Dear Thomas takes top prize in Tallinn

Good night for German film as Other Cannibals also wins

by Amber Wilkinson

Tallinn Black Nights winners, clockwise from top: Dear Thomas, Other Cannibals, The Moths, Runner
Tallinn Black Nights winners, clockwise from top: Dear Thomas, Other Cannibals, The Moths, Runner Photo: Courtesy of POFF
It was a good night for German filmmakers at the award ceremony of the 25th edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, with Dear Thomas, directed by Andreas Kleinert, taking the top prize in the Official Competition, while Francesco Sossai picked up the Best First Feature prize for Other Cannibals.

Dear Thomas is a stylishly framed black and white consideration of the life East German author and filmmaker Thomas Brasch that takes an impressionistic approach to its biographic details. Meanwhile, Other Cannibals, which was another of several films at this year's festival to be shot in monochrome, takes a melancholic and, in moments, blackly comic look at the lives of an odd couple intent on a very odd deed.

The Lithuanian film Runner, directed by Andrius Blaževičius, which charts a woman's frantic search for her partner who is experiencing a mental health crisis, came out on top in the Baltic Film Competition, while Polish director Piotr Stasik won the Rebels With A Cause prize for experimental drama The Moths.

Dear Thomas also snagged an acting prize for its star Albrecht Schuch, while the best actress award went to Russia’s Sofia Krugova for No Looking Back for her portrayal of a daughter caught between comically ultra-violent mother and grandmother.

The full list of winners is below:

Official Selection

  • Grand Prix for the Best Film - Dear Thomas, Director: Andreas Kleinert, Germany
  • Best Director - Wojciech Smarzowski for The Wedding Day, Poland
  • Best Cinematography - Emre Tanyildiz for The List Of Those Who Love Me, Turkey
  • Best Script - Wojciech Smarzowski for The Wedding Day, Poland
  • Best Actress - Sofia Krugova for No Looking Back, Russia
  • Best Actor - Albrecht Schuch for Dear Thomas, Germany
  • Best Original Score - Esa-Pekka Salonen for The Wait, Finland
  • Best Production Design - Anna Nyitrai for Perpetuity, Hungary

First Feature Competition

  • Best First Feature - Other Cannibals, Director: Francesco Sossai, Germany
  • Special Jury Prize - Immersion, Director: Nicolas Postiglione, Chile
  • Special Jury Prize - Her Way, Director: Cécile Ducrocq, France

Baltic Competition

  • Best Feature - Runner, Director: Andrius Blaževičius, Lithuania

Rebels With A Cause

  • Best Feature - The Moths, Director: Piotr Stasik, Poland

Rebels with their Shorts Award

  • They Were to Cross the River, Director: Faeze Karimpour, France

FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Prize

  • Other People, Director: Aleksandra Terpinska, Poland

Ecumenical Award

  • Mukagali, Director: Bolat Kalymbetov, Kazakhstan

Lifetime Achievement Awards

  • Carlos Saura (Spain)
  • Elle Kull (Estonia)

DDA Spotlight Awards

  • Liesl Tommy (South Africa/USA) for Respect
  • Sebastian Meise (Germany) for Great Freedom

Shorts Awards

  • PÖFF Shorts nomination for the EFA awards - Steakhouse, Director: Špela Čadež, Slovenia

Shorts National Competition

  • Best Short Film, The King, Director: Teresa Juksaar
  • Jury Mention - A Most Exquisite Man, Director: Jonas Taul

Shorts Animation Competition

  • Best Short Animation - Bestia, Director: Hugo Covarrubias, Chile
  • Jury Mention - Night Bus, Joe Hsieh, Taiwan
  • Best Children's Animation, Vanille, Director: Directed by Guillaume Lorin, France, Switzerland
  • Children's Animation Jury Mention - Landing, Director: Kaisa Penttilä, Finland
  • Best Student Short Animation - New Talents Animation - Love, Dad, Director: Diana Cam Van Nguyen, Czech Republic, Slovakia
  • New Talents Animation Jury Mention - Coffin, Director: Yuanqing Cai, Nathan Crabot, Houzhi Huang, Mikolaj Janiw, Mandimby Lebon, Théo Than Ngoc, France
  • Best Live Action Short - Sunrise in My Mind, Director: Danech San, Cambodia
  • Live Action Jury Mention - The Colonel Cries for The Red-Haired Woman, Director: Gergő V Nagy, Hungary
  • Best Student Short - New Talents Live Action - Thinking About The Weather, Director: Garðar Þór Þorkelsson, UK
  • Jury Mention - New Talents Live Action - Vyraj, Director: Agnieszka Nowosielska, Poland

Youth And Children's Film Festival Just Film

  • Just Film Grand Prix - Playground, Director: Laura Wandel, France
  • Just Film ECFA Award - My Dad Is A Sausage, Director: Anouk Fortunier, Belgium/Holland

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