Interview with producer of 'Tangerines': Oscar is unlikely

Ivo Felt (Reuters/Scanpix)
1/16/2015 4:00 PM
Category: Culture

Ivo Felt, producer of the Estonian-Georgian movie "Tangerines", spoke to ETV's daily news magazine program "Ringvaade" about the Oscar nomination.

You have now been nominated for an Oscar. How nervous were you during the month that has followed the nomination for a Golden Globe?

There were some jitters, but we weren't very nervous about the Golden Globes. It was very obvious that we were not going to get it. Well, maybe not very obvious, but definitely quite so. With the Oscar nomination, however, we were a bit blown by the nine that were shortlisted. The list was surprising, we expected it to include other films. This gave us some hope. But you don't constantly think about these things.

What time did your hands start shaking before the announcements? When did you get excited?

My hands didn't really shake, but the Georgian [director Zaza Urushadze - ed.] next to me was nervous so that made me anxious too.

Last time we met, following the Golden Globes nomination, you just shrug your shoulders. Were you more emotional this time, as befitting an Estonian, when you got the news?

It was different this time, as the director Zaza Urushadze and I were together during the announcement, so we were both a bit more emotional than last time. He was then in Tbilisi and I was in Tallinn.

Is it an Estonian or a Georgian film? The screenwriter and director is a Georgian, most of the cast is Georgian. What makes it an Estonian movie then? We so proudly proclaim that it is Estonian.

It has to be someone's, right? It's an Estonian-Georgian film, in that specific order. That's because the first impulse for the movie came from Estonia; the film is mostly in Estonian language, there is not a word of Georgian in it; the lead actor is Estonian and a lot of the creative staff are Estonians. So I would say that Estonia had much of the creative control.

How has the news been received in Georgia? Are they celebrating like we are and my Georgian peer is interviewing the director in the evening program. Do they proclaim that Georgia has received its first ever Oscar nomination?

It's the phenomenon of this movie that we both say it's ours: Estonians say it's Estonian, Georgians say it's Georgian. In some sense we are all right. But the official version has Estonia first, Georgia second.

What will you do with the Oscar if you win it? There's just one statue, who is going to have it on his desk?

First things first, the chances of winning it are non-numerical, they are very slim indeed. There are two favorites - "Ida" and "Leviathan".

Of the five nominees, two are different from those at the Golden Globes - "Timbuktu" and the film from Argentina.

Indeed. They are all very strong films. The Argentinian entry is the only one I haven't seen yet. "Timbuktu" is just as good as the top contenders "Leviathan" and "Ida", so there is no reason to believe that the "Wild Tales" is anything less. It's a comedy and said to be extremely funny.

Does the Oscar nomination mean that the film will enjoy global popularity and masses will flock to theaters to see it?

We shall see. There's a flicker of hope that it will get wider distribution now. We are dealing with the US first and truly hope to enter the market there. I believe we are the only one of the five nominees that is not available in the US. The distributors have expressed interest, but I think a few of them were waiting to see how it goes with the Oscars.

How big a boost did the Golden Globes give the film?

Of course these things have an effect. American audiences care for the American awards and keep a keen eye on them.

Does all this bring in any money?

It hasn't so far.

What motivates you now that you have been nominated for an Oscar? Where do you go from here? Aren't you afraid that having done your "life's work" now, you will get stressed out in later life?

No, I'm not. I'm always very excited and want to make new movies. I plan to make a movie with Toomas Lutsar in May, one of our new films "The Fencer" will premiere in March. Life goes on. An Oscar is just an Oscar. And it's all very subjective anyway: which films are good, or rather, get awarded, and which don't. It's all very strange to me. Lembit Ulfsak calls it a "culture sport". It's always arguable what is good and what not so good.

M. Oll

The name field cannot be empty
No more than 50 characters
Comment field cannot be empty
No more than 50 characters
Comment field cannot be empty
No more than 1024 characters
{{error}}

Message forwarded to the editor

This Ip-address has limited access

See also

There are no comments yet. Be the first!

