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FNE Market Analysis 2019: ESTONIA Featured

2020-02-18
Truth and Justice by Tanel Toom Truth and Justice by Tanel Toom

TALLINN: The year 2019 turned out to be another record-breaking year for Estonian film industry. Domestic films had more than 847,000 admissions, which is an all-time record. The year’s record-breaker was Truth and Justice, the historical epic directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Ivo Felt from Allfilm.

Truth and Justice was submitted for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category and made it to the short list. The film topped the Estonian box office with over 267,000 admissions. It was the last feature film produced under the Estonia 100 programme.

Four Estonian films made it to the top ten admissions list.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was shot in Tallinn in June 2019. The film benefited from the Film Estonia production incentives scheme.

PRODUCTION

Erna at War by Henrik Ruben Genz, photo: Karl Anders VaiklaSeveral films were shot in Estonia in 2019, and most of them were produced with the support of the Estonian Film Institute.

The Danish/Belgian/Estonian war drama Erna at War / Erna läheb sõtta directed by Henrik Ruben Genz and produced by Danish Nimbus Films in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien & Loup and Estonia’s Nafta Films, was shot in Tartu in August 2019.

Tartu was also the shooting location for the spy-thriller O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Finnish Solar Film and Estonia’s Nafta Films.

On the Water / Vee peal directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik started shooting in February 2019 and continued throughout the summer of 2019.

The Finnish/Estonian coproduction Helene directed by Antti Jokinen and produced by Cinematic Finland and Estonia’s Stellar Film, started filming in Haapsalu in February 2019 and continued throughout the spring of 2019.

Talve, a film based on a renowned Estonian novel, was also shot during the summer of 2019. The film is directed by Ergo Kuld and coproduced by Kassikuld, Taska Film and Apollo Film Productions.

Priit Pääsuke’s youth comedy Kids of the Night / Öölapsed started shooting at the end of July 2019. The film is produced by Alexandra Film.

The Latvian/Estonian coproduction Christmas in the Jungle / Ziemassvētki džungļos started shooting in Indonesia in September 2019. The director of the film is the acclaimed Estonian documentarist and filmmaker Jaak Kilmi. The film is produced by Latvian Christmas In The Jungle by Jaak Kilmi, photo: Andrejs StrokinsLocomotive Productions in coproduction with Estonian Stellar Film.

Two long animated features were in production in 2019. Old Man Cartoon Movie / Vanamehe film directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, and produced by BOP! animation, wrapped production in the first half of 2019 and premiered domestically in September 2019.

The children’s animation Raggie / Sipsik directed by Meelis Arulepp and Karsten Kiilerich, and produced by A Film Estonia in coproduction with Danish A.Film Production, will premiere in February 2020.

Christopher Nolan’s action thriller Tenet was shot in Tallinn in June 2019. Tenet, which will premiere in the summer of 2020, is supported by Estonian Film Institute’s Film Estonia production incentives.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 427 films were distributed in cinemas in 2019, with 313 new and 114 old releases. The number of Estonian films distributed was 57, out of which 29 were new and 28 old releases.

The overall top ten includes four domestic releases and is dominated by Truth and Justice directed by Tanel Toom and distributed by Berlin-based Films Boutique.

On the Water by Peeter SimmThe other Estonian films in the top ten are Class Reunion 3 / Klassikokkutulek 3 directed by René Vilbre, produced by Taska Film and distributed by Forum Cinemas, Ott Tänak: The Movie directed by Tarvo Mölder and produced by Sterotek, and Old Man Cartoon Movie / Vanamehe multikas directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, produced by BOP! animation and Apollo Film Productions, and distributed by Apollo Film Productions.

Lotte and The Lost Dragon / Lotte ja kadunud lohed directed by Janno Põlma and Heiki Ernits, and produced by Eesti Joonisfilm, was just outside the top ten with 76,745 admissions. The film premiered internationally at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

In 2019, the total number of tickets sold for all distributed films was 3,685,522.

