First Feature Competition titles announced by Tallinn

Seven titles include four world premieres

by Amber Wilkinson

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has announced the first seven titles of the films that will compete in this year's First Feature Competition - four of which are world premieres.

The films include five from across Europe, one from Japan one from Iran. Among the world premieres is Ernestas Jankauskas' Sasha Was Here, a Lithuanian-Finnish co-production set over the course of a day in which a young couple spend time with a child they are potentially going to adopt in unexpected circumstances. Jankauskas has already enjoyed a lengthy career as a second unit and assistant director and won a Silver Crane at the Lithuanian Film Awards for his short film The Queen Of England Stole My Parents.

Miha Mazzini's Erased - a Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia co-production - will also have its world premiere at the festival. Mazzini's film - which featured in San Sebastian's non-hegemonic language Glocal In Progress showcase last year - is based in 1992, when the Slovenian state revoked the citizenship of almost 26,000 people and tells the story of a woman caught up in the wheels of bureaucracy.

Also enjoying its world premiere, Ryo Kawasaki's Wasted Eggs focuses on the life of 30-year-old Junko who is considering becoming a egg donor. At the registration briefing she is reunited with her lesbian niece Aoi, who has similar plans. Moving in together, the two will experience, the significance of being a non-birthing woman in the traditionally closed Japanese society. Iranian film Kejal, by director and actor Nima Yar, follows a Kurdish woman in a smuggling community on the Iraq-Iran Border.

Among the international premieres is Danish film Lifeboat, directed by Josefine Kirkeskov and featuring an all-female crew, is a psychological drama about the dilemma faced by a couple after they pick up a refugee while on a sailing holiday in Greek waters. German actor-turned-director Henning Gronkowski will present the international premiere of Yung. The festival say it offers a hyper realistic take on Berlin’s hedonistic subculture, documenting the the lives of four millennials making a living with crack and webcam porn and spending a better part of their lives at parties.

Rounding out the titles is Russian genre film Why Don't You Just Die, directed by Kirill Sokolov and which was already named Best Film at Vyborg Film Festival. It is a dark action comedy about a group of people brought together in the apartment of police detective Andrei: his resentful daughter, an angry thug and a cheated cop, all of whom want revenge.

The festival - which runs from November 16 to December 2 - will see the films will vie for Best Film and two Special Jury Prizes appointed to two films the jury decides to highlight for outstanding artistic achievements in a particular field.

Past winners of the First Feature Competition’s Best Film award winners are Thousand Kinds of Rain (director Isabel Prahl, 2017, Germany), Duet (director Navid Danesh, 2016, Iran) and Delivery (director Martin Meija Rugeles, 2015, Colombia).

The festival has also announced its short films line-up this week - 118 shorts, including 60 animations. POFF shorts will be held from November 20 to 28.

The full programme of the First Feature Competition will be announced on the October 25.

View trailers for Kejal below:



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