Reply to comment

+{{childComment.ReplyToName}}:
Reply to comment
Reply

Laadi juurde ({{take2}})
The name field cannot be empty
No more than 50 characters
Comment field cannot be empty
No more than 1024 characters
{{error}}
Add new comment
  • foto
    Estonian composer Veljo Tormis dies at 86
    08:26

    Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, perhaps best known internationally for his prolific career centering largely on choral music and featuring traditional Estonian and Baltic Finnic influences, died at 86 on Saturday evening.

  • foto
    Estonian films screened at LA festival
    22.01

    The 18th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles (SFFLA), which kicked off on Saturday, featured two films by Estonian filmmakers.

  • foto
    Interactive map: The search for Europe's best young opera star
    20.01

    What country will Europe's — perhaps even the world's — best young opera star be from? We will find out in May, when Pärnu hosts the 10th Klaudia Taev International Competition for Young Opera Singers. ERR's online Culture portal has put together an interactive map following Estonian conductor Erki Pehk and Toomas Kuter, one of the heads of the competition, as they travel across Europe in search of the continent's top young talent.

  • foto
    Kihnu dictionary to be presented at book release in Pärnu
    17.01

    A new dictionary of the Kihnu dialect of Estonian, compiled by island natives Reene Leas, Silvi Murulauk and Reti Könninge as well as the late Saaremaa native linguist Ellen Niit, will be presented at a book release at the Museum of New Art in Pärnu on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 12 p.m.

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Jan. 16-22
    16.01

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee: "We have a feeling it’s going to be a very eventful and interesting week!"

  • foto
    Rakvere theater sees 100,000 visitors in 2016
    16.01

    2016 brought with it a number of changes for Rakvere Theatre — including the opening of its long-awaited new movie and rehearsal hall, designed by Raul Vaiksoo, in the fall, the international theater festival Baltoscandal as well as the large-scale summer production of "At the End of the World" — which helped the theater log over 100,000 visits during the year.

  • foto
    Two Estonian films to be screened at Scandinavian Film Festival in Los Angeles
    15.01

    The Scandinavian Film Festival that began in Los Angeles on Saturday will feature two films by Estonian movie-makers.

  • foto
    Copyrights to works of Estonian poets Under, Adson in German hands
    11.01

    The Estonian Ministry of Culture has discovered that the copyrights to the works of Estonian poets Marie Under and Artur Adson do not belong to the Estonian state.

  • foto
    Estonian clown duo Piip ja Tuut put on record number of performances abroad
    10.01

    Of their 264 performances in 2016, Piip ja Tuut put on 118 at their own Piip ja Tuut Playhouse, located on Tallinn’s Toompea Hill, and 146 elsewhere, including 30 performances in a total of eight countries around the world.

  • foto
    Museums, theaters increase ticket prices
    10.01

    The beginning of the new year brought with it increases in ticket prices in some cultural institutions. Prices were adjusted mostly at museums, but also at some theaters as well. Bigger movie theaters, however, did not change their ticket prices.

  • foto
    ETV to air British miniseries 'Tutankhamun'
    07.01

    2016 British historical drama "Tutankhamun," which will bring the search for the famous Egyptian pharaoh to its viewers, will kick off on ETV beginning on Saturday night.

  • foto
    Hendrik Kaljujärv's meaning-layered 'Overexposure'
    06.01

    In addition to recommendations, Culture.ee's English-language culture blog also provides reviews of musical, theatrical, dance and other cultural performances that take place around Estonia. In this review, Anneliis Lepp reflects on how the visuals, music as well as layers of meaning played important roles in an end of the year production of Hendrik Kaljujärv's play "Overexposure."

  • foto
    Ilona Gurjanova, Andrus Kõresaar 2016 winners of Foreign Ministry's annual culture awards
    05.01

    Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser presented the ministry's 2016 Culture Awards to Estonian Association of Designers chairman Ilona Gurjanova and KOKO Architects founder Andrus Kõresaar on Wednesday.

  • foto
    Kaspar Jancis animated short 'Piano' wins award at international festival in St. Petersburg
    2016

    The animated short film "Piano" won a special jury prize at the 14th International Festival of Animation Arts "Multivision" in St. Petersburg.

