Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces juries and full programme

    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival announces full programme and the line-ups of seven juries that will be evaluating the five competition programmes of the festival. The awards will be announced at the festival’s Award Ceremony, which takes place on the 18th of November.


    Official Selection Competition
    The jury is headed by the Danish actress, singer-songwriter and director Trine Dyrholm. She has around 70 roles in films and TV series, and dozens of awards and nominations both in Denmark and abroad. In 2016, Dyrholm won The Silver Bear for the Best Actress in Thomas Vinterberg's The Commune, and her role in Queen of Hearts (2019, dir.May el-Toukhy), has been widey acclaimed. At PÖFF 2023, she presents Birthday Girl, directed by Michael Noer.

    John Altman is a film composer, arranger, conductor, and saxophonist whose numerous awards include Emmy, BAFTA, Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe. He has created scores for Life of Brian, Titanic, and the James Bond film Goldeneye. Moreover, Altman has arranged for 19 Platinum Albums for artists such as George Michael, Tina Turner, Barry White, Rod Stewart, Björk, Diana Ross, Simple Minds, Tom Jones, and The Pretenders. His autobiography, Hidden Man, was published in 2022.

    The director and professor Xie Fei graduated from the Beijing film school, and was the professor in the same school from 1965 to 2012. He has been awarded for Golden Bear (The Women from the Lake of Scented Souls, 1993) and Silver Bear (Black Snow, 1990). Xie Fei has taught remarkable Chinese directors such as Chen Kaige, Zhan Yimou, Jia Zhangke etc. Currently, he teaches and works as an art consultant for young filmmakers. 

    Hilmar Oddson, the Icelandic film director and screenwriter, was the rector of the Icelandic Film School from 2012 to 2017. With his warmly acclaimed film Driving Mum, he won The Grand Prix for the Best Film at PÖFF 2022. 

    The director Inna Sahakyan has been directing and producing documentaries, documentary series, and shorts. Her animated documentary about the Armenian Genocide survivor Aurora Mardiganyan,  Aurora's Sunrise, screened at over 50 international festivals and scooped several awards. The film won the award for the Best Baltic Producer for Co-Production in the Baltic Film Competition at PÖFF 2022. 

    First Feature Competition
    The head of the jury, Nicolás Celis, is the founder of  the Mexico City based Pimienta Films. One of the most prestigious production companies in Latin America has worked with Alfonso Cuarón, Amat Escalante, James Franco, Tatiana Huezo etc. 

    Diana Iljine is a curator and the former head of Filmfestival München, and Filmschoolfest Munich. Over the years, she has received various awards, including the Bavarian Order of merit in October 2022. 

    Ran Huang, a chinese film director, screenwriter, and acclaimed artist, has BFA degree from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, and a MFA degree from Goldsmiths College, England. His short debut, Administration of Glory, premiered in the Short Film Competition at Cannes 2014. Huang's first feature, What Remains, premiered at Warsaw Film Festival 2022, and will also be screened at PÖFF 2023. 

    Ron Fogel is a senior film critic on Israeli radio and TV, and the member of the board of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. In 2021, he was the chairman of the FIPRESCI jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Since 2022, he has been an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards. 

    Radhika Madan is an Indian film and TV actress who primarly works in Hindi films. Presenting unique and refreshing characters, the young actress recently delivered a power-packed role in Disney+ Hotstar's series Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo. She had the leading role in Sudhansu Saria's Sanaa which premiered at PÖFF 2022. 

    Critics' Picks Competition
    The head of the jury, Dina Iordanova, is an British-Bulgarian film and festival historian, and The Professor Emeritus of Global Cinema at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She has published books and essays on the cinemas of Central Europe, the Balkan countries and the Former Soviet Union. 

    Iranian-born Canadian screenwriter, director and producer Bahman Tavoosi's documentary debut Dress Rehearsal for an Execution reenacted the Pulitzer Prize winning photo of Firing Squad in Iran, and won awards and nominations from festivals such as Hot Docs and Hot Springs.  His fiction debut Names of the Flowers won Special Juries Award at PÖFF 2019.

    Jani Pösö is a producer and the CEO of It's Alive Films. Among other works, he has produced the feature film The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic (directed by Teemu Nikki, Audience Award at Venice film festival 2021), TV series Mister 8 (Best Series, Cannes Series 2021), and short film All Inclusive (Cannes Competition 2019). This year's PÖFF will screen two films directed by Teemu Nikki and produced by Jani Pösö - Death Is A Problem For Living and Snot and Splash. 

    Rebels With A Cause Competition
    The head of the jury is Jim Stark, whose producing credits include titles directed by Jim Jarmusch (e.g. Stranger Than Paradise, winner of Camera d'Or in Cannes; Night On Earth, Coffee And Cigarettes), as well as Alexandre Rockwell's In The Soup and Gregg Araki's The Living End. The impressive list continues. At PÖFF 2023 Critics' Picks Competition will be screened Kalman's Day (HU), directed by Szalboccs Hajdu and co-produced by Stark. 

    Andrius Blaževičius' debut feature The Saint premiered at Warsaw Film Festival and won six Lithuanian film awards thereafter, becoming one of the most appreciated Lithuanian independent films. His sophomore film The Runner premiered at Karlovy Vary and PÖFF 2021. 

    Mania Akbari, an artist and filmmaker from Iran, focuses on women's rights, marriage, sexual identity, body and trauma. She is considered one of the most controversial filmmakers in Iran. Her debut feature, 20 Fingers (2004) won the best film in the Venice Film Festival's Digital Cinema Section. 

    Baltic Film Competition
    Head of the jury, the producer Eleanora Granata Jenkinson, has a PhD in International Law from Milan University. She has served as Vice President at Pandora Films, and as USA representative and programme advisor for the Venice Film Festival. 

    The director, Leon Prudovsky, was born in the USSR and raised in Israel. He has written and directed series, shorts and full-length features in Israel, France, Poland, and Ukraine. His last feature, My Neighbour Adolf, premiered in Locarno Piazza Grande, and opened PÖFF 2022. 

    Ari Tan, producer and studio executive, has served as Head of Strategy, at International Studios at Paramount. He also served as in senior roles in Paramount's key business units, including MTV Entertainment group. Ari Tan is a voting member of BAFTA and the television academy. 

    NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) jury:

    Mohammad Attebai (Iran, head of the jury)
    Italo Spinelli (Italy)
    Ra Ragnar Novod (Estonia)

    FIPRESCI jury:
    Yael Shuv (Israel)
    Tonci Valentic (Croatia)
    Tõnu Karjatse (Estonia)

    PÖFF has also revealed its complete schedule and side-program lineups. The impressive repertoire can be found HERE

    In total, 185 feature films from 73 countries will be screened at PÖFF 2023. Youth and Children sub-festival Just Film will show 51 feature films, 37 shorts and 6 animated films. PÖFF Shorts sub-festival will present 240 short films. 

    51 world premieres and 24 international premieres will be screened. In addition to 5 competition programmes, there are 14 side programmes. This include Best Of Festivals, the collection of award-winning films from 2023, Doc@PÖFF and Screen International Critic's Choice

    This year's focus region is Serbia and SEE* (South-East European) countries. The focus programme consists of fresh works from Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and North-Macedonia.  Additionally, Yugoslavian Black Wave retrospective is an ode to the Yugoslavian new-wave cinema from the 1960-1970s.