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Tallinn unveils seven titles for its First Feature Competition


- The selection so far includes films from Lithuania, Denmark, Slovenia, Germany and Russia

Tallinn unveils seven titles for its First Feature Competition
Erased by Miha Mazzini

After announcing the first batch of Official Selection titles (see the news), the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (16 November-3 December) has revealed the first seven films that will be taking part in its First Feature Competition. There are three countries that will be competing in this section for the first time: Lithuania, Denmark and Slovenia.

The Lithuanian-Finnish co-production Sasha Was Here by Ernestas Jankauskas, which will have its world premiere at the festival, is a story about a young couple spending time with a child they will potentially adopt over the course of one day, under circumstances they had not anticipated, thus putting their relationship and perceived values of parenthood and family to the test.

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Having its international premiere at Tallinn, Lifeboat by Danish director Josefine Kirkeskov and her all-female film crew is a psychological drama about a Danish couple facing emotional and moral dilemmas after picking up a Lebanese refugee while on their romantic sailing holiday near the island of Lesbos. The film is a co-production with Croatia and Sweden. 

Another co-production, this time between Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, Erased by Miha Mazzini, will also have its international premiere at Black Nights, after scooping the Vesna Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for its Croatian star Judita Franković Brdar, as well as the Best Production and Costume Design Awards at the Festival of Slovenian Film in Portoroz in September (see the news). The Kafkaesque story, set in the mid-1990s, as the breakup of Yugoslavia led the Slovenian state to revoke the citizenship of nearly 26,000 people, sees a woman caught in the machine of state bureaucracy, trying to fight for the rights of her newborn child and her own citizenship.

Two more international premieres hail from Germany and Russia. German director Henning Gronkowski's Yung is a hyperrealistic take on Berlin’s hedonistic subculture, documenting the lives of four millennials making a living from crack and webcam porn, and spending the better part of their lives attending parties. 

Russian writer-director Kirill Sokolov’s Why Don't You Just Die, which won the Best Film Award at the Vyborg Film Festival, is a dark action-comedy about a group of people brought together in the apartment of police detective Andrei – his resentful daughter, an angry thug and a cheated cop – and they all want revenge. 

The remaining two titles come from Asia and will have their world premieres in the section: Kejal by Iran's Nima Sar and Wasted Eggs by Japan's Ryo Kawasaki.

Here is the list of titles announced so far: 

ErasedMiha Mazzini (Slovenia/Croatia/Serbia)
KejalNima Yar (Iran)
Lifeboat - Josefine Kirkeskov (Denmark/Croatia/Sweden)
Sasha Was HereErnestas Jankauskas (Lithuania/Finland)
Wasted Eggs - Ryo Kawasaki (Japan)
Why Don't You Just DieKirill Sokolov (Russia)
Yung - Henning Gronkowski (Germany)

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