  Spain
2007 Takva: A Man's Fear of God Takva Özer Kızıltan  Turkey
2008 Hunger Steve McQueen  United Kingdom
2009 Ajami Ajami / عجمي Scandar Copti  Israel
Ajami / עג'מי Yaron Shani  Israel
2010 My Joy Schastye moyo / Счастье моё Sergei Loznitsa  Ukraine
2011 A Simple Life Táo Jiě / 桃姐 Ann Hui  China
2012 House with a Turret Dom s bashenkoy / Дом с башенкой Eva Neymann  Ukraine
2013 The Great Beauty La grande bellezza Paolo Sorrentino  Italy
2014 Lucifer Gust Van den Berghe  Belgium
2015 The Throne Sado / 사도 Lee Joon-ik  South Korea
2016 A Quiet Heart Lev shaket / לב שקט מאוד Eitan Anner  Israel
2017 Night Accident Tunku Kyrsyk Temirbek Birnazarov  Kyrgyzstan

[email protected]

Tallinn Black Nights' industry program, consisting of the [email protected] industry summit and the Baltic Event Regional Co-Production Film Market, is a platform aiming to connect Northern Europe with Asia, the US, and South America. It hosts 700+ industry guests annually. The 2017 edition of [email protected] will include screenings of works in progress, a Sales Agents and Distributors Meeting Point, a European Genre Forum, an acting talent showcase: Screen Stars Tallinn, the Estonian EU Presidency Conference, an Audiovisual Content, Technology, and Policy Conference, and much more.

Baltic Event Film and Co-Production Market

The Baltic Event Film and Co-Production Market is the largest film market in the region, and serves as a primary place to meet the Baltic film industry.[citation needed]


  • Just Film – Children and Youth Film Festival. Official website www.justfilm.ee

Just Film is the largest children and youth film festival in the region. The festival includes a competitive program with a €3,000 grant for the best youth film (shared by the director and producer), a children's rights program, and a special program for documentaries. The festival is truly designed for its young audiences; the best films are selected by juries of local youth, and the festival blog is filled by young film critics posting their daily reviews of films.

  • PÖFF SHORTS - A shorts and animation film festival that includes several competition programs judged by international juries.

21st Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: November 17 - December 3, 2017

  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival main program, November 17 - December 3
  • PÖFF SHORTS, November 18-26
  • Children and Youth Film Festival, Just Film, November 17-26
  • [email protected], November 26 - December 1


  1. ^ "Film Festival". 
  2. ^ "International Federation of Film Producers Association homepage". Retrieved 6 September 2017. 

External links

  • Official website
  • PÖFF Shorts
  • Just Film
  • Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival
  • Tartu Love Film Festival
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