The Estonian Film Institute has decided with a solid majority to send Veiko Õunpuu's Nordic western "Viimased" as Estonia's entry in the Best International Feature Film category at next year's Academy Awards, aka the Oscars.
The members of the commission which chose "Viimased" were film director Tanel Toom, producers Evelin Penttilä and Ivo Felt, film journalist Tõnu Karjatse, costume designer Eugen Tamberg, Minister of Culture's audiovisual advisor and former movie distributor Siim Rohtla, and Head of the Film Institute, Edith Sepp.
"Viimased" is a cooperation between Estonia, Finland and Netherlands.
The commission was attracted to the movie's clearcut storyline, characters and enjoyable artistic delivery, emphasizing that Õunpuu has managed to express important problems with minimal resources - an eternal hope and desire for a better life; greed, which is killing humanity; extinction of traditional lifestyles due to capitalistic self-interest; the environment, which is also exhausted to its last limits; the ground-breaking time of ours and insecurity about the future.
The producer, Katrin Kissa, said that "Viimased" was once described as a love letter to the fading world. "Publishing of the movie has happened at a strange time when these issues are more current than ever before and the epic nordic landscapes are the best way to overcome the everyday horizon."
"Viimased" is a "nordic western", set in the wild tundra of Lapland. The main character is a young miner, Rupi, who hopes to earn enough money to forget about the grime of mining forever. But his work has come to a halt, because Rupi's father refuses to sell his lands. At the same time, Rupi falls in love with his friend's wife.
The scriptwriters are Heikki-Huttu Hiltunen, Eero Tammi and Veiko Õunpuu, the cameraman is Sten Johan Lill, composer Sven Grünberg, artist Otso Linnalaakso, costume designer Jaanus Vahtra and editors Wouter van Lujin and Xander Nijsten. Actors are Pääru Oja, Laura Birn, Tommi Korpela, Elmer Bäck, Sulevi Peltola, Samuli Edelmann and others. The producers are Katrin Kissa from Homeless Bob Producion (Estonia), Mark Lwoff, Misha Jaari Bufost (Finland) and Ellen Havenith from PRPL (Netherlands).
Editor: Roberta Vaino