12 films to compete in Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s Baltic Competition

    Showcasing the best and freshest cinematic output of the three Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the Baltic Competition of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) will screen 12 films, including 5 world premieres this year: 3 from Estonia and 1 each from Latvia and Lithuania. 5 Estonian films feature in total, with another 4 from Lithuania and 3 from Latvia: some festival darlings, a couple of strong debuts and a healthy dose of intriguing documentaries.

    Baltic Competition - Estonian Films

    The Diary of Vaino Vahingu / Vaino Vahingu päevaraamat
    Rainer Sarne’s world-premiering documentary finds fertile material in the 16 years worth of daily journals left behind by controversial writer and psychologist Vaino Vahingu: a life lived on the borderline of art and suffering.

    The Best of Salieri /  The Best of Salieri, ehk mina, eesti režissöör
    Also world premiering at PÖFF25, Manfred Vainokivi’s documentary manifesto takes aim at fame, ego, film festivals and classical composers: sometimes through a megaphone, sometimes from the comfort of a bathtub.

    Uku Kuut's musical and personal journey is the focus of Ivar Murd’s u.Q.: an underground creative explosion, told through 8mm, VHS and BETA tape. u.Q. is also a world premiere in Tallinn this year.

    Tell Me
    Telling last year’s Corona virus story through a stream of anonymous voicemail messages set to film, Tell Me’s lead director and concept originator is Estonia’s Marta Pulk, working together with filmmakers around the world. The film premieres in Jihlava this year.

    Sandra Gets a Job
    Kaupo Kruusiauk’s tragi-comic Sandra Gets a Job, finds somewhat-serious scientist Sandra bumping up against an increasingly challenging array of potential new employers.

    Baltic Competition - Lithuanian Films

    Pilgrims / Pilgrimai 

    Laurynas Bareiša’s debut drama won Venice’s Orizzonti side competition this year. Indre and Paulius revisit a terrible personal tragedy, on a road trip of shared trauma.

    Cinephilia / Sinefilija

    Algimantas Puipa's satirical comedy premiered in competition in Warsaw. It stitches together 9 stories, swaying between fantasy and reality, but all orbiting the truths and illusions of filmmaking.

    Runner / Bėgikė 

    Maria runs at full speed - after her boyfriend, toward freedom - through Andrius Blaževičius’s second, frantic and kinetic feature. Runner premiered in Karlovy Vary's side competition “East of the West” this summer.

    The Generation of Evil

    Uncovered secrets, dirty politics and a good bit of murder drive forward Emilis Vėlyvis’ The Generation of Evil. The film has its world premiere at PÖFF25.

    Baltic Competition - Latvian films

    The Year Before the War / Gads Pirms Kara

    Peter Mahder gets himself in the strangest situations while traveling through Europe in 1913, meeting Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Trotsky, Freud and other historical figures. The Year Before The War is nominated for 11 Latvian film awards, after premiering in Rotterdam.

    Homes / Mājas

    Laila Pakalnina's documentary takes up a humorous new perspective on the everyday lives of Latvians, framed through the windows of their own Homes.


    Uģis Olte’s debut feature is the final world premiere in PÖFF's Baltic Competition this year. An unadventurous adventure guide gets lost in mystic Latvian countryside, searching for his tour party and himself.


    Baltic Competition

    The Diary of Vaino Vahing / Vaino Vahingu päevaraamat
    (2021, Estonia, Director: Rainer Sarnet) | World premiere

    The Best of Salieri / The Best of Salieri, ehk mina, eesti režissöör (2021, Estonia, Director: Manfred Vainokivi) | World premiere

    u.Q. (2021, Estonia, Director: Ivar Murd) | World premiere

    Tell Me (2021, Estonia/UK/France/USA/Canada/Germany/Colombia/Brazil/Argentina/Kosovo/Jordan/Peru/Turkey, Directors: Marta Pulk, Rodrigo Baptista, Agustin Barrutia, Sebastian López Borda, Rupert Clague, João Carlos Couto, Tom Hamburger, Quentin Lazzarotto, Cesar Malaga, Tanya Marar, Ashley Mosher, Sonja Ortiz, Brett Pedersen, Fermin Pedros, Pablo Radice, Norika Sefa, Wei Shen, Gerónimo Tanoira, Natu Trcina, Lucia Valdemoros & Kevin Zayat) | Estonian premiere

    Sandra Gets a Job (2021, Estonia, Director: Kaupo Kruusiauk)

    Pilgrims / Pilgrimai (2021, Lithuania, Director: Laurynas Bareiša) | Estonian premiere

    Cinephilia / Sinefilija (2021, Lithuania, Director: Algimantas Puipa) | Estonian premiere

    Runner / Bėgikė (2021, Lithuania/Czech Republic, Director: Andrius Blaževičius) | Estonian premiere

    The Generation of Evil (2021, Lithuania, Director: Emilis Vėlyvis) | World premiere

    The Year Before the War / Gads Pirms Kara (2021, Latvia/Lithuania/Czech Republic, Director: Dāvis Sīmanis) | Estonian premiere

    Homes / Mājas (2021, Latvia, Director: Laila Pakalnina) | Estonian premiere

    Upurga (2021, Latvia, Director: Uģis Olte) | World premiere


    Film stills and press materials for the Baltic Competition programme


    Our hashtags:
    #talllinnblacknightsff #PÖFF25 

    Tallinn Black Nights FF Opening Ceremony 2020. Photo by Aron Urb


    Press accreditation and events: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    International communication: Will Smith - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +372 5594 5443.

    Estonian communication: Tiit Tuumalu - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Russian communication: Jaana Kalinistova - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.