Preview: The Foreign Oscar Contenders Meet At Tallinn's Black Nights Film Festival

Contributor; Slovakia (@martykudlac)
Preview: The Foreign Oscar Contenders Meet At Tallinn's Black Nights Film Festival
It used to be that the big late season festival stop was the Viennale in Austria, where the important titles of the year were collected in the exquisite programming. However, a festival wolf has started howling in Estonia and gets stronger from year to year. 

The inconspicuous festival starting with 25 features and 4500 admissions in 1997 has risen since to last year´s 551 films and 775 000 admissions. Also the programming of the  Black Nights Film Festival expanded exponentially. All the interesting festival films of 2014 can be seen in the capital of Estonia November 14 to November 30 before the start of the new festival run 2015. A small celebration at 18th edition of Black Nights should be also dedicated to the festival´s entry among the world´s leading film festivals as The International Federation of Film Producers' Associations accredited Tallinn´s film gathering as a non-specialized competitive festival. From now on, Black Nights Film Festival brushes shoulders with Cannes, Berlinale, Karlovy Vary, Venice, Tokyo, San Sebastian and Locarno 

Programmers have gathered 19 Oscar candidates for Best Foreign-language Film of the 2015 Academy Awards. The slate includes A Few Cubic Meters of Love by Jamshid Mahmoudi (Afghanistan), a love story between Iranian and Afghan workers set on the outskirts of Tehran where a small factory illegally employs asylum seekers, Xavier Dolan´s stab on Oedipal complex in Mommy (Canada), Signe Baumane´s sincere animated family anamnesis Rocks in My Pockets (Latvia), Ovashvili´s minimalist contemplative drama Corn Island (Georgia), Östlund´s dramedy on the crisis of masculinity The Tourist (Sweden), Andrea Sedláčková sports drama celebrating moral heroes in Fair Play (Czech Republic), this year´s winner of Palme d´Or, Winter Sleep (Turkey), Hungarian White Dog by Kornél Mundruczó combining genre formulas in coming-of-age cum pseudo-apocalypse fare, Dominik Graf´s depiction of Schiller´s life in a ménage a trois in period drama Beloved Sisters (Germany) and others. 

The international competition offers mesmerizing and lyrical portrait of Stalinist mass deportations composed into 13 mesmerizing tableaux vivants, In the Crosswind by Estonian director Martti Helde. Aleksey Fedorchenko return after his Russian ,,Decameron" Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari with Russian ,,Avengers" Angels of Revolution where a group of superheroes is replaced by a group of dissident avantgardists and they will be not saving the world yet reconciling the culture of Russian avant-garde and ancient paganism in a community living around great Siberian river Ob. Even though the story is based on actual events of the 1934 revolution, the deadpan humour doesn´t lack a bit. Separate competition is dedicated to North American indies boasting titles such as Cahill´s I Origins, Nikolic´s Allure, Chazelle´s Whiplash or Jean Marc Vallee´s Wild

Among abundance of tempting titles belong also These Are The Rules a slow-burning naturalistic family drama focused on a middle age couple and their coming to terms with son ́s sudden death and indifference accompanying the ordeal. The Coratian director Ognjen Sviličić masterly creates a detached atmosphere after the couple receives the bad news by restraint emotional register and exclusion of melodrama and also thanks to compelling performance delivered by Emir Hadzihafizbegovic as a perplexed father or Adilkhan Yerzhanov ́s wonderful black comedy, a mixture Kafkaesque and Beckettian elements, The Owners. The trio of orphaned siblings leads a futile fight against local corrupted authorities and police chief ́s brother over the ownership of a derelict house. Yerzhanov piles one tragicomic scene over another in a minimalistic style crowning the whole endeavour to protect the last remnant of the earthly belongings by unexpected ambulance musical number. Tallinn´s line-up boasts also festival hot shots Birdman, Andersson´s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Boyhood, Ukrainian The Tribe, Alice Rohrwacher´s The Wonders, Foxcatcher, Godard´s Goodbye to Language, Konchalovskiy´s The Postman´s White Nights and much more. 

For the full lineup of the fest please visit the official website. The festival runs from November 14 to November 30.
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Black Nights Film FestivalEstoniaForeign OscarsTallinn

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