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Croatian Titles at 23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

At this year's prestigious film festival in the capital of Estonia a number of feature and short-length Croatian films will be screened in different festival sections. The Black Nights Film Festival will take place in Tallinn from 18 November to 1 December.  

Debute feature-length film Mother of the director Jure Pavlović, will be premiered in the First Feature competition section dedicated to 'promising young talents, representing youthful vivacity, questing ideas and unexpected viewpoints'.

'We are delighted that this film will be premiered in the A Category Competition Programme of the Festival. This is a kind of reward to the whole team for the great efforts invested in this film, all of which have been filmed in the Neretva Valley. We believe that this premiere will be a good springboard to future life of this film. The film has an international sales agent, Syndicado Films, pursuing the goal to present this film, after the Tallinn Black Nights Festival, to as many people as possible and to distribute it in different territories and, what we can announce with certainty, is that this film will be distributed in France. As to the Croatian market, we are currently considering, in co-ordination with the distributer, the most suitable premiere date so that our audience can also have the opportunity to view this film' said the director Jure Pavlović. 

The film Mother is a story about Jasna who, after many years, travels from Germany to her home village in South Croatia to secretly move her sicken old mother into a nursing home. Though physically frail, Anka still radiates a dominant energy which very soon brings Jasna back to the state of a frightened girl. Will Jasna find the courage to face her past or she will run for the hills again?

Apart from being its director, Pavlović is also the author of the screenplay for this film. Jana Plećaš is the director of photography and was also in charge for scenography, Martin Semenčić is the sound designer, Dragan Von Petrovic is the editor, and Katarina Zaninović is the costume designer. The producers are Bojan Kanjera, Biljana Tutorov and Jure Pavlović. Leading actresses are Daria Lorenci-Flatz and Neva Rošić, and the cast also includes Vera Zima, Anka Vučković, Marijo Jurković, Vinko Vuković, Marija Vrdoljak, Milivoj Barbir and many others. The film is a result of a co-production of Sekvenca (Croatia), Wake Up Films (Serbia), Les Films De L‘oel Sauvage (France), Novi Film (Bosnia and Herzegovina), with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. 

In the festival programme Just Film, dedicated to children and youth, the children’s SF film My Grandpa is an Alien by Marina Andree Škop and Dražen Žarković will be screened. 

In the section 'Signatures' described as a section dedicated to 'master film makers significant for the Black Nights Film Festival', the Croatian minority co-production The Barefoot Emperor by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens (Croatian co-producers are Boris T. Matić and Lana Matić, Propeler film) will be screened.

Also, in the competitive section 'Rebels With a Cause', there'll be a screening of the short fiction film Counterpoint by the Bosnian-Croatian director, screenwriter and producer Ivan Koroman

During the Black Nights Film Festival, in the period from 19 to 27 November, PÖFF Shorts will also take place, dedicated to short-length feature and animated films. Three Croatian films are included in the competition programmes: Lamb, a feature film directed by Nina Violić, animated film Imbued Life by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson and a minority co-production Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves by Chintis Lundgren, produced by Estonian Animatsioonistuudio in co-production with Croatian Adriatic Animation (the producer is Draško Ivezić). With their participation in the PÖFF Shorts competitive programmes, all titles are given the opportunity to qualify as candidates for nomination for the European Film Academy Award in the short film category. 

Besides the above mentioned titles, documentary-animated film A Cat Is Always Female by Martina Meštrović and Tanja Vujasinović will be included in the non-competition section Animated Realities.

Each year, the Tallinn Film Festival hosts over 1000 film professionals in its industry program. The European Genre Forum (EGF 2019) will also take place during the Black Night's festival, with director Karla Lulić taking part in it, with her feature-length project Mirror of Nightingales. The project, which is produced by the Croatian company Dobar film and co-produced with Romanian company Kinotopia, will be presented by pitching on November 28th.

Started in 1997, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe hosting 80,000 guests each year. This year, 540 films will be screened of which 50 will have their global or international premiere. 

As of 2014, the festival holds the FIAPF accreditation for holding an international competition programme which puts the festival into the so-called A-category of film festivals, alongside other 14 festivals in the world. More details are available at the official festival website.

Title photographs: a visual of the Black Nights Film Festival; scenes from the films: Mother; Lamb; Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves; A Cat Is Always Female 

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