The selection includes ten world premieres, nine international premieres and one European premiere, among the slate of 20 debuts. It’s a diverse, global programme of real contrasts and extremes, including everything from musicals to animation, thrillers and dark comedies, as well as a good dose of surrealism and surprisingly many funerals.

Festival Director Tiina Lokk commented, “Let’s face it - making a debut feature film isn’t easy in the best of times. But it’s pressure that makes diamonds. We saw enough debuts, of sufficiently high quality, that we could have filled up two competition programmes of First Features this year. It’s a genuine sadness that we can’t give all of these new directors and their unique films the platform they deserve. What we do have is a real celebration of cinema and a feast for the senses.”

Black Nights Film Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021 and runs from November 12-28 in Tallinn & Tartu, Estonia. The full programmes of films will be announced at the start of November. International press and professionals will have the opportunity to watch much of the competition programmes online, as well as in press screenings onsite in Tallinn. Find out more about press accreditations here.

From 1 to 14 October, a retrospective of Slovenian films, shot between 1948 and 2018, will take place in the Lisbon Cinematheque in Portugal. A total of twelve Slovenian feature films – from legendary classics to more contemporary works selected by the curators of this Portuguese institution – will be screened.

France Štiglic’s Valley of Peace (1956), which was presented in the Cannes Classics programme in 2016 and subsequently screened at numerous festivals and cinematheques around the world, was selected as the opening film.

Dolina miru Foto1 Lado Sazonov arhiv Slovenske kinotekeValley of Peace / Dolina miru - Foto1_ Lado Sazonov_arhiv Slovenske kinoteke


 After many months of preparations and curatorial visits to Romanian archives and galleries we are coming up with this year’s unique retrospective of 24 experimental films created in underground conditions in Romania during the period 1968–1989. The Conference Fascinations: Romania retrospective at this year’s Ji.hlava IDFF will bring many cinematic discoveries including a poetic film set in an industrial environment, The Alert (1969), by Mircea Sauçan which will be screened outside Romania for the first time.

BUCHAREST: Bogdan George Apetri’s Romanian/Czech/Latvian coproduction Miracle / Miracol has been sold by Memento International to Film Movement in North America, to Arizona Distribution in France, to Weirdwave in Greece and in Portugal to Films4You.

JIHLAVA: Fifteen titles will compete in the Opus Bonum international competition of the 25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, which will run 26 - 31 October 2021. The festival announced its full programme on 13 October 2021.

SKOPJE: Dina Duma’s debut feature Sisterhood / Sestri has been selected as North Macedonia’s candidate for the 94th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category. The film is a Macedonian/Montenegrin coproduction.

TBILISI: Levan Koguashvili’s third feature film Brighton 4th has been selected as Georgia’s candidate for the 94th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category. The film is a coproduction between Georgia, Bulgaria, Russia, Monaco and the USA.

BERLIN: Georgian/French Beginning by Déa Kulumbegashvili, Icelandic/Swedish/Polish Lamb by Valdimar Johansson and Russian/Polish/Belgian The Whaler Boy by Philipp Yuryev are among the six films nominated for the European Discovery – Prix FIPRESCI, awarded by the European Film Academy to a debut film in 2021.

SOFIA: Ivaylo Hristov’s black and white drama Fear has been selected as Bulgaria’s candidate for the 94th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category.

VILNIUS: SOFA - School of Film Advancement's class of 2020/2021 will hold its third and final workshop virtually in Vilnius from 18 to 22 October 2021.