European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation welcomes Estonia
by Laurence Boyce
08/06/2012 - After a successful festival in April, the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival continues its crusade to champion genre cinema in the Baltics by becoming the latest member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF). Following a decision by the Board of the EFFFF, HOFF will become an adherent member of the federation when its next edition rolls around in April 2013.
The EFFFF is a network of more than 20 film festivals in 16 countries dedicated to promote the originality and creativity of the European fantasy film industry, and annually gathers audiences of more than 600,000. Members of the Federation include Lund (Sweden), Leeds (UK), Espoo (Finland) and Brussels (Belgium). The goal of the EFFFF is to introduce and nourish European fantasy, sci-fi and horror cinema in a world dominated by US genre films. All affiliated members of the Federation present an international competition programme, the Méliès d’Argent, for the most remarkable European Fantastic and Short Film. The winners at each festival go on to compete for the Méliès d'Or Best European Fantastic Film, awarded at an annual gala held in Sitges.
“Joining the Méliès’ federation could be compared to the Michelin-star rating of haute cuisine, testifying to the high level of organization and programming of HOFF that we have been dedicated to for years. Méliès’ membership is not exclusively tied to the budget nor the audience numbers, as besides cutting edge programming and execution, the festival has to serve as a gateway to the region as well as contribute to the federation by industry and territorial expertise - and I’m happy that HOFF fills this role perfectly”, said founding Festival Director Sten Saluveer.
"We are very happy to include Haapsalu International Horror and Fantasy Film Festival as an adherent member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation. They will be a great addition to our team of festivals and will play an important part in promoting European genre films in the Baltic region", said Christian Hallman, co-ordinator of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation.
The 2012 edition of HÕFF presented 19 features with an audience record of more than 2,800 visitors. The highlights of the programme, Iron Sky [trailer, film focus] (Finland, 2012) and Sleep Tight [trailer] (Spain, 2011) are contenders for the Méliès d’Or Award for Best European Fantastic Feature Film 2012.