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FUNDING Estonia

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Estonia funds four international film projects

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- The country has become a minority partner on four international film projects, which received total support of €185,000 from the Estonian Film Institute

Estonia funds four international film projects
Director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, whose Mister Pichin’s Last Journey has received funding from the Estonian Film Institute (© Ole Kragh-Jacobsen)

Estonia has a stake in four new projects that bring together international talent. Russian outfit Pan-Atlantic Studio’s film The Man Who Surprised Everyone will be co-produced by Estonian artistic production house Homeless Bob Productions (producer Katrin Kissa) and France’s Arizona Productions. The film’s directing team, comprising Alexei Chupov and Natalya Merkulova, has once again asked Estonian cinematographer Mart Taniel to handle the camera, following their last successful collaboration on Intimate Parts in 2013. The story will be filmed in Siberia and tells the fable of a Russian man who attempts to outwit death itself. The amount of support it has been granted by the Estonian Film Institute is €40,000.

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Renowned Danish filmmaker Søren Kragh-Jacobsen has partly filmed his latest project, Mister Pichin’s Last Journey, in Estonia, and the movie was deemed worthy of €100,000 in support. The film will be co-produced by Denmark’s Nimbus Film, France’s MACT Productions, Belgium’s Panache Productions, Poland’s Akson Studio and Estonia’s Meteoriit Film (producer Aet Laigu). The romantic movie recounts the last days of composer Frédéric Chopin, played in the film by French actor Romain Duris.

Two documentaries were supported as well. €25,000 went to a Polish-Estonian co-production (staged by CoLab Pictures for the former and Maagiline Masin for the latter), Love Express by Kuba Mikurda. The complicated story of one of the most influential Polish animators, Walerian Borowczyk, who ended up in the porn-film industry, has TV giant HBO attached as well. The film’s animated parts will be produced in Estonia. “Thematically, it’s an archetypal artist story with a conflict between the talent and the higher powers, which are unable to understand that talent,” explains the head expert at the Estonian Film Institute, Piret Tibbo-Hudgins. “It is set against a 1970s backdrop of the sexual revolution and the disappearance of censorship.”

Lastly, Lithuanian company Moonmakers brings us another documentary called Tender Warriors, by young filmmaker Marija Stonyte. The film about five Lithuanian girls in compulsory military service is being co-produced by Estonia’s Vesilind and has been supported to the tune of €20,000. 

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