'My Joy' Wins Top Prize at Tallinn Film Festival


MOSCOW -- Sergey Loznitsa's Schastye Moyo (My Joy) was awarded the Grand Prix for the Best Eurasian Film at the closing ceremony of the 14th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, held on December 3.

The Ukrainian/Dutch/German co-production premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival and also did well at several other European festivals, including Ukraine's Molodist.

The Jury prize for the best director went to Chris Kraus for the German/Austrian/Estonian film Poll (The Poll Diaries). Mikael Persbrandt was awarded as the best actor for his performance in the Danish/Swedish movie Hævnen (In a Better World), and Finnish actress Katja Kuttner picked up the best actress award for her role in Prinsessa(Princess).

Russian cinematographer Mikhail Krichman was awarded the best cinematography prize for his work on Ovsyanki (Silent Souls), and the Special Jury Prize went to Son of Babylon by Mohamed Al-Daradji. Bibinur (Story of Bibinur) by Russian director Yuri Feting was awarded the jury's special mention.

Sharunas Bartas' Indigene d'Eurasie (Eastern Drift) was awarded as the best film of the Tridens Baltic Feature Film Competition, and the FIPRESCI Award for Best Baltic Film went to Puha Tonu kiusamine (The Temptation of St. Tony) directed by Veiko Ounpuu. Denis Villeneuve's Incendies collected the best film award in the North American Independent Film Competition Program.

The 9th Baltic event co-production and film market also came to a close on December 3. This year, the event was largely focused on Russia. The country neighboring on the Baltic and Scandinavian countries has a big film industry, but its involvement in co-productions in the region has been relatively insignificant.

"We don't have a separate budget for co-productions," Alexei Sokhnev, head of the analytical department at Russia's ministry of culture, told the panel on the Russian film industry. "But there are no restrictions on funding co-productions through [the film industry support] fund."

He added that the fact that Russia has not yet set its priorities regarding co-productions, including minority participation, may hamper its involvement in co-productions, but the situation is likely to change. Currently, Russia has direct co-production agreements with Bulgaria, Italy, France and Canada, and an agreement with Germany is in the works.

Sixteen projects were presented at the co-production market, which the organizers said attracted much more interest from international producers than its previous editions.

"We were very happy to be selected especially as I think the other projects here are very strong this year," Julietta Sichel, a Czech producer who presented 8 Heads of Madness, told The Hollywood Reporter.

"The Tallinn co-production market is important for Finland," Pauli Pentti, a Finnish producer, told THR, "We have taken some important last steps in financing our project Naked Harbour."