Production / Funding - Estonia
Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...
Tallifornia launches Estonia’s first private film fund
The new fund, headed by Rain Rannu and Tõnu Hiielaid, has already announced its first three investments
Estonian outfit Tallifornia has launched the country’s first private film investment fund, the Tallifornia Film Fund. Announced at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s European Film Forum, it will make at least 15 equity investments in Estonian and foreign movie projects over the next four years.
According to the official press release announcing the initiative, the Tallifornia Film Fund is “designed to work alongside existing public funding, tax credit and local film funding schemes and supplement them by adding an additional equity investment component to the mix.” It will enable experienced directors to supplement publicly funded film projects with equity financing and will also provide means for young and emerging filmmakers to get financing for their first movie. In the first year, the fund expects to invest into 3-5 projects. The fund has already announced its first three investments.
The first is Sentinel, an Estonian-German-British co-production helmed by Oscar-nominated director Tanel Toom. The film is a sci-fi thriller set in a war-ravaged future, in which four soldiers man a remote ocean military base that separates two warring continents. The cast includes Kate Bosworth, Lucien Laviscount, Martin McCann and Thomas Kretschmann. Sentinel is penned by Malachi Smyth and produced by Ben Pullen, Ivo Felt, Jörg Bundschuh, Pippa Cross and Matt Wilkinson.
The second project is Invisible Fight, a wild kung-fu comedy set in an Orthodox monastery in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, helmed by writer-director Rainer Sarnet (November [+see also:
interview: Rea Lest
film profile]). A co-production between Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Finland and Greece, Invisible Fight is being staged by Katrin Kissa for Homeless Bob Production.
The third project is Spanish-Estonian director Miguel Llansó’s Infinite Summer (Crumbs [+see also:
film profile], Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway [+see also:
interview: Miguel Llansó
film profile]). It tells the story of three young women's week at the beach, which turns into a transhumanist mystery romp during one Estonian Summer. The feature is produced by Tallifornia and US-based Savage Rose and stars Canadian actress Hannah Gross (Joker, the TV series Mindhunter) among others.
All three films have commenced principal photography and are slated for release in 2023.
“Tallifornia Film Fund gives the producers wonderful opportunities to combine private equity with state support and foreign investments. It is a big step ahead for the Estonian film industry. Also, it is truly great to see that the fund is open for both young and more seasoned filmmakers,” commented Ivo Felt, one of the producers of Sentinel.
“We finance ambitious and creatively interesting film projects that have the potential to reach wider than their home country,” said Rain Rannu. Speaking to Cineuropa, he added: “Our sweet spot is €100,000-200,000 per project in the first year, including the three first projects already announced. As the fund is open to new investors, the total amount will depend a lot on the traction, initial success and the quality of the projects the fund is able to attract.”
The Tallifornia Film Fund is managed by filmmaker and entrepreneur Rain Rannu and Tõnu Hiielaid, co-founder and producer at Tallifornia. The fund is entirely financed from private capital with participation from a number of successful Estonian investors such as Linnar Viik, Marek Kiisa, Märt Lume, Veljo Otsason and Indrek Kasel.
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