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LES ARCS 2019

Estonia is getting ready to shine at Les Arcs

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- The French gathering is focusing on the Baltic country and features Estonian short films in the Official Competition, projects in the Coproduction Village and a batch of well-known films

Estonia is getting ready to shine at Les Arcs
Director Triin Ruumet, whose upcoming feature Dark Paradise will be presented in Les Arcs' Coproduction Village

For the first time ever, the 11th Les Arcs Film Festival is focusing on four countries (see the news), and Estonia will be one of the nations under the spotlight at the leading French gathering from 14-21 December. The country will be represented by two short films in the Official Competition, two projects in the Coproduction Village, as well as two features and five shorts that will be screened under the umbrella of the special spotlight.

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Audiences will be able to enjoy a double Estonian presentation in the Short Films Competition, which will be screened in the Igloo, a screening room made of snow and perched at an altitude of 2,200 metres. Estonian animation director Chintis Lundgren, who currently resides in Croatia, will be presenting her latest animated short, Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves (Estonia/France/Croatia), which follows an attractive young wolf who, after losing his well-paid engineering job, gets forced into working as a gigolo to support his family. In his debut short film, Bad Hair (Estonia), Oskar Lehemaa follows the insecure and balding Leo, who has locked himself in his apartment to try out hair-growth liquid in order to improve his looks. The film will be screened at Les Arcs ahead of its upcoming premiere in Sundance’s International Narrative Short Films section.

In the Coproduction Village (14-17 December), of the 22 projects selected (see the news), two of them hail from Estonia. In his upcoming project The Invisible Fight, Rainer Sarnet, whose latest feature November [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rea Lest
film profile
]
premiered and was awarded at Tribeca two years ago, follows a hooligan who becomes a saint in a kung-fu comedy set in an Orthodox monastery in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, steeped in a mixture of Black Sabbath and mystical religious chants. The director is once again collaborating with producer Katrin Kissa, of Homeless Bob Production.

The other project is Dark Paradise by writer-director Triin Ruumet, who belongs to the younger generation of Estonian filmmakers and who rose to prominence through her bold debut, The Days That Confused [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Triin Ruumet
film profile
]
(Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary). The poignant, manic drama follows Karmen’s downward spiral after she commits an atrocious act against her half-brother Viktor and must face the universe’s dark void, which can only be filled with love. The project is being produced by Elina Litvinova (Scandinavian Silence [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martti Helde
film profile
]
), of Tallinn-based Three Brothers.

Also, a case study on Compartment No 6, the upcoming second feature by Finnish writer-director Juho Kuosmanen (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
), will take place. The film, which follows a young Finnish woman who flees a love triangle to take the Trans-Siberian Railway to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, is co-written by Estonians Livia Ulman and Andris Feldmanis (Pretenders [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
). It is also being produced by Jussi Rantamäki and Emilia Haukka, of Finland’s Aamu Filmcompany, with Jamila Wenske and Sol Bondy, of Berlin-based One Two Films, and is being co-produced by Riina Sildos, of Estonian company Amrion Productions.

Under the Les Arcs Focus programme, and in collaboration with the Estonian Film Institute, the festival will also screen a selection of two features and a batch of shorts by both well-known and up-and-coming filmmakers. The features selected are Veiko Õunpuu’s debut feature, Autumn Ball [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Estonia), a film about despair and hope involving six inhabitants of a bleak Soviet-era apartment complex, and the bleak comic crime flick Mother [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Estonia) by Kadri Kõusaar. Furthermore, three shorts by acclaimed Estonian animation director Priit Pärn will be featured in the Focus: the titles are Life Without Gabriella FerriDivers in the Rain and Pilots on the Way Home. Also, in the shorts selection, Teofrastus by Sergei Kibus and Piano by Kaspar Jancis, will get an airing.

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