Oscars: Estonia Nominates '1944' for Foreign-Language Category

1944 Still 2 - H 2015
Courtesy Estonian Film Institute

Elmo Nuganen's film is an epic of war on two fronts, as Estonians fight retreating Nazis and invading Soviets.

Estonia Monday nominated Elmo Nuganen's war-time epic 1944 for the foreign-language Oscar race.

The story of a country torn apart as the Red Army advances from one side and the Nazis conduct a fighting retreat from the other, the film tells the story of two brothers forced into choices that put them on opposing sides.

The film, which had its domestic premiere in February, has been a box-office hit in the small Baltic republic, with more than 100,000 tickets sold so far. The only other film to have done as well is Nuganen's 2002 film Names in Marble.

Nuganen is also known as one of Estonia's top actors and played a lead role in Zaza Urushadze's Tangerines, the Estonian-Georgian co-production that was the Baltic country's Oscar nominee last year that made it to the Academy shortlist of five in the foreign-language film race.

1944 was lensed by Rein Kotov and produced by Kristian Taska, Taska Film, Estonia and Ilkka Matila, MRP Matila Röhr Productions, Finland. World sales are handled by Eyewell AB, Sweden.