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BLACK NIGHTS 2019 Competition

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces its Official Selection line-up

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- The Estonian gathering has unveiled the full, jam-packed line-up of the Official Selection of its 23rd edition

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces its Official Selection line-up
The Coldest Game by Łukasz Kośmicki

The line-up of the Official Selection of the 23rd Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (15 November-1 December), which was kick-started in 2014 when the Estonian festival received its “category A” status, is now complete. Seven world premieres (as well as five international ones and a European one) have been added to the previously announced Wayne Wang’s Coming Home Again, Gipsy Queen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hüseyin Tabak and Alina Ser…
film profile
]
by Hüseyin Tabak, Girl With No Mouth by Can Evrenol, Ulrich Thomsen’s Gutterbee [+see also:
film review
interview: Ulrich Thomsen, Ewen Bremner
film profile
]
, Lost Lotus by Liu Shu, Arracht by Tom Sullivan, Konstantin Lopushansky’s Through Black Glass and When the Moon Was Full, helmed by Narges Abyar.

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“From sweeping historical dramas and artsy genre exercises to auteur drama in its purest form, we can say that this selection really encapsulates what we are after,” summed up festival director and head of programme Tiina Lokk. “Fresh takes on old tropes, creative voices breaking away from the traditions of their geographical context, mixed with audience- and critic-pleasing quality.” The jury will hand out the following prizes: the Grand Prix for Best Film, shared by the director and producer, and including a grant of €10,000 from the city of Tallinn; the Best Director Award, which comes with a grant of €5,000; plus gongs for Best Script, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematographer (with a grant of €1,000 from Angel Films) and Best Music.

Among the new additions are the psychological drama Dead Volume, directed by Kauê Telloli and concentrating on a young teacher trying to solve the strange case of a mute student while also battling accusations that she is mishandling her duties. Dung Luong Dinh’s Drowsy City is bound to shock with its no-holds-barred depictions of violence, as a man living in an abandoned building suddenly needs to welcome three unwelcome guests: gangsters on the run. Jun RoblesKalel, 15 will see a boy dealing with life-changing secrets, including his own, while director Héctor Valdez will come back to Tallinn with Malpaso, in which twin brothers are growing up near the Haitian border in the Dominican Republic. One is helping their grandfather to sell coal, but the other leads a rather lonely existence, isolated because of his albinism.

The Antman’s Christoph Gampl will show off his unusual style with the neo-noir Man From Beirut [+see also:
interview: Christoph Gampl
film profile
]
, a combination of genre cinema and arthouse telling the story of a blind Lebanese killer, called Momo, who refuses to murder a young girl. Meanwhile, Fatos Berisha will show off his love for Monty Python. In The Flying Circus [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fatos Berisha
interview: Fatos Berisha
film profile
]
, set in a Kosovo on the verge of war, he shows the actors from a recently closed theatre deciding to show their play, inspired by the British comedy group, in Albania. They are especially enthusiastic after hearing that Michael Palin will be coming as well, to film his documentary. Topping off the world premieres with some upbeat humour, Dimitris Bavellas will show his second feature, In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand [+see also:
film review
interview: Dimitris Bavellas
film profile
]
, a road movie about two friends hitting the road to find their platonic love interest: a 1990s porn star who mysteriously disappeared a couple of years beforehand.

Anshul Chauhan’s Kontora will celebrate its European premiere, showing a teenager, Sora, embarking on a journey inspired by her grandfather’s World War II-era diary, all the while trying to fix her relationship with her father. Brett Michael InnesFiela’s Child, set in Southern Africa in 1865, will also shine a spotlight on family with the story of a mixed-race woman taking in a lost white child. Almost ten years later, the boy is taken away from her – but they keep on trying to return to each other. In Marionette, Álvaro Curiel de Icaza will tell the story of street artist Belén, who encounters Ernesto – an ambitious foreign actor and director desperately looking for an opportunity in Mexico City. Golden Voices by Evgeny Ruman will focus on Victor and Raya Frenkel, the titular “golden voices” of Soviet film dubbing. In 1990, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they decided to immigrate to Israel, thus opening a new chapter in their life.

Finally, in Muscle [+see also:
film review
interview: Gerard Johnson
film profile
]
, Gerard Johnson will follow up his powerful Hyena [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gerard Johnson
film profile
]
and Tony [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by showing a man trying to get his life back on track by getting into shape while working with a rather unforgiving gym teacher called Terry. Last but not least, Poland’s Łukasz Kośmicki will add some gloss to the competition with his feature debut, The Coldest Game [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Łukasz Kośmicki
film profile
]
, set during the Cold War and starring Bill Pullman and Wałęsa: Man of Hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
’s Robert Więckiewicz. In it, the US Secret Service abducts a brilliant mathematician to have him play a chess match against a Soviet grandmaster but, predictably, the international tournament in the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science turns out to be just a cover – and the stakes much, much higher.

Here is the full line-up:

Dead VolumeKauê Telloli (Brazil)
Drowsy CityDung Luong Dinh (Vietnam)
Fiela’s ChildBrett Michael Innes (South Africa)
Golden VoicesEvgeny Ruman (Israel)
In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand [+see also:
film review
interview: Dimitris Bavellas
film profile
]
Dimitris Bavellas (Greece)
Kalel, 15Jun Robles Jana (Philippines)
KontoraAnshul Chauhan (Japan)
MalpasoHéctor M Valdez (Dominican Republic)
Man From Beirut [+see also:
interview: Christoph Gampl
film profile
]
Christoph Gampl (Germany)
MarionetteÁlvaro Curiel de Icaza (Mexico)
Muscle [+see also:
film review
interview: Gerard Johnson
film profile
]
Gerard Johnson (UK)
The Coldest Game [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Łukasz Kośmicki
film profile
]
Łukasz Kośmicki (Poland)
The Flying Circus [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fatos Berisha
interview: Fatos Berisha
film profile
]
Fatos Berisha (Kosovo/Albania/North Macedonia)
Coming Home AgainWayne Wang (USA/South Korea)
Gipsy Queen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hüseyin Tabak and Alina Ser…
film profile
]
 – Hüseyin Tabak (Germany/Austria)
Girl With No MouthCan Evrenol (Turkey)
Gutterbee [+see also:
film review
interview: Ulrich Thomsen, Ewen Bremner
film profile
]
Ulrich Thomsen (Denmark)
Lost LotusLiu Shu (China/Netherlands)
ArrachtTom Sullivan (Ireland)
Through Black GlassKonstantin Lopushansky (Russia)
When the Moon Was FullNarges Abyar (Iran)

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