Tangerines becomes the first-ever Baltic feature to be nominated for an Oscar
by Laurence Boyce
- The nod for the Estonian-Georgian co-production in the Best Foreign-language Film category is a cause for celebration in the region
Yesterday’s announcement that Zaza Urushadze’s Tangerines [+see also:
film profile] has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign-language Film is the culmination of an incredible journey for the Estonian-Georgian co-production. It constitutes the first time that a feature-length Baltic film has ever been nominated for an Oscar.
The movie centres on two elderly farmers who live in Georgia at the height of the civil war in 1992. While staying decidedly away from the conflict, they soon find wounded Chechen and Georgian soldiers near their land, and when one of them takes the soldiers in, they try to find the best way to heal their wounds, both physically and emotionally speaking.
The film has already won a number of awards and plaudits, including a Golden Globe nomination, while it has also screened at numerous international film festivals, including Warsaw, Black Nights, Tbilisi, Cottbus, Seattle and Palm Springs.
The movie’s producer, Ivo Felt, told Cineuropa: “The nomination is absolutely exhilarating! It is a dream for every filmmaker, but believe me, I never had any idea that we could make it so far. It is difficult to find the words to express my feelings. It makes me extremely happy that the overall message of humanity in the film is being so well received. Maybe it even means that all is not lost yet, and that we can find a way to reach lasting peace and understanding. As for Estonia and Georgia, two micro-countries, we are all celebrating.”
It marks the start of a good year not only for the film, but also for Estonia, which has seen its profile raised immensely thanks to the Tallinn-based Black Nights Film Festival being designated an “A-Class” film festival.