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AWARDS Estonia

Autumn Ball top winner at Venice Horizons

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Estonian cinema is definitely on the roll and at every new festival, widening its visibility on the world stage. In Venice, it was Veiko Õunpuu who conquered the jury of the Horizons sidebar dedicated to new trends in cinema, winning the top award or Premio Orizzonti and its attractive €20,000 cash prize.

“This will make life easier for me,” said Katrin Kissa, who produced the film for Kuukulgur Film, in co-production with Homeless Bob Production and Tugev Tuul Films in Estonia. “The film is will open in four cinemas back home – quite a good print run for Estonia - so I hope this prize will make people want to go and see it”. No sales agent has been appointed yet for the film.

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Autumn Ball [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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depicts chosen moments from the life of six people living in a huge sprawling conurbation of tower blocks built during the Soviet era. Õunpuu described his film as “a pitch black comedy about loneliness, despair and hope.” The lead is played by versatile actor Rain Tolk, Estonia’s 2007 Shooting Star.

Kissa, who was also attached to Õunpuu’s acclaimed medium-length feature Empty, is putting together the financing for his second feature film, Temptation of St. Tony, which she hopes will be a co-production with Sweden. “It makes sense for us to co-produce with our Nordic neighbours,” she said.

Other Estonian filmmakers selected and/or awarded at A-list festivals this year include Ilmar Raag, double winner in Karlovy Vary last July for The Class [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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and Kadri Kõussar, selected in Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2007 for Magnus.

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