The Estonian Film Institute (EFI) supports Estonian feature films with 1.8 million euros and minority co-productions with 320,000 euros.

Press release from the Estonian Film Institute

EFI supported production of domestic feature films with 1.8 million euros in the first round of 2020 production support funding, going to three features.

Two of those support funds, 665,000 euros each, were given to the project of The Invisible Fight by Homeless Bob Productions, and to the joint project of Taska Film, Nafta Films and Apollo Film Productions Melchior the Apothecary. Another support funding in the sum of 460 000 euros went to Stellar Film produced Estonian-Lithuanian feature The Sleeping Beast.

The Invisible Fight is an Estonian-Serbian-Taiwanese collaboration, written and directed by Rainer Sarnet and produced by Katrin Kissa.

The eccentric kung fu comedy follows the endeavours of Rafael, a car mechanic, who aspires to become an Orthodox monk in 1970s Soviet Union – more so as in a metaphorical sense of the meaning. In the story world of Sarnet, detached from the realistic world, both humour and sanctity, Black Sabbath and chorals, pop culture and religious art, liberalism and conservatism, mutiny and humility coexist. The film unites all these elements into an ode of sorts to the common man.

Melchior the Apothecary, based on the novel Melchior the Apothecary and the Mystery of St. Olaf’s Church by Indrek Hargla, has been adapted by Elmo Nüganen, Olle Mirme and Kristian Taska. This Estonian-Finnish-Latvian-German co-production is directed by Elmo Nüganen and produced from the Estonian side by Kristian Taska, Esko Rips, Tanel Tatter and Veiko Esken.

On top of the intriguing crime story, viewers get to take a glimpse of daily life 600 years ago when medieval Tallinn was a flourishing port city of the mighty Hanseatic League. The protagonist Melchior the apothecary, the detective, serves as a bridging link between the medieval and contemporary world. Although he falls into the category of a medieval man, he is characterised by the ability to doubt various dogmas, no matter how deeply rooted they might be.

Estonian-Lithuanian co-production The Sleeping Beast is written by Aidi Vallik, directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Evelin Penttilä.

The story takes place within a village community and explores the relation between play and reality when violence, so often omitted from wide-eyed fairy tales, finds its way into a child’s games and suddenly enters grisly reality. The story focuses on moral choices that for grown-ups seem to be easily solvable, but for children prove to be overwhelming.

In addition, EFI handed out support funding of 323,000 euros in total for Estonian minority co-productions, going to four feature films and three documentaries.

Support funding of 60,000 euros went to the Russian-Estonian-UK co-production The Conference, directed by Ivan I. Tverdovski. The main producer is Vega Film (Russia) whereas the Estonian partner is Nafta Films.

Another funding decision for 60,000 euros was made to support Latvian-Estonian-Bulgarian feature film Lovable, directed by Stanislavs Tokalovs. The main producer is Tasse Films (Latvia) and the Estonian partner is Stellar Film.

Support of 70,000 euros goes to Icelandic-Estonian-Dutch feature A Reply to a Letter from Helga, directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir. The main producer is Zikzak Films (Iceland) and the Estonian partner is Allfilm.

EFI handed out 50,000 euros to Serbian-Estonian-Croatian experimental feature Instru Mental. The film is directed by Dean Radovanović, the main producer is Nulta Tacka (Serbia) and the Estonian partner is Münchhausen Productions.

The documentary category saw three support funding decisions – 40,000 euros was given to French-Estonian film Kelly’s Way – Diary of a Champion, directed by Matthias Azoulay and William Mermoud, the main producer is PVS Company (France) and the Estonian partner is Oree Films.

EFI gave 23,000 euro of support to yet another French-Estonian co-production titled Happiness@School, directed by Martin Meissonnier, the main producer is Productions Campagne Premiere (France) and the Estonian partner is Vesilind.

Ukrainian-Estonian documentary project Tales of a Toy Horse received 20,000 euros of support. The film is directed by Denis Strashnyi and Ulyana Osovska, the main producer is Docutoloka (Ukraine) and the Estonian partner Silmviburlane.—

Date of publication: 6 Feb 2020

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