Awaken to open Tallinn

Tom Lowe's debut has Black Nights premiere

by Amber Wilkinson

Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) will open with the world premiere of Tom Lowe's Awaken on November 16.

The UAE-US co-production offers "an immersive journey through human cultures and natural landscapes, studying man’s relationship with technology and the natural world". Lowe, who has served as second-unit director for his producer mentors Terrence Malick on Voyage of Time and Godfrey Reggio on Visitors, has, say the festival "strived to create a sweeping, grandiose cinematic feast that pushes the boundaries of existing cinematic genres".

Lowe said: “We hope to electrify the nation of Estonia on November the 16th with the world premiere of Awaken, a film six years in the making. It would be impossible to find a more perfect festival for this debut. The plurality of locations and actors in our film are Estonian. I fell in love with Estonia through a camera lens and across time.”

Awaken
Awaken Photo: Courtesy of Tallinn Black Nights Festival
Tiina Lokk, director of Black Nights Film Festival added: “It is a great honor to present the world premiere of an endeavour of such epic proportions. The adventurous spirit of this kind of filmmaking is in a wonderful sync with the spirit of our festival and the fact that parts of it were filmed in Estonia will certainly add a warm feeling of recognition for our audience.”

During production, Lowe and a team from Dubai Film spent several years creating custom camera rigs and advanced motion-control robotics to move cameras in ways never before seen. Lowe adapted a gimbal to capture an astrophotography timelapse at night, from a helicopter in flight, a first in cinema history.

The world premiere will be the culminating event of the festival's Opening Ceremony, which is dedicated to the Estonian Republic’s 100th anniversary. For the premiere, Awaken composer Joseph Trapanese (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion, Straight Outta Compton) will conduct the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and chamber choir Voces Musicales.

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