Oscars: Estonia Selects 'Truth and Justice' for International Feature Film Category

'Truth and Justice' Still - H Publicity 2019

Tanel Toom's debut feature about a bitter rural feud broke box office records when it was released domestically.

Estonia has selected Tanel Toom's debut feature Truth and Justice as its entry for the best international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

The film, which broke box office records in the Baltic state when it was released there earlier this year, is a dark tale of a rural feud set in the late 19th century.

Based on a novel by Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Truth and Justice recorded more than 205,000 admissions during its first four weeks of release in the spring, beating the previous record-holder Avatar, with 194,000 admissions. For a small country with a population of just 1.3 million, the figure is significant.

Produced by Ivo Felt of Allfilm, who was a co-producer of Zaza Urushadze's Oscar-nominated Tangerines in 2014, Truth and Justice is the final film in a series supported by the Estonian 100 film program, which marked the centenary of the country's founding as an independent state.

Estonia first submitted a film to the Oscars in 1992 and has done so regularly for the past 15 years. It has never won and only once, for Tangerines, has Estonia's selection made it to the final five nominees.

The 92nd Academy Awards are due to be held on Feb. 9, 2020.