Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Black Nights Film Festival
LocationTallinn, Estonia
AwardsGolden Wolf/ Wolf
No. of films250 features (2016)

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.