Domestic films gained over 847,600 admissions in 2019, adding up to a record 23% of the market share. In 2018, domestic films racked up over 647,600 admissions and held 17.8% of the market share.

In 2019 the total gross increased to 21,798,820, from over 20.6 m in 2018.

The market share of Estonian films was 23 percent and the box office 22.3 per cent.

Kids of the Night by Priit Pääsuke, credit: Alexandra FilmThe average cost of a ticket was 5.91 EUR and the yearly average of cinema visits 2.78. In 2018, the numbers were 5.7 euros and 2.75 per capita.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATIONS

In 2019, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films: Erik Stoneheart / Erik Kivisüda directed by Ilmar Raag and produced by Amrion, Goodbye, Soviet Union / Hüvasti, NSVL directed by Lauri Randla and produced by Exitfilm (Estonia) in coproduction with Bufo (Finland), Dead Woman / Surnud naine directed by Kadri Kõusaar and produced by Estonia’s Meteoriit, French Les Films d'Antoine, Polish Serce sp z.o.o, Chech Republic’s Sirena Film, O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Nafta Films and Finnish Solar Film, On the Water / Vee peal directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik, Container / Konteriner directed by Arun Tamm and produced by Allfilm, Kratt directed by Rasmus Mervoo and produced by Tallifornia, Kalev directed by Ove Musting and produced by Allfilm and Latvian Ego Media.

Six minority coproductions received funding from the Estonian Film Institute in 2019: Henrik Ruben Genz’s war drama Erna at War / Erna läheb sõtta, produced by Danish Nimbus Film in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien et Loup and Estonia’s Nafta Films, Latvian/Estonian coproduction Christmas in the Jungle / Jõulud džunglis, produced by Latvian Locomotive Productions in coproduction with Estonian Stellar Film, Compartment No. 6 / Kupee nr 6 directed by Juho Kuosmanen, produced by Finnish Aamu Company, German Achtung Panda Media, Russia’s CTB Film Company and Estonia’s Amrion, Finnish/Irish/Estonian documentary Tukdam directed by Donagh Coleman and produced by Finland’s Making Movies in coproduction with Irish Wildfire Films and Estonian Allfilm, Danish/Estonian documentary Freedom Is Just Another Word / Vabadus on sõnakõlks directed by Jon Bang Carlsen and produced by Danish Final Cut for Real in coproduction with Allfilm, Canadian/Estonian coproduction Government Digital / E-riik directed by Chris Mullington and produced by Title Entertainment in coproduction with Estonia’s Traumfabrik.

The Film Estonia cash rebate programme supported eight projects with the amount of 5.9 m EUR in 2019. 

Among supported projects were Warner Bros.’ feature Tenet directed by Christopher Nolan and serviced by Estonia’s Allfilm, which received 4.6 m EUR, the animated films Bibi Blocksberg (Denmark) directed by Karsten Kiilerich and Aina Järvine, and serviced Ott Tänak: The Movie by Tarvo Mölderby A Film Estonia, and Alya in Terraland (UAE) directed by Priit Tender and serviced by Nukufilm, which received together 90,983 EUR, the Finnish feature film Renovation directed by Taneli Mustonen and serviced by Estonia’s Baron Noir (272,812 EUR), Helene directed by Antti Jokinen and coproduced by Estonia’s Stellar Film (372,072 EUR) and the Danish feature Erna at War directed by Henrik Ruben Genz, serviced by Nafta Films (333,910 EUR).

TV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting, which operates ETVETV2, and the Russian-language ETV+. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
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CULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Lotte and the Lost Dragons by Janno Põldma and Heiki ErnitsPhone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
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ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
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Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
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ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
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Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
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Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESC
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
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THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
On the Water by Peeter SimmPhone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUM
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
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Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
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www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
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Report by Aurelia Aasa (2020)
Sources: the Estonian Film Institute, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia

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