  • foto
    Toomas Hussar's 'The Spy and the Poet' selected for Palm Springs Film Festival
    2016

    Toomas Hussar's 2016 feature film "The Spy and the Poet" has been selected for the official program of the international Palm Springs Film Festival, which has previously included other Estonian coproductions such as "Tangerines" and "The Fencer" in its lineup. PSFF will also mark the new film's North American premiere.

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Holiday edition
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee: "The holiday season is upon us and there is no escaping it, so one may as well enjoy it! We at culture.ee wish you all a joyous week!"

  • foto
    The anthropological documentarian in a world of bite-sized narratives
    2016

    "The Measure of Humanity: 45 Years of Documentary Photography in South Africa" at Adamson-Eric Museum in Tallinn presents a comprehensive overview of the career of the recently deceased South African photographer Juhan Kuus.

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Dec. 12-18
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee: "We hope they offer you amusement, but also themes to think about. Have a wonderful week!"

  • foto
    2017 Grammy nominees include multiple Estonians
    2016

    The nominees for the 59. Grammy Awards were published on Tuesday, and upon closer inspection the list included both better- and lesser-known Estonian names and involved an Estonian music label, a number of Estonian musical ensembles and works by an Estonian composer as well.

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Dec. 5-11
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee: "Places to be, things to do, exhibitions to enjoy, concerts to attend and dances to dance. Keep warm and take in all the great experiences!"

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Nov. 28-Dec. 4
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee. It seems as though the Christmas spirit is nearby, because this week offers plenty of music and merry gatherings.

  • foto
    Estonian choir's concert series focuses on life, work of poet Lydia Koidula
    2016

    130 years following her death, the award-winning Youth Mixed Choir Vox Populi will be giving a short series of concert-lectures dedicated to the life of the famous Estonian poet Lydia Koidula at schools and cultural centers across the country in an alternative to more typical holiday-themed Advent-season performances.

  • foto
    'A Quiet Heart' wins international award at Estonia's Black Nights Film Festival
    2016

    Eitan Anner's "A Quiet Heart" ("Lev Shaket") was awarded the Grand Prix of the 20th Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) at the festival's awards ceremony in Tallinn on Saturday night.

  • foto
    Interview with Yaniv Berman, director of PÖFF film 'Land of the Little People'
    2016

    Helina Koldek of culture.ee interviewed Yaniv Berman, director of 2016 Israeli film "Land of the Little People," one of the films featured in the 2016 program of Estonia's Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF).

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Nov. 21-27
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee. Here is a diverse and bold choice of events for the ongoing week. Open your minds and have a great time!

  • foto
    10 recommendations for Black Nights Film Festival
    2016

    The 20th annual Black Nights Film Festival, better known by Estonian acronym PÖFF, is already in full swing, with a rich program of screenings at various locations in Tallinn and Tartu. As the number and variety of films on offer may be overwhelming for festivalgoers, Helina Koldek of culture.ee has shared her top ten picks for this year's edition of PÖFF.

  • foto
    Renovation of Song Festival Grounds to start after 2019
    2016

    The Riigikogu’s Cultural Affairs Committee on Monday supported a plan to renovate the stage of the Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn as well as the surrounding buildings. According to MP Laine Randjärv (Reform), who chairs the committee, construction could begin after the next Song Festival in 2019.

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Nov. 14-20
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee. November in Estonia is always associated with the Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), but in addition to this wonderful event, there are plenty of others as well. Have a great week!

  • foto
    Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: Nov. 7-13
    2016

    Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee. We have a busy week ahead of us! In addition to the annual film festival PÖFF, there will also be another interesting film program, lots of stimulating music, a big fair and even an international poetry slam. Stay warm and enjoy!

  • foto
    Benno Schirrmeister: Do Estonians dream of electric sheep?
    2016

    On a journalist exchange in Estonia, Benno Schirrmeister of Bremen’s TAZ is highly informed, yet a blank slate as far as a foreigner’s experience of Estonia is concerned. In his first op-ed about Tallinn, he spots something beyond IT that Estonia could advertise — but doesn